Overcome the Newbie Fear: Prepare!

language ninja

My dear students,

I want to tell you how important it is, from personal experience, to prepare for your assignments once you start working as an interpreter. If you attended CATI’s conference last week, you will know how we, as interpreters, need to raise the bar. As we all should know by now, being bilingual is certainly not enough. As an interpreter, you have the responsibility of being well prepared so that your clients can communicate with each other while speaking different languages. You will make that communication possible. You are someone else’s voice. In case you didn’t notice, I am trying to make a point here: you are vital; your expertise is vital. 

If your first assignment is for a medical appointment, here is what you need to do: Research the medical facility and look for their specialty. Then, download a glossary of terms and make sure you study them, not just how to say them in your language combination, but what they mean.

As an interpreter, part of your commitment is to be a student for the rest of your life. Think about it: can you ever really learn every single word of a language? No way! You get the privilege of expanding your vocabulary, and your brain, every single day.

Below are a few of the tools and glossaries that I have found. Because of these tools, I have been able to do a great job (notice how I did not say a good job), as I was able to truly understand what the doctor was telling the patient, and I was able to communicate it using the correct terminology in my target language. I did not have to lower the register due to not being prepared.

Tools you can use:

If anyone has any other glossaries or tools that have been helpful, please share them! Let’s be a great support system for each other.

Now, go interpret your heart out!


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2 Responses to Overcome the Newbie Fear: Prepare!

  1. Georgia Betcher says:

    Veronica, I’m so glad you are back! As a lifelong student, I wanted to convey how appreciative I am for all the content you provide from the student perspective! Thank you!
    ~Georgia Betcher, CATI President

    • verodiquez says:

      Thank you Georgia! It is certainly my pleasure to share some of the things that I learn along the way. As you stated, we will be lifelong students as interpreters and translators!

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