The Lab Report – A Field in Motion

This past year has been a busy one for the Interpreter’s Lab. After finishing a wonderful series of courses here in BC, I once again had the opportunity to travel and experience community interpreting advances in other countries. In March, I was honoured to have been asked to present the opening plenary at the 6th International Translation and Interpreting Conference in Spain, at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. The presentation text has been posted on the Critical Link International website and can be found here. Also while in Spain, I was asked to be a panel member at the 6th Career Guidance Conference of the Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpreting at the Universitat Jaume I in Castellon de la Plana. Speakers from across the EU and the UK were asked to present and provide the hopeful, and soon-to-be, graduates with some insight and overview of a field in motion.

My final, and yet most inspiring event this spring was the ISO TC37 meetings in Vienna. As a committee member on ISO TC37: Terminology and other language and content resources since 2010 – providing content matter expertise in the development of international standards – I am fortunate to be involved in the development of international standards that apply to our industry. In 2014, the first set of ISO standards were published as guidance standards for Community Interpreting – the ISO 13611:2014 Interpreting – Guidelines for Community Interpreting (many of you may have already read our previous posts on this standard). The ISO 13611 opened the door to the development of other standards and currently the ISO TC37 Working Groups are working on standards for interpreting in health care and in legal settings, among other specializations. As a member of the project team for the health care standards, I hope to learn, as much as consult, on these very important standards. More news as it develops.

Some of you may be asking, “What does this all have to do with me and the interpreting work I do here in British Columbia?” Well, it has a lot to do with it because these international standards form the foundation for training, certification, accreditation and working conditions. So ultimately, they are critically important for all interpreters – those working casually or formally. And standards provide us with an opportunity to unite in a common vision for our profession. The more you know, the better informed you are to advance in your field.

We have a lot of new and exciting projects coming up at The Lab so stay informed. Visit us online or on Facebook.

Industry Updates

The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), a US-based organization, recently created a wonderful resource for all interpreters on advocating for the profession. Titled Advocacy 101 for Interpreters and Translators, this resource primarily speaks to interpreters and translators in the US, where different systems exist. However, the key points and lobbying ideas are transferable to Canada and provide some fundamental learnings about advocacy and lobbying. It is a valuable tool and can be found on the NAJIT site or by selecting it here: Advocacy 101

Are we in a growing industry?

Take a look at this interesting blog on the Leading with Languages website. While the article cites US-based workforce statistics, you can be assured that the interpreting and translation industry is growing in Canada as well.

Interpreting or Translating: Do you have a preference?

Read this interesting blog about one student’s experience at the Universidad de Alcalá

“I went into my master’s program at Spain’s Universidad de Alcalá convinced I wanted to be an interpreter. A year later I was a passionate translator.” You can find that article here


community interpreting