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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:

The phrase itself should set off an alarm. Or perhaps “militant” is too strong a word. How about “the advocate interpreter”? Merriam-Webster defines militant as "having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something,” or, in...

**Flashback First Friday** This was originally posted on the NAJIT Blog back in 2012. Leave a comment about being challenged! A good, healthy session of constructive criticism by a senior colleague about our performance or skills as interpreters is something I venture to say we would all...

At the memorial for deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela on December 10, 2013, the world-wide interpreting community was stunned and dismayed when a fake sign language interpreter was shown on television and the internet pretending to interpret the words of heads of state...

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."  Abraham Lincoln Recently, I was watching the “Special Features” on a DVD my kids were enjoying. One of the costume designers was interviewed and spoke about how her role was to put...

In the small county seat where I work several times a week there is a traffic circle. It is  a small oasis in a not-very-attractive little town. In spring and summer there are shade trees and flowers. There is a central fountain, and a number...