The Year in Review – The Most Popular Posts of 2019

This being the last Friday of the year, we will share below the most popular posts of 2019, by month. The selection is based on the number of comments the post received and that will vary greatly with the seasons. Summer is an especially difficult season for getting above single digits. Nevertheless, we hope you will enjoy the memories.

Editor’s Choice

Here I will make use of my Secret Editor Powers to choose an article that did not make the cut as most popular in the month it was published, but which I believe may have deserved more attention than it received. You can always disagree and let me know in the comments below.

I am partial to the section of The NAJIT Observer called The Couch (and formerly called What Would You Have Done). It is a learning environment where we are free to ask questions, pose problems and basque in the generously shared wisdom of our colleagues. I hope you enjoy my selection as much as I did.

The Couch: A Matter of Ethics Ethics dictate you should recuse yourself in certain situations. But, is a casual acquaintance with someone reason enough? And if you are no longer close? This is your chance to add your comment.


We actually had a tie in January. Two posts received 10 comments each:

1- 5 Tax Reform Changes to Know Before Filing Your 2018 Tax Return Are you ready for your 2019 Taxes? Tax Day is near… Vic helps us navigate the latest tax reforms. See how they can impact your freelancing business. This was a guest post and it seems we were all very curious about this specific subject.

2- Choices When we question our career choice but come up empty for options, what are we supposed to do? How do you cope when outside forces make survival a struggle? This post by Janis Palma was written during the government shutdown.


Word of the Week: Notary Public Are notario público and public notary really the same thing? Or is this another plain mistranslation? Paula Arturo has something to say about that. This guest post that received 24 comments.

MarchNAJIT 2020

When Your “Check Interpreter” Becomes Your “Team Interpreter”  Can we shape our professional future? Janis Palma shows us the power of a few, well-yielded words and how a check interpreter can become an ally. This post also received 24 comments.


Why Interpret at Immigration Court?  Guest author Tamber Hilton is almost sorry she doesn’t work in Immigration Court as often. Unbelievable? Just read what she has to say about that experience. Just to entice you, this post received 31 comments.


The Interpreter’s Mistake Have you ever considered weaponizing that which scares you? Make your fear a tool that will lead you to success? Running scared can be good for the soul. But to get the whole story, you will have to read Athena Matilsky’s post, which received 16  comments.


Because Our Job is Too Easy Interpreting is hard enough, and we also have to contend with linguistic differences that are not appreciated by those we work for. Got any war stories? Only eight colleagues accepted Athena’s challenge and contributed with their comments to this post, but they are worth your time.


We Learn from Everything Around Us  Not all knowledge comes wrapped up in a degree or certificate. We learn as a matter of fact, not only in an academic setting. This is not only Janis’s belief but that of many of our colleagues. This article received eleven comments, at least one of them talks about a life-altering experience directly related to the article. You should not miss this!


We had another tie in August. Each of the articles below received 11 comments.

The Couch: Should I Really Bother with Contracts?  Our colleague is still in the pre-professional stage. Part of his/her getting ready to become a professional is dealing with contracts. How can you help?

Protocol When Dealing with Objectionable Behavior by Colleagues in Interpreting Is there a protocol for critiquing a colleague’s performance or behavior? We explore that sensitive issue and hope to give you a path. Enjoy and comment. This was a repost of an article by Armando Ezquerra Hasbun, our Chair, from 2017.


Words Are Only Part of the Equation Calculating your fee based on words or time has been the tradition for a long time. Are you happy with your quotes? Read the article & tell us how you feel. This article by our editor, Gio Lester, received 12 comments.


What We Call Ourselves Matter  Janis takes the lead on the subject of who is or isn’t deserving of being called an interpreter – especially when the matter is court interpreting. This article received 8 comments, as expected when thoughts of Halloween take over our minds.


The Couch: Guidelines for Medical Interpreters  Our colleague needs some clarifications as to when it is possible/acceptable for medical interpreters to recuse themselves. Can you help? This was a very controversial piece with lessons for all of us.


Court and Conference Interpreting: So Close and So Far Apart How easy or difficult is it for a professional to navigate between court & conference interpreting? Athena shares her observations with us. You be the judge. So far, this article by Athena Matilsky is leading for the month. It is a beautiful article and I believe you should read (or reread) for the lessons in it.

Thank you and we all wish the challenges of 2020 help us grow stronger and that our successes teach us humility.

Happy 2020


Feature photo by Mateus Campos Felipe

The Editor
The NAJIT Observer

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