InterpretAmerica, LLC was established in 2009 to provide a national and international forum for the interpreting profession. Our mission is to help raise the profile of interpreting. At InterpretAmerica, our goal is to provide an open and ongoing forum where key players from all branches of interpreting can gather and foster greater connection among its many sectors.
Through conferences, webinars, virtual events, blogs, public speaking, publications, and other activities, we work to bring together the community, conference, legal, medical, military, civilian conflict zone, and sign language interpreting sectors, as well as educators, end users, buyers, vendors, technology designers and innovators in the interpreting field. InterpretAmerica seeks to elevate the profile and reach of the interpreting industry to the benefit of all.
The time has come for interpreters to step out of their background roles as seamless facilitators of communication, and into a place that allows our contributions to society, democracy, diplomacy, and history to be fully recognized; into a place where we can come together, be counted, and guide our craft. At InterpretAmerica, our efforts are focused on innovative and effective ways to support this vision.
We invite you to explore our website, review our publications, check out the training and consulting services we offer, learn about upcoming events and contribute to ongoing discussions.
Barry Slaughter Olsen and Katharine Allen
Co-Presidents, InterpretAmerica, LLC
Katharine is a community and medical interpreter, trainer and language access consultant.
Katharine Allen, Co-President of InterpretAmerica,
comes from the community interpreting and healthcare sectors. She has worked with hospitals for many years to help them improve their language access services. She has consulted with social service and education institutions to help train bilingual staff and service providers to best practices for providing interpreting and translating services. Katharine also has extensive experience creating interpreter training curriculum for interpreters and interpreter trainers. She has consulted on several military interpreting and translation projects. Recently, she has gained expertise in creating interpreter services programs targeting indigenous language speakers. She is founder of Words Across Borders.
Barry is a conference interpreter, translator and interpreting technology expert.
Barry Slaughter Olsen, Co-President of InterpretAmerica, comes from the conference interpreting sector. He is an accomplished educator and trainer and is currently an associate professor of translation and interpretation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies) Graduate School of Translation, interpretation and Language Education. Barry is well-versed in curriculum design, especially for graduate-level study, and is known for his personal but rigorous teaching approach. He is widely recognized as an expert on how technology is reshaping multilingual communication. Barry also has experience working with initiatives to provide interpreting and translation training for military interpreters.
What is the InterpretAmerica Summit?Formerly known as the North American Summit on Interpreting, the InterpretAmerica Summit is a biennial gathering designed to bring together leaders, experts and key stakeholders from the many sectors of the interpreting profession. Its unique plenary format provides ample opportunities to network with peers from professional associations, academe, government and the private sector. Professional associations span the continent and specialized conferences for specific areas of specialization of the interpreting profession take place on a regular basis. However, the InterpretAmerica Summit is still the only venue where leaders and specialists from all sectors can come together to learn from one another and network. The Summit fills a void that has existed for far too long and seeks to envision the future of one single interpreting profession, similar to the way people think of the legal and medical professions.
Is InterpretAmerica a language services company?No. InterpretAmerica does not provide language services of any kind, nor do we hire translators or interpreters. If you are in need of language services or looking for employment as a translator or interpreter, we encourage you to contact any of the language service providers or professional associations who have sponsored our Summits. InterpretAmerica's mission is to provide a forum for the interpreting profession. It was formed as an LLC to facilitate the planning and holding of meetings and other events where the entire industry can gather and exchange ideas and knowledge. InterpretAmerica seeks to facilitate the sharing of information and resources, networking, and to support the critical work currently being undertaken by professional associations, vendors, academic institutions and researchers across the field.
How can I get involved?While we are not a professional association with members who pay fees to belong, we do welcome collaboration and exhcange. Here are ways you can join us in our mission to strengthen our profesion and make it visible to a much broader audience: Stay informed! Suscribe to our blogs and updates. Comment on what you see and join the conversation about our profession. Looking for a broader exchange with other members of our profession? Like our social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Attend the InterpretAmerica Summit! Our conference is a place to learn, network, and contribute your expertise to the field. Your participation has helped make interpreting a more connected, aware, and proactive profession. It's invaluable! Become a guest blogger! We welcome submissions for our blog that are of interest to the interpreting field. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in contributing.
Why was InterpretAmerica created?InterpretAmerica, LLC is a legal entity originally created to organize the first national forum in the United States specifically for the interpreting profession. We had observed great interest among interpreting leaders and experts from across all specializations for broader interaction with peers. When we first began holding the InterpretAmerica Summit, there was a general lack of awareness and information shared between interpreting specializations, how each area worked, where norms, standards, and practices differed, where they were the same, and where overlap could benefit all. Since holding the first Summit in 2010, mutual awareness, understanding, and collaboration have blossomed between interpreting industry stakeholders. We are proud to have played a small part in that change and will continue our efforts to raise the profile of the interpreting profession through conferences, blogging, collaborative ventures, publications, public speaking and any other way we can.
Is InterpretAmerica a professional association?No. InterpretAmerica’s sole mission is to provide a national forum for the entire interpreting profession and to ultimately raise its profile, both inside and outside the industry. It was formed as an LLC to facilitate the planning and holding of meetings and other events where the entire industry can gather and exchange ideas and knowledge. InterpretAmerica seeks to facilitate the sharing of information and resources, networking, and to support and enhance the critical work currently being undertaken by professional associations, vendors, academic institutions and researchers across the field.
A nod to our originsInterpretAmerica owes its beginnings in large measure to José Luis "JL" Villanueva-Senchuk and Lucille Barnes, conference interpreters from Argentina. They saw the need to raise the profile of interpreters in all sectors and organized the first-ever conference in Argentina covering the entire profession. Interpreta2007, held in Buenos Aires in July of 2007, convened a distinguished group of international experts from conference, legal, medical and academic sectors. Barry S. Olsen spoke at the conference and came away with a similar vision for interpreting in North America and the seeds for InterpretAmerica were sown.