All posts by Gabriela Siebach

How can I start my career as a freelance healthcare interpreter?

By | General, Interpreting | No Comments
My career path to becoming a healthcare interpreter was by no means straightforward. At that time, there was no established path; it seemed almost as if those who were working as professional healthcare interpreters had started their careers by accident. In a way, I also became a healthcare interpreter by accident. In spite of the various local and national interpreter organizations and the availability of national certification for healthcare interpreters, the path has been largely undefined…Until now! The CATIE Center at St. Catherine University developed a Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice (pictured below) for American Sign Language interpreters that all interpreters...
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Preparing for the Future of Translation: 4 Steps to Incorporating CAT-tools

By | Translation | No Comments
Last month, Kirti Vashee contributed a blog titled Global Village: The World is Going and Growing Online. He discusses the impact that the growth of the internet is having on businesses around the world, including the increased need for content to be made available in multiple languages. It is no wonder that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 29% growth in employment for interpreters and translators from 2014 to 2024.[1] However, the way we do our job in 2024 will surely be significantly different than how we do our job today. So, what can we do to prepare? As...
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#LanguageAccess. What is your biggest Challenge? – Survey Results

By | Interpreting | 2 Comments
Language Access Challenges Gearing up for our fifth annual International Language Services Conference, we wanted to prepare for a diverse discussion between shareholder groups about the biggest challenges in #LanguageAccess by circulating a short survey. Click on each of the three questions to see the results. 1. What stakeholder position best describes your role in #LanguageAccess?2. How would you describe your biggest challenge in that role? Sample responses from each category "Being seen as part of the 'team;' Being able to access information about the patient that would normally be freely given to others who are recognized as colleagues"− Integrating Language Access...
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Accuracy—it doesn’t mean what you think it means!

By | Interpreting | No Comments
A few recent interpreting encounters have inspired me to take a deeper look at the meaning of some of the ethical tenets for professional interpreters. What I've found is that they do not always mean what we think they do at first look, and each tenet is not independent of the others. Rather, they build upon and borrow from each other. Let's look at accuracy. One might interpret accuracy to mean a lack of errors: Types of errors include: Omission, addition, or substitution Literal translation Grammar or syntax errors Lexical errors Distortion Incorrect register Errors in paralinguistic features (Source: "Building...
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The Role of the Medical Interpreter in Identifying Potential Mental Disorders

By | Interpreting | No Comments

The role of the medical interpreter is always critical, and particularly so in mental health interpreting.  The interpreter’s ability to remain fully faithful to the register, language form, and linguistic content of the source message ensures the patient is appropriately diagnosed, treated, and offered benefits when available.  Sometimes, however, an interpreter may find themselves in a situation in which their interpretation into the target language is inadequate to properly convey a particular facet of the source message and this happens more often in mental health interpreting. Often times, language within the context of culture is a key component to the…

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Why do you interpret?

By | Interpreting | No Comments

“A professional values the interests of the client above monetary profit” This is an important principle for all professionals, including interpreters and translators. It means that our primary concern is to facilitate communication across languages – in written or oral form – while honoring and upholding a set of standards of practice. However, this statement can also lead to more profound questions such as: “Why do you interpret?” I was recently interviewed by a college student who asked me this very question and I was surprised at how easily I answered it. In fact, the interviewer probably got more than…

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We Say What They Say. Do We Feel What They Feel?

By | Interpreting | No Comments

Vicarious trauma “I interpreted that his wife had passed… it got to me how he kept asking and asking like he didn’t want to believe it. Every time he asked I had to interpret his question and then the doctor’s affirmation that she was indeed dead. Every time was as if I was telling him for the very first time.” -Health Care Interpreter I recently read an article in Psychology Today written by Dr. Robert T. Muller titled “Vicarious Trauma and the Professional Interpreter” published in August of 2013. In this article, Dr. Muller interviewed an interpreter as she talked…

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The Ideal Translator: An Agency Perspective

By | Translation | 2 Comments

The Ideal Translator: An Agency Perspective Translators require several specialized skills; however, even the most qualified translators can find themselves without work at times.  So what makes translation agencies and project coordinators choose one translator over another who is equally qualified? We posed this question to our expert Project Coordinators within our Translation Department and listed the top five characteristics, other than accuracy, that will lead them to choose one translator over another. Attention to detail “Projects are normally reviewed by an editor and a proofreader after the initial translation, and we often find that even the most skilled translators…

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Infection Control and Industrial Safety for Medical Interpreters

By | Interpreting | No Comments

MasterWord is happy to bring you this important, complimentary training, designed by Linda Golley and presented by Certified Trainers and Interpreters, Whitney Gissell and Gabriela Siebach. Training in Infection Control and industrial safety is as vital for medical interpreters as it is for other members of the heath care team. We hope you enjoy this timely presentation of Linda Golley’s material and thank her for her contribution to interpreter education. What interpreters who have taken the training have already said:  “Excellent opportunity for gaining advanced knowledge in a most important subject.” “Thank You! I listened to all of it! Great…

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Medical Interpreters: Choosing the Right Certification for You

By | Interpreting | No Comments

THIS BLOG POST WAS UPDATED ON JUNE 6, 2017 Regulatory changes at local and state levels, as well as publications by Health and Human Services and accrediting agencies are encouraging the documentation and skill verification of interpreters and bilingual personnel. With this increased demand for testing, you may find yourself asking: Which certification is preferred by prospective employers? Which is more difficult? What are the costs? If you find yourself asking these questions, you should begin by visiting the sites for each of the two nationally recognized organizations that offer certification for medical interpreters: the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters…

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