for Language Professionals
Welcome to the
for Language Professionals
“I also have a lot of cases that [when] I go home, I feel pretty sad about...You know, the voice needs to be heard. ...But sometimes I also kind of take it a little bit personally. I mean it’s hard to program yourself like a rock, a stone face in a courtroom and not worry about [it]."
~Court interpreter as cited in "Whose Trauma Is It? Vicarious Trauma and its Impact on Court Interpreters" by Sonali Rana, Purvi Shah & Kajori Chaudhuri. Proteus: Newsletter of NAJIT. Winter 2009-2010 Volume XVIII, No. 4
As language professionals, both interpreters and translators, we can be deeply affected by the content and emotional charge of the encounters we interpret or documents we translate, yet we have to remain impartial and unbiased.
Interpreters often work in highly stressful situations, such as medical emergencies, child abuse investigations, or end-of-life conversations, among many others. Translators, especially those working in the social services, healthcare and legal fields, often work with documents that contain graphic descriptions of crime investigations, life-threatening medical conditions, abuse and neglect cases, and other potentially distressing and traumatic content. In the course of our everyday work, we act as cultural brokers channeling those messages and, thus, can be subjected to vicarious trauma. Such stress can pose an impediment to our professional performance and quality of our personal life.
In a collaborative effort with our network of wellness experts from a variety of backgrounds, the MasterWord team has developed a process to help interpreters and translators recognize and mitigate the risk of vicarious trauma during and outside the professional encounters, and reduce the overall impact of stressors we experience at work through a holistic approach that embraces all aspects of our lives – professional and personal, and our wellbeing – mind, body and nutrition.
Begin by learning about vicarious trauma and how it differs for language professionals from other service professions. Find out what happens to our brain function during stressful encounters, and why it expressly affects our performance as interpreters and translators. Next, learn the tools and techniques you can use immediately before, during and after a particularly stressful interpreting assignment or translation project. Last but not least, understand the importance of your general wellbeing both in your professional practice and in your personal and social life, find useful tools and tips on mental and physical wellness and nutrition, and connect with experienced wellness experts through our resources and events.
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UNDERSTANDING THE NEED
Start with the Why
Why is it different for us, language professionals? Learn more about vicarious trauma, and how it differs for interpreters and translators from other service professions. Discover how our brains react to stress to know how you can mitigate its effects.
Before, During & After
How do you prepare for and complete assignments in a way that minimizes stress? Learn what you can do before, during and after particularly stressful interpreting encounters or translation projects to help you calm and balance your emotions.
MIND | BODY | NUTRITION
Tools, Resources, Events
How can you effectively help others if you don’t take care of yourself first? One of the essential responsibilities of any service professional is proper self-care. Check out the tools that focus on general well-being and resources that will help you connect with wellness professionals.