Interpreter Tips Articles

Buying Guide: What to Pack in Your Interpreter Bag

Buying Guide: What to Pack in Your Interpreter Bag

By Jillian Winn  |  Tuesday, September 22, 2015

You’ve probably seen many articles on Signing Savvy by the amazing Brenda Cartwright - she’s a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language books. She came up with this great guide of what to pack in your interpreter bag, so when she told us she was giving the keynote address at the Illinois’ Annual Statewide Interpreter Conference, we wanted to show some love to the interpreters by sending a few fully stocked interpreter bags with her for giveaways.
Interpreter Q & A: When Interpreters Omit Information

Interpreter Q & A: When Interpreters Omit Information

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Tuesday, September 1, 2015

This Interpreter Q & A asks: I have noticed that an interpreter that I team with nearly every week (she has been an interpreter for over 20 years, and trust me, she never lets me forget it for one minute) tends to omit information. Either she doesn’t think it’s important, or she just doesn’t understand it herself. Forget suggesting giving her "feeds" from me, I’ve "only" been nationally certified for 5 years, and still am a baby in her book. My problem is that she always asks me to do team interpreting assignments with her, and asks for nobody else. I know you’re going to tell me to say something to her, but our community is so small I can’t afford to anger her, financially or professionally. How can I handle this? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter Q & A: How to Handle Sexism in the Classroom (and, Therefore, the Workplace)

Interpreter Q & A: How to Handle Sexism in the Classroom (and, Therefore, the Workplace)

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Sunday, July 26, 2015

This Interpreter Q & A asks: I interpret in a technology class where I am the only female in the room. The students often make crude remarks about women and the class always looks over at me and cracks up while I interpret them. I can see my Deaf client is embarrassed for me, but he laughs along with the rest of them. This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Steps for Resolving Interpreter Conflicts

Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Steps for Resolving Interpreter Conflicts

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Monday, May 4, 2015

Interpreting is 99% about being able to work with other people - having good soft skills and good people skills. These aren’t something that everyone is blessed with naturally. It is important to take time to work on and improve these skills. When have you butted heads with a co-worker? What caused it? Notice I didn’t ask who was at fault or who was to blame.  What really caused the conflict? A miscommunication? An age difference? A power difference? Assumptions? How did you resolve the issue? What are some successful strategies? Here are 5 steps for resolving interpreter conflicts...
Interpreter Q & A: Letting Interpreter Credentials Lapse

Interpreter Q & A: Letting Interpreter Credentials Lapse

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Thursday, April 2, 2015

This Interpreter Q & A asks: I haven’t seen a particular interpreter at any workshops or conferences literally for years now. I know she doesn’t care about getting CEUs or losing her certification. She says "everyone knows my skills and will hire me anyway." Sure enough, she lost her certification and she's still out there interpreting all the time, and still charging top dollar. No one ever asks to see her card. It's business as usual, which is so frustrating for those of us who put in all the time and money into following the CMP program in a timely manner. Apparently, the rules don't apply to everyone, so why do we bother? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter 4-1-1: Tax Tips for Interpreters

Interpreter 4-1-1: Tax Tips for Interpreters

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Monday, March 9, 2015

Interpreters often do a lot of freelance / independent contractor work, and receive a Form 1099 at the end of the year to report their compensation.  When you are self-employed and do independent contractor work, there are several tax deductions that you can take advantage of. Hopefully you have already been preparing yourself and organizing your taxes. Just in case you need it, here are some helpful hints...
Interpreting 4-1-1: Guidelines to Help Interpreters When Doing Pro Bono Work

Interpreting 4-1-1: Guidelines to Help Interpreters When Doing Pro Bono Work

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Thursday, December 4, 2014

By offering pro bono services, interpreters are enriched professionally and personally. This is something interpreters should all do on a regular basis.  Pro bono work is an important part of professional development and it is a great way to help others in need, provide a gift to thank others, and give back to your community.
Interpreter 4-1-1: Certified Deaf Interpreters Explained

Interpreter 4-1-1: Certified Deaf Interpreters Explained

By Marta Belsky  |  Friday, November 14, 2014

While the concept of Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) is not new, many people are not familiar with what they do, so misunderstandings can occur on how to utilize deaf interpreters. What is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)?
Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Tips for Being Successful in an Interpreter Training Program

Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Tips for Being Successful in an Interpreter Training Program

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Monday, October 20, 2014

This article is specifically for Interpreters in Training. Interpreter Training Programs are both challenging and rewarding.  It is really up to the student to make the most of the Interpreter Training Program (ITP).  The more passionate and hard working you are, the more rewarding the experience will be. Think for a moment about your definition of success. What does a successful person do? What does a successful person think? What does a successful person believe? How will you ensure that your time in your Interpreter Training Program is successful? What changes will you need to make? Here are 5 tips for being successful in an Interpreter Training Program...
Interpreter 4-1-1: Prepare Your 10-Second Interpreter Elevator Pitch

Interpreter 4-1-1: Prepare Your 10-Second Interpreter Elevator Pitch

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Thursday, September 4, 2014

Interpreters often have just seconds to explain what we do to professional people who don’t really care. Say you just entered the elevator with the doctor of the deaf patient on the way up to the appointment.  What would you say? What’s your “elevator pitch?” Try it out. Time yourself. Can you get it out in 10 seconds?