Articles by BRENDA CARTWRIGHT
Interpreter 4-1-1: Prepare Your 10-Second Interpreter Elevator Pitch
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?
Interpreter Q & A: Are Piercings Ok for Interpreters?
This Interpreter Q & A asks: Last week, while team interpreting in a post-secondary setting, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed a shiny metal ball bouncing around on my partner’s tongue. I found it very distracting and fascinating at the same time. Every time she opened her mouth it was all I could see. I know our Deaf client noticed it too, because when she was called on in class she admitted she was not concentrating, and asked if the professor could please repeat the question. My question is – do I say something to my partner or wait for the Deaf client to say something to her? 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 Tips for Job Hunting as an Interpreter
Today applications for new jobs are increasingly offered exclusively via websites. With social media and our entire lives online most employers know quite a bit about you, including your reputation and writing skills, before they ever meet you face to face. References have also become more important as references are sometimes the first people that interviewers speak to. Are you representing yourself well? How do you decide who to ask for a reference? Here are 5 tips for laying the foundation for your job hunting and finding a good recommender...
Interpreter Q & A: How to Handle Rude Clients
This Interpreter Q & A asks: In the post-secondary setting where I interpret, one particular Deaf student frankly doesn’t have much in the way of social skills. She is just plain mean to everyone and it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing to be around her. She’s either rude or inappropriate or both. Her hearing classmates, upon meeting their first real live Deaf person, try to be friendly, but, more often than not, walk away completely turned off. Please don’t tell me to just not take assignments where she is the client; as a staff interpreter, we don’t always have that choice. She knows she’s a "challenge." I suspect she gets off on it! 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: Is It Better to Be Late or Wet?
This Interpreter Q & A asks: Which is better in your opinion — to be a few minutes late for an interpreting job when it is pouring rain or to show up on time, but soaking wet? 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: Interpreter Credentials
This Interpreter Q & A asks: It just so happens that I’ve been collecting interpreter business cards for a long time now and I’m convinced that anyone and everyone these days can call themselves an "interpreter" without any credentials to back up their claim. Truth be told, our consumers aren’t always familiar with all our acronyms and the terminology we use for certification levels, so they can be easily misled. Here are some examples of titles I have in my collection from non-certified "interpreters" out there: "ASL Interpreter," "State Certified Interpreter," "ITP Graduate," "Freelance Interpreter," "Interpreter for the Hearing Impaired," and my favorite… "Hearing Impaired Interpreter"… this was a hearing person!
Interpreter 4-1-1: Top 10 Pearls of Wisdom for Interpreters
Interpreting can be both rewarding and challenging. Here is my list of top ten pearls of wisdom for interpreters...