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Have you ever taken a dash of one language with a sprinkle of another, mixed them together and simmered to taste? Of course you have! You’re bilingual. You’re bound to have stirred your languages together at one point or another. There’s actually a fancy name for...

“No me falte usted al respeto, no soy cualquier cosa, soy el acusado. Yo ahí afuera tengo otro detalle, no así no se porta con uno la gente.” - Cantinflas, “El juicio,” available here No small ripple In 1992, the Real Academia Española accepted the term “cantinflear” for...

The article below is a pertinent repost from 2018. The question, “how much should I charge?” for a newcomer to the profession can feel daunting, as it can be difficult at first to get an idea as to how much interpreters and translators earn on...

The Couch is a learning place, not only for its contributors but also for our readers who engage in the ensuing discussions. The subject of this month’s Couch is the transition to “normal.” As in-person services gradually resume (or at least are on the horizon), what do...

I was talking to a colleague friend of mine recently when she mentioned she had to deliver a translation but had to get it notarized first. My brain immediately went in two different directions: (1) I know this is a fairly common practice among translators...

Maybe it is time to make friends with Spanglish. …And Italish, Portinglish, Haitian Creolish and any other language +English! It happened this way: Judge (English): “…mortgage…” Me (Spanish): “…hipoteca…” Litigant (No language): [Blank stare; look of incomprehension and confusion.] The question was repeated. All at once, understanding dawned and the litigant...

I’ve been working as a staff interpreter for a long time in various jurisdictions, so I’ve hired freelance interpreters (of languages from Achi to Zuni) hundreds of times—probably thousands. And let’s face it: every court has its favorites. For any language for which a court has multiple options, certain freelancers (or agencies, but that’s another subject) will be the go-to when there’s a big assignment, or a last-minute one, or a vacation to be covered. Well-meaning administrative offices try to encourage or enforce a fair rotation, but there will always be someone who has an extra edge. A question asked by prospective and working freelance interpreters alike is often: how can I get more work? Or the flip side: is there really enough work for me? So here’s the answer: There may not be enough work for everyone, but there will always be enough work for those who go the extra mile to make working with them a pleasure. So how do you become one of those people? Let’s see: