Free SDL Webinar: Pricing Skills for Translators and Interpreters

Just like last year, Judy is delighted to be giving another webinar for our friends over at SDL -- and it's free for everyone (you just have to sign up). The title is: Tell me how to price my translation services, and here's a brief description of what you can expect to learn:

We translate and interpret because we love it, but we also want to make sure we get compensated well for our professional services. Having a well-developed pricing strategy is key to linguists’ satisfaction and success – but what are some of the economic factors you must take into consideration? How can you make sure you don’t get paid peanuts, what does inflation have to do with anything, and what’s price differentiation?
In accordance with prevailing anti-trust legislation, no pricing recommendations will be made. However, attendees will be presented with practical advice and food for thought that they can implement immediately. Join Judy to talk pricing and learn to not be afraid of this key topic – it can be rewarding.
Here's the link to sign up. SDL is based in the UK, so the event will be held on Friday, November 8, at 3 pm GMT, which is 7 am Pacific and 10 am Eastern. "See" you there?

Court Interpreting in Nevada: Two New Trends

As a federally certified Spanish court interpreter, Judy spends a lot of time in the federal courts around the Southwest, but she also works in judiciary assignments outside of court (depositions, arbitration, attorney-client meetings). As challenging as court interpreting is, regardless of the setting or the mode of interpretation, after a decade or so, you do learn to anticipate quite well, as cases seem to fall within certain categories and can become repetitive. However, every once in a while you notice new trends and new cases coming through the system, which require some investigation and study to be able to interpret at a high level. Here are two that Judy has noticed this year (please note that these topics are quite serious and not for the faint of heart):

Photo credit:
1) Fentanyl (fentanilo in Spanish): Anecdotally, before the beginning of this year, I'd say I'd only seen one or two of these cases in my entire interpreting career. This year, these types of cases have exploded, at least from my perspective as a court interpreter, and that seems to be in line with the national trends. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that's some 100 times more potent than morphine (having gotten one post-surgery morphine injection that knocked me out, I find it hard to process that fentanyl is 100 times stronger). It is also many times stronger than heroin, its synthetic cousin. As you would expect, it's highly addictive and dangerous. It's a Schedule I narcotic under the federal courts, and I've seen an increased amount of defendants accused of trafficking fentanyl into the country (oftentimes mixed with heroin or cocaine). I found these links helpful in trying to learn more about this synthetic substance, which is also used as an anesthetic and short-term pain reliever (the use it was originally designed for): Why fentanyl is deadlier than heroin, What is fentanyl?, DEA drug sheet on fentanyl , The fentanyl crisis is so deadly in Canada that even funeral directors need the antidote, Fentanyl is fueling a new overdose crisis

2) MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha), an international criminal gang: I mostly work in Nevada, California, and New Mexico, and many defendants in criminal drug cases have some affiliation, as marginal as it may be, to Mexican cartels. I know their lingo well as I have spent years interpreting for them. However, MS-13, a Salvadorean-American street gang that got its start in Los Angeles in the 1970s, is relatively new to me. While I have attended several conferences on MS-13 to learn terminology and get general insight, I'd rarely interpreted for these defendants before. I've recently seen an increase in cases involving MS-13 in my part of the country, and I've had to quickly pick up new terminology (such as paro for "errand boy"). Interpreting gruesome details related to violence is never easy, but the amount of violence inside MS-13 is particularly difficult to stomach, even for an experienced court interpreter. In theory, interpreters can recuse themselves from any case, but I have never done that; I just focus on the job, which is to interpret, regardless of what is being said and of how it makes me feel. Here are some articles that have helped me learn more about MS-13 (warning: explicit content): MS-13 Gang Member Pleads Guilty in Quadruple Murder Highlighted by Trump, MS-13, explained, What You Need to Know About the MS-13 Street Gang.

What about you, dear fellow court interpreters? Which new trends are you seeing? How do you learn more about new topics? We'd love to hear your tips and tricks.
Join the conversation! Commenting is a great way to become part of the translation and interpretation community. Your comments don’t have to be overly academic to get published. We usually publish all comments that aren't spam, self-promotional or offensive to others. Agreeing or not agreeing with the issue at hand and stating why is a good way to start. Social media is all about interaction, so don’t limit yourself to reading and start commenting! We very much look forward to your comments and insight. Let's learn from each other and continue these important conversations.

Subscribe by email:


Twitter update

Site Info

The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

Translation Times