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WebRTC and the Rising Tide of Remote Interpretation over the Internet

By Barry S. Olsen Published January 19, 2016 For generations, scientists and innovators have lamented being limited by the technology available during their lifetime. Translators for centuries were subject to limits inherent to quill, ink and parchment—the technology of their time. Then along came the typewriter, followed by the word processor, translation memories, the Internet. Translation continues to evolve with the technologies of the times. So it goes with interpreting as well. As communication technologies advance, interpreting is being made available in ways that it never could be before. There are many technologies used to deliver interpreting services from a distance today. For thi

The Interpreter Film Nominated for Indiewire Project of the Year: Vote Now!

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published Jan 11, 2016 15 January 2016 Voting update: Thank you to all who took the time to vote for The Interpreter film project as 2015 Indiewire project of the year. The competition was stiff and the project finished 5th out of 12. Not bad at all. The good news is production of the film is moving forward and there will be many other opportunities to promote this film and the important issue it addresses. Back in August 2015, YOU (individual interpreters and language service companies) flexed your muscles and opened your wallets to help make The Interpreter a reality by supporting the film’s KickStarter campaign. Because of your support, the project was

The Power of Partnership

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published December 31, 2015 "We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together." Bill Richardson The interpreting profession had a big year in 2015. Many trends found their way into the spotlight and into our collective consciousness, from the increasing need for indigenous language interpreters, to the plight of Afghan and Iraqi interpreters, to wage and labor conflicts. This latter, in particular, took center stage. When ruminating on the varied forces influencing these events, one jumps out in neon colors:  partnership. 2015 was the year when US interpreters, especially independent contractors, began to move beyond expressing dismay a

Choosing a USB Headset for Remote Interpreting

Headsets anyone? (Photo by: Barry S. Olsen) By Barry S. Olsen Published Decemeber 8, 2015 INTRODUCTION With a growing number of platforms that provide remote interpreting (simultaneous) for a plethora of use cases (e.g. Interprefy,  VoiceBoxer, ZipDX), interpreters now find themselves needing to equip their offices with the right equipment for the job. And since interpreters don’t usually have a sound technician on the payroll (or at least I don’t), knowing a bit about sound and headsets becomes a real asset. For this blog I want to focus on something absolutely crucial for anyone planning to work remotely as a simultaneous interpreter. It’s called “full-duplex audio.” Put simply full-duplex

A Moment of Gratitude for Interpreters Worldwide

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published November 25, 2015 Interpreters are terrible at grabbing the spotlight. From the booth to the exam room, from the refugee agency, battlefield, and the court room, interpreters are trained to be as invisible and unobtrusive as possible. Of course, we never really are. Just as feet perceive the bridge under the soles of their shoes when crossing from one side to another, so is the interpreter who bridges communication between those who don't speak the same language visible. We are not part of the multilingual conversation, but we are present for it. We facilitate it. Without us, it cannot take place. The training to remain inobtrusive may serve us w

It's Time Translators and Interpreters Be Protected by International Legislation

By Katharine Allen Published October 23, 2015 SIGN THE PETITION NOW! Ever since founding InterpretAmerica in 2009, Barry and I have sought ways to support military and conflict zone linguists. One of the moments of which we are both proud and which still haunts us was listening to Arabic, Pashtu and Dari-speaking members of the 51st Translator Interpreter Company at Fort Irwin, California, at the 3rd InterpretAmerica Summit. These young army enlisted men had served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. They told harrowing and often heartwrenching stories of having to use their heritage language skills to keep their fellow soldiers safe in volatile and ever-changing circumstances. I

Interpreter, Know Thyself!

By Barry S. Olsen Published September 30, 2015 Today we celebrate International Translation Day. As we do so, many will reference St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators (and by extension, interpreters). We would like to celebrate this profession we love so much by referencing a different ancient figure, the Greek god Apollo. It turns out that Apollo has some very cogent words of wisdom for modern-day interpreters and translators. As legend has it, Apollo gave the Oracle at Delphi several condensed pearls of wisdom that became known as the Delphic maxims. The most famous of these, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, was so important that it was actually carved into the façade of Apollo’s temple at Delphi. It

Highlighting Interpreting to the Broader Language Services Industry

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published September 24, 2015 At InterpretAmerica, one key focus we have is to do whatever we can to make the interpreting profession as visible as possible. It's our belief that we cannot gain the credibility and recognition we want for our profession if no one really knows who we are and what we do. And that includes being seen and understood by our sister professions of translation and localization. Jost Zetzsche bequeaths Jeromobot to InterpretAmerica to continue his crusade of supporting translators, and now interpreters, during turbulent times. So this fall we are highlighting and participating in a variety of efforts to help celebrate and ultimately

think! Interpreting 2016 to focus on Next-Gen Language Services

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published September 3, 2015 Announcing: Next-Gen Language Services: Changing Needs, Changing Models Call for Proposals We want to thank everyone again for their tremendous support over the past month of our campaign to fund The Interpreter Film. We are thrilled the campaign was a success. Stay tuned for announcements for screenings of the film starting sometime next spring. Now we pivot to our next project: think! Interpreting 2016 InterpretAmerica is excited to partner again with the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) to produce the third installment of think! Interpreting, in New York City. What is think! Interpreting? It differs from the

We Did It! "The Interpreter" Garners Minimum $20k to Begin Production

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published August 25, 2015 Wow, what a great way to start off the week! Four days before the close of the Kickstarter campaign to fund “The Interpreter,” we reached our goal of $20k, making the campaign a success. Monday saw almost $2k in contributions alone. One thing is clear, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the amazing support from the interpreting community in the United States and around the world. Together with other supporters, you rose to the challenge, and we are grateful. If you are just coming to this story now, "The Interpreter" is a proposed short narrative film that seeks to shed light on the plight of interpreters left behind when W

Update on Funding for The Interpreter Film: You Are Making a Difference!

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published August 18, 2015 We’ve come a long way, now it's time to bring it home and make this film a reality. The support of the interpreting community can put it over the top. One week has passed since we joined forces with Her Pictures, the USC Media Institute for Social Change(USC-MISC) and No One Left Behind to raise the $20k needed to film “The Interpreter.” As of today (Tuesday, August 18, 2016) we have just nine days to go to reach that goal. The response from both individual interpreters and language service companies has been excellent. In one week we have raised almost $4,000.00. Contributions from across the United States and around the world he

This Is Our Chance to Support Afghan and Iraqi Interpreters

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published August 11, 2015 The clock is ticking for Farooq Haqmali. An Afghan interpreter who is promised a visa by the U.S. Government after the Taliban threatens to kill him... So begins the based-on-reality story of Farooq, a fictional interpreter who represents the many thousands of real Afghani and Iraqi interpreters left behind when the U.S. and allied forces pulled out of both wars. You've see the news stories. It's hard not to be moved by the plight of our most vulnerable colleagues. Many of you have asked yourself, "but what can I do?" At InterpretAmerica, we have often asked ourselves the same question. Now we have an answer. This is why Interpret

Community Interpreting Training Begins to Come of Age

By Katharine Allen Published August 4, 2015 Community interpreting, often seen as a poor stepchild to other branches in our profession, is stepping into the limelight - and nothing makes that clearer than the sudden mushrooming of training programs and resources that have appeared over the past few years, especially in the US and Canada. This blog highlights four new additions to community interpreting that ultimately strengthen the entire field. To avoid confusion, let's first define what is meant by community interpreting: Community interpreting is defined here as interpreting that facilitates access to community services. Depending on how community services are provided from country to co

Four Developments In Interpreting You Should Know About, Part II

By Andrew Clifford Published July 21, 2015 For today's InterpretAmerica blog post, we welcome guest blogger Andrew Clifford, Director and Associate Professor for Glendon College's Masters in Conference Interpreting at York University in Canada. Andrew is a well-known and highly accomplished figure in the interpreting profession. His expertise spans from conference to medical and legal, from practicing interpreter to educator to creator of one of the newest and most dynamic academic interpreting programs in the world. We were honored to have Andrew attend the just-concluded 5th InterpretAmerica Summit on June 12-13, 2015. Here is part two of his write-up of key highlights from the Summit for

Four Developments In Interpreting You Should Know About, Part I

Published June 23, 2015 By Andrew Clifford For today's InterpretAmerica blog post, we welcome guest blogger Andrew Clifford, Director and Associate Professor for Glendon College's Masters in Conference Interpreting at York University in Canada. Andrew is a well-known and highly accomplished figure in the interpreting profession. His expertise spans from conference to medical and legal, from practicing interpreter to educator to creator of one of the newest and most dynamic academic interpreting programs in the world. We were honored to have Andrew attend the just-concluded 5th InterpretAmerica Summit on June 12-13, 2015. He has done such a beautiful job of writing up the key highlights from

Relive InterpretAmerica 5 on Storify

Published June 16, 2015 By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Though the 5th InterpretAmerica Summit is now put to bed, you can relive the highlights from this Storify feed. For those of you who aren't familiar with Storify, it is a service that gathers all the tweets from an event into one single story feed. So whether you attended onsite or online, or missed it altogether, enjoy this summary of what made the Summit so special. Barry and I also want to thank everyone, near and far, who supported the Summit by speaking, attending, tweeting, sponsoring, and participating, These may be turbulent times for our profession, but the passion, intelligence, collaborative energy and proactive spirit we

Calling All Interpreters: Change is Here and You Are in the Eye of the Storm

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Jun 11, 2015 7:47:00 AM / by Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen InterpretAmerica had very humble beginnings: A conference interpreter and a medical interpreter coming together from across the great divide separating our areas of specialization with the simple goal of having our profession get to know itself. Over time, that vision has expanded to include helping the rest of the world get to know interpreting too.  Since the very first Summit in 2010, the drumbeat "change is coming, change is coming" has been steady and loud. This year, that beat has shifted, quickened, and taken on a new rhythm. It has risen to a crescendo signalling that change is here. Fro

What Do You Call THAT? Increased Demand for Hybrid Skills

By Giovanna Lester Published June 2, 2015 INTRODUCTION: For today's InterpretAmerica blog post, we welcome guest blogger Gio Lester. A well-known figure in interpreting who has held many leadership positions during her career, Gio explores one of the many new hybrid forms of interpreting gaining a foothold in the market. Her discussion reflects exactly the kind of issues we will be addressing at this month's 5th InterpretAmerica Summit on June 12-13, 2015. There's still time to register for both onsite and live webstream attendance! Read and enjoy, and then let us know...What Do You Call It? What Do You Call THAT? Increased Demand for Hybrid Skills What do you call an animal with the body of

Thought Leaders Levy & Zeztsche at InterpretAmerica 5: Part 2

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published May 28, 2015 "Having pride in our profession's long history does not mean that we should be averse to change. History inherently tells us that there is an ongoing progression." This is the second of a two-part blog series highlighting thought leaders Jonathan Levy and Jost Zetzsche, our keynote speakers at the upcoming 5th InterpretAmerica Summit. Today our focus is on Jost Zetzsche. Some might wonder why we have turned to one of translation's leading figures to keynote a conference targeting the interpreting profession. The simple answer: our sister industry has lived through many of the same changes shaking up our profession right now. There ar

New Interpretation Tech to Be Unveiled at InterpretAmerica 5

By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen Published May 26, 2015 RIDE THE WAVE! Ride the Wave! is this year's InterpretAmerica 5 theme. The idea? Let's catch the huge wave of change bearing down upon us and ride it rather than getting rolled hard in the surf. Sure, it will be bumpy, we'll get wet, but we'll stay standing. In our ongoing commitment to help interpreters catch that wave rather than get dunked by it, we will be highlighting a new technology that conference interpreters will likely be seeing soon: Hearing HotspotTM RF OR IR...AND NOW WI-FI In the world of conference interpreting, the technology used to deliver the interpreter’s voice from the booth to receivers and headsets on the list

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