Friday, April 27, 2012


InterpretAmerica is the guest author for the NAJIT Blog this week with an in-depth post on Interpreting in Conflict Zones. Please view the blog here.

As part of the civilian interpreting profession, we hear daily news stories of interpreters killed while working for the US military in Iraq or Afghanistan, or listen to interviews conducted through an interpreter with victims of famine, natural disaster, or civil wars. We might fleetingly wonder who they are, how they learned their English, Dari, Pashto or Somali and probably assume that they aren’t “real” interpreters. How could they be? After all, who trained them? Who’s vouching for their competence?

The answers to those questions might surprise you and they are of great relevance to our profession. Interpreting in conflict zones is not only where most of the money in interpreting is spent, it is also where we can find tremendous innovation in training techniques, the use of technology, and collaboration across broad coalitions of military, non profit, governmental and private entities.

Curious? We were, and for that reason we have convened a first-of-its kind panel discussion on Interpreting in Conflict Zones, to take place at the 3rd North American Summit on Interpreting this June 15-16, in Monterey, California. Jonathan Levy, Director of Language Services at Cyracom International has extensive experience training military linguists in translation and interpreting. He will moderate the panel discussion, Interpreting in Conflict Zones, which will bring together a commissioned officer with extensive field experience in Iraq and Afghanistan working with interpreters, a military linguist who has interpreted for combat missions, Revan Hedo, a freelance interpreter and translator who began his career in Iraq, and Barbara Moser-Mercer, founder of the Center for Interpreting in Conflict Zones (InZone), and who has extensive experience training and embedding interpreters with a myriad of agencies and non-profits in hot spots all over the world.

Complete details can be found at Early bird rates and student and teacher discounts all still apply! Register now!

Monday, April 23, 2012



• “Congratulations on a spectacular conference! I came away stimulated, encouraged and excited for our profession (now and later). You do an excellent job taking care of all the big and little details and the result is a tremendous event for our field.” 

• “I want to congratulate you and Barry again for such a great job. The organization was flawless.”

• “The summit was worth my investment. I had a wonderful time learning and networking with colleagues. I certainly look forward to attending the next one.” 

• “Fabulous job. Fabulous opportunity. The best thing I have ever done for my career.” 

• “Great Summit! As an interpreter, I really felt I belonged. It really addressed the challenges of the industry.” 

• “For the 2nd time, a great event that gives you what no other events offer. This is by and for interpreters and it was great! Thank you!” 

• “A very worthwhile and professional meeting of colleagues, educators, vendors, end users, and service providers.” 

• “You are tackling a difficult set of issues admirably. Congrats!” 

Complete details can be found at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Profession, One Voice: Selling the Interpreting Profession to the Public

Nataly Kelly, Chief Researcher at Common Sense Advisory and regular contributor to the Huffington Post, recently created a professional meme for the Interpreting Profession as part of her blog, The Interpreter’s Launchpad.

“What I Do” memes are popping up all over social media, and provide an often humorous look at how professions are commonly stereotyped. The meme for The Interpreter, however, gets to the heart of a deeper dilemma facing our profession. A common stereotype implies a common understanding of what a given professional does. For interpreting however, few people actually know: a) what we do; and b) why it matters.

Interpreters routinely complain about poor recognition, low pay, lack of prestige, and how undervalued the service we provide is. However, before something can be truly valued, it must be first perceived and then understood.

Interested in doing something about our professional image?

At InterpretAmerica we feel strongly that it is up to us, members of the interpreting industry, to create that perception and understanding. To that end, we have invited award-winning communications consultant Spencer Critchley from Boots Road Group, an advertising, public relations and digital media firm, to moderate the PR Workgroup Session: One Profession, One Voice – Selling the Interpreting Profession to the Public. Attendees will receive a crash course on PR and then work to create unified messaging for the profession, continuing the discussion that began during the 2nd North American Summit on Interpreting. Your contributions will be captured and published as a beginning publicity template for our industry.

Complete details can be found at Early bird rates, student and teacher discounts, and poster presentation submissions all still available! Register now!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Change is Coming Whether We Want It or Not: Interpreting and Technology

Imagine the following scenario: An Arabic-speaking patient and her nurse are waiting for the interpreter to arrive to help with complicated post-surgery discharge instructions. The interpreter is held up and the nurse is called to tend to another patient. Even though she knows it is against hospital policy, she takes out her smart phone, taps on the instant interpreting app and reads the discharge instructions into the speaker. After a few moments, voice recognition software begins to speak in Arabic, relaying the instructions after having been machine translated by the app. When the interpreter arrives, the patient has already been discharged and the nurse is busy with another patient.

Does this scenario concern you? Excite you with its possibilities? Or a bit of both? Like it or not, our workplaces are being irrevocably changed by the technology transforming our daily life.

If you are interested in not only learning how technology is impacting the interpreting workplace, but in contributing to what our profession can do to shape its impact, don't miss the 3rd North American Summit on Interpreting on June 15-16, 2012, in Monterey, California.

Highly-acclaimed technology thought leader Scott Klososky will kick off the Summit with his keynote plenary: The Digital Revolution and Multilingual Communications – A New Paradigm. His speech will be followed by a hands-on panel exploring case studies on Integrating New Technologies into the Interpreting Workplace. Speakers David Frankel, the CEO of ZipDix, Cristiano Mazzei, the Director of Translation and Interpreting at Century College, and Melinda Paras, Director of Paras and Associates and founder of the Health Care Interpreting Network (HCIN), will share examples of ground-breaking uses of technology in remote interpreting and e-participation in multilingual meetings, online training models, and networking public hospitals via video medical interpreting. Finally, Becca Bryant, Technology Developer at Williams Sound, will moderate the Professional Identity Workgroup Session on Technology, Toward a Working Technology Partnership for the Interpreting Profession. Summit attendees will have the chance to share their own vision for best practices for the proper use of technology in the interpreting field.

Complete details can be found at Early bird rates, student and teacher discounts, and poster presentation submissions all still apply! Register now!