Sometimes, it can be hard for interpreters and translators to meet in person. My friend and a fellow interpreter Angelika and I work for many of the same agencies and often take appointments at the same hospitals, and so we often joke that our favorite meeting place is hospital parking garages – because that’s where we often meet and snatch a few minutes of hurried catch-up before running off to our respective assignments. There are, of course, conferences and other events put on by professional organizations and associations – I’m a proud member of NOTIS (The Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society), which not only organizes classes and workshops for interpreters (some of which I teach) but also puts on a fabulous annual conference (which this year took place in the Museum of Flight!) and fun holiday parties.
Conferences, workshops and holiday parties are a great opportunity to learn, to network and to meet new friends (and to show off your ugly Christmas sweater!), but how do you connect with fellow interpreters and translators outside of such events? Luckily, we language professionals are nothing if not resourceful and there are many online communities, blogs, groups and other places where interpreters and translators can talk, ask for advice, and share their wisdom and experience with others. This blog post will outline some resources and content created by interpreters, for interpreters – and translators, too!
Blogs by Interpreters
An amazing and thought-provoking blog by an interpreter who not only writes about her own experiences interpreting in healthcare and the legal field but also includes the stories of the people she interprets for – in the first person! To see the blog posts, click on the post titles in the Recent Post section in the menu on the left-hand side or explore tags and themes.
A blog about interpreting by a freelance Spanish interpreter Liz Essary with interesting stories, tips, and resources.
Interpretrain is an outfit offering court interpreter training and they are also very generous with sharing free resources and tips on their blog – and many of their resources can also be useful for medical interpreters (e.g. note-taking).
A blog with tips and tricks from a professional interpreter.
An interesting blog with stories about interpreting and language.
From the website description: “The Interpreter Diaries blog takes readers through the different phases of an interpreter’s life and work, sharing details on everything from preparation for post-graduate training to entering the profession and beyond. It explores the journey all new interpreters take, from those first hesitant steps as students until they become established in the profession – and stops at many interesting places on the way! “
A blog by a freelance Spanish medical and mental health interpreter Kelly Jones.
A professional Spanish interpreter blog about issues related to the profession.
It’s a website “Where translators share their stories and where clients find professional translators.” There lots of useful resources – I especially like this post on free resources for translators.
Another blog aimed at translators by Katie Ward, a French and Spanish to English freelance translator, based in Brighton, England.
- Connecting Cultures Healthcare Interpreters has TONS of short useful videos discussing all kinds of issues interpreters deal with – from what to wear to dealing with ethical dilemmas.
- InterpreTips is so amazing I don’t have any words, so I’ll just post the description from their website: “CCC and InterpretAmerica proudly bring you InterpreTIPS. In short, videos that we post every other week, Marjory Bancroft (Director & Founder, CCC) or Katharine Allen (Co-President, InterpretAmerica) will answer those burning questions you always wanted to ask about interpreting. Is “consecutaneous” mode acceptable? Should community interpreters do sight translation? How do you handle a pregnant patient who gets your number and calls you up crying in the middle of the night? Just ask. We’ll answer.”
- A YouTube channel by an interpreter trainer Eliana Lobo where she put together an incredible collection of videos for interpreters.
- Interpreter Trainers has several useful videos – especially the two videos on note-taking.
- The Interpreter Education Online channel features several animated videos, each showcasing a canon from the healthcare interpreter code of ethics.
- DE LA MORA Interpreter Training offers several videos on how to become a medical/legal interpreter and ideas on improving your interpreter skills.
- Clarity Interpreting’s channel contains a good collection of videos offering advice on topics such as preparing for assignments, note-taking, and managing interpreting encounters.
- Kelly Grzech Henriquez’s channel features several videos she personally created for medical interpreters to use to practice consecutive interpreting.
Podcasts about interpreting and translation
If you are not sure what podcasts are and would like to learn more about what podcasts are and how to listen to them, as well as find a list of podcasts for medical interpreters I have put together, check out this post devoted to podcasts.
- In Other Words is “a weekly podcast for Interpreters and Healthcare Professionals, where the hosts discuss everything from language, culture, diversity, healthcare, current events, and interpreter education, one episode at a time.”
- Brand the Interpreter is a “is all about you, the language professional. This new podcast will feature an array of language service providers willing to share their career stories, challenges, tips and tricks and so much more. Telling your story is your brand. So tell your story and Brand the Interpreter!”
- Subject to Interpretation – “Conversations about professional interpretation with the best in the field.”
- Localization Podcast – It’s hard to stay on top of what’s going on in localization and translation. “The Localization Podcast” brings you a highlight of important news and social media topics from our industry. Each Tuesday, join Andrej Zito as he provides commentary in a rather casual way. Translator, project manager or CEO? Client-side or language service provider? If you look for a fresh perspective, this is the podcast for you.
- Medical Spanish – These medical Spanish lessons are based on common clinical encounters and interviews with real patients and providers.
- Globally Speaking is a podcast “by and for localization professionals.”
- The World in Words podcast is “about language — everything from bilingual education to the globalization of English to Icelandic insults.”
- Speaking of Translation – “Listen and learn about the language industry.”
- Troublesome Terps is a “roundtable-style podcast covering topics from the interpreting space and the wider world of languages. The hosts – Jonathan Downie, Alexander Drechsel, Alexander Gansmeier, and Sarah Hickey – discuss them amongst themselves or with high-profile guests from the industry.”
Facebook Groups and Online Forums
Open discussion on topics related to translation, interpreting and localization – but you do need to register to be able to view and participate in the forums. Registration is free, although there are also options for upgrading.
Facebook Group: Interpreters and Translators in Washington State
Full disclosure – this group was founded by me. I created this group as a way for interpreters working in Washington state and elsewhere in the US to talk to each other, ask for help and advice and share their concerns, news, and helpful resources. I also share useful resources and articles related to interpreting and translation. Those not from Washington State are also welcome and encouraged to join as we can all benefit from sharing information and resources – and so will the LEP persons we serve!
Facebook Group: U.S. Medical Interpreters
From the group description on Facebook: “This group is for those who work as interpreters in the medical field. We wish to share only relevant information, education sessions and job opportunities. One of our goals is to elevate the standard and the quality of Medical Interpretation in the U.S. “
Facebook Group: Medical Translation and Interpreting Crew
From the group description on Facebook: “Welcome to Medical Translation and Interpreting Crew! Before you join this group, let’s make sure you are in the right place:
– It is ONLY for translators, interpreters, and students of translation or interpreting.
– The group objective is learning, sharing resources, and supporting each other.
– This is a place for learning and improving our translation/interpreting skills. “
Facebook Group: Certified Medical and Healthcare Interpreters UNITE!
From the group description on Facebook: “The IMIA Certified Interpreters (CI) Division was created with the purpose of uniting certified interpreters everywhere, who hold the CHI or CMI credentials as well as those certified by the RID, to work together under one roof to promote certification as key to professionalization.”
Facebook Group: Medical Interpreters Spanish/English
From the group description on Facebook: “This is FB community of certified and non-certified medical interpreters and translators professionals; a place to share experiences, find support, guidance on ethics, terminology, ask questions and get answers from your peers. We welcome all language interpreters, translators and interpreting students.”
Facebook Group: IGA -Interpreters Guild of America
From the group description on Facebook: “Interpreters Guild of America (IGA)
Committed to empowering independent interpreters nationwide. The Interpreters Guild of America (IGA) lobbies to advance language access rights, demand equitable wages and working conditions, and safeguards high professional standards. We advocate for court, administrative, medical or federal interpreters. We welcome all interpreters in training. We are representing interpreters in all states. We are here for you!! So don’t hesitate to share your stories with us.”
Facebook Group: Resource Center for Certified Interpreters
From the group description on Facebook: “The primary focus of this forum remains on encouraging Interpreters to achieve certification goals. The postings are supportive, positive and informative regarding opportunities to learn about resources, upcoming seminars, classes, training and mentoring opportunities to support the achievement of certification goals. Each forum member is encouraged to participate via forum postings, for the purpose of building up this community of Interpreters. We welcome new members and appreciate those who have been part of this forum since its inception.”
Description from the author: “This book teaches about the world of healthcare interpreters in a way that is educational, understandable and fun! This compendium of articles, written over the past eight years for Pacific Interpreters’ monthly newsletter, covers both basic interpreting skills and many of the sticky issues that working interpreters face daily. Whether you are an interpreter, a trainer of interpreters or an administrator of interpreter services, this book will make you laugh, nod your head, and think hard about the important work you do.”
Disclaimer: Even if I wasn’t biased because I consider Cindy to be a friend and a mentor, I would recommend this book 10 times over! I actually bought this book before I got to know Cindy and I regularly re-read it because I find that it has information and tips that would be useful for anyone – from beginners to seasoned interpreters.
COLOR: Latino Voices in the Pacific Northwest by Lorane A. West
Based on exchanges she witnessed through her work as an interpreter and advocate for Spanish-speaking immigrants, Lorane A. West’s poignant accounts paint a very real picture of their lives, illuminate cultural differences, and give Americans a glimpse of themselves that may both surprise and challenge.
I’m not a Spanish interpreter but I still found this book useful. From the Amazon description: “This book is based on the very popular international publication (Crezee, 2013) and has been supplemented with Spanish glossaries. Just like the 2013 textbook, this practical resource will allow interpreters and translators to quickly read up on healthcare settings, familiarizing themselves with anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and frequently encountered conditions, diagnostic tests and treatment options. It is an exceptionally useful and easily accessible handbook, in particular for interpreters, translators, educators and other practitioners working between Spanish and English. A special chapter on the US insurance system adds even more value for those in the US.”
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A collection of articles by a renowned interpreter trainer.
From the description on the website: “The working papers are designed to provide answers to commonly asked questions regarding health care interpreting, such as: What should the role of an interpreter be? How do you test interpreters when no certification test is available? What models exist for providing language access services? As a rule, Working Papers are drafted by a committee of experts, or sometimes by a single expert at the request of a committee. The content of the papers often reflects discussions held by the Council as a whole. The draft is then reviewed by the entire board, whose input is integrated into the final product.”
Congratulations! You made it to the end of this post! I hope you found it useful and will come away armed with links and subscriptions.
More Resources for Medical Interpers
- For resources related to idioms for medical idioms click here and here.
- For a collection of resources for medical interpreters, click here.
- To learn about self-care for medical interpreters, click here.
- For practice activities for developing your note-taking skills, click here.
- For ideas on glossary building, click here.
- For a list of podcasts related to medicine in English, see here.
- For recommendations for TV shows medical interpreters, click here.
- For recommendations for Russian-language podcasts and books click here and here.