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A young woman and girl in bright costumes in front of the ocean.

The Assignment of My Dreams

Well, folks, I did it! I got my dream assignment. Perhaps surprisingly, it wasn’t for the United Nations, or for any other important governmental (or non-governmental) entity you may have heard of. What was it, you ask? Well, can you

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Black and white shot of men in formal attire in what could possibly be a courtroom.

A Judge’s Discretion

Early on in my interpreting career, I learned an important lesson: the Judge is the king or queen of the courtroom. What they say goes. This means that as interpreters, we should address the judge when we need anything. And we do

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Wild animals

An Ode to Failure

“Tell me about your mistakes,” Sara Blakely’s father used to ask every night while she and the rest of their family ate dinner. She and her siblings would go around the table, comparing notes, discussing when they had messed up.

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Birds on phone lines and their shadows beyond

The Art of Being Good Enough

This past March, I had the privilege of hosting a community coffee hour for one of my biggest heroes. Our guest of honor was Holly Mikkelson, who, among other notable accomplishments, created the ACEBO self-study interpreting materials. She never ceased

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Three women studying

Big Brain Club

During the first pandemic winter, I took on one of the hardest teaching assignments I’ve ever experienced: I tutored the son of a dear friend of mine with his fifth-grade homework. He was struggling a lot, and there were concerns

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A woman stands with her back to us, arms wide open, looking at fall foliage.

Dear Fellow NAJIT-ers

Dear Fellow NAJIT-ers, Happy September! How the heck is it September again?! Time. It never stops. Jules, our fearless Editor-in-Chief, just sent me the nicest e-mail telling me he’d like to hear from me again. Eeek. I have been hiding

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A hairpin road curves along a mountainside

A Threat to Our Profession

A few decades ago, “language access” was not really a phrase. Litigants who did not speak English were frequently left in the dark as to their own judicial proceedings, and this carried severe consequences. The evolution of court interpreting as

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A cross section of a cartoon head with the brain inside. Arrows point at the had from left and right, and two hands seem to try to grip the head from either side.

When Your Brain Splits in Two

Did you know humans can’t actually multi-task? We are capable of lightning concentration if we try, and we can quickly shift focus if we practice. But we can’t actually do two things at once. When we interpret simultaneously, for example, we listen.

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Many loaves of bread line what seems to be a big oven

Repetition is Key

I am not a baker. The world of yeasts and doughs, of icing, flour and exact measurements eludes me. Hand me some garlic and kale, and I’ll make you discover a love you never knew you had for green vegetables.

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A closeup of glasses

The Trouble With Memory…

or How to Forget About Interpreting and Just Listen You know how the saying goes: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. I’m sure you have heard it; we all have. But have you heard the saying for interpreters? No?

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A water fountain with people and trees surrounding it

The Lovely Land of Language Interference

Have you ever taken a dash of one language with a sprinkle of another, mixed them together and simmered to taste? Of course you have! You’re bilingual. You’re bound to have stirred your languages together at one point or another.

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From above: Somebody writes at their desk with a laptop and a cup of coffee

A Virtual Conference: LOTS Interpreter Needs

The first two weekends of June saw our NAJIT colleagues join together from around the country for our 42nd Annual Conference and first ever virtual one. On the West Coast, our valiant Pacific-timers rose at 7am to attend the days’ events.

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A forest lined with purple flowers

Expect the Unexpected

Happy April, everyone! Wow. We are one quarter of the way through 2021. It always amazes me how time just keeps on dashing by. I do love this time of year. Even Montreal is starting to wake up from its

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