About Helen Eby

I am an ATA-certified translator (English > Spanish and Spanish > English).  As of September 2020, there are less than 80 members certified in both directions. I am also a Spanish state-certified (Oregon and Washington) court interpreter and a medical interpreter certified by the Oregon Health Authority.

One of my major interests is guiding translators and interpreters who are just entering the profession. This commitment to helping newcomers prompted me to co-found The Savvy Newcomer, a blog that is now recognized as a go-to resource for launching a career in translation and interpreting.

My background as a teacher of English and Spanish also led to my involvement with ¡Al rescate del español!, a team effort to produce a layman’s guide to good Spanish writing skills for the United States. In 2014, I was the technical contact for the ASTM Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation (F2575-14), so I understand ASTM standards in depth and apply them in my work. I also volunteer on the Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreters.

I have been an independent translator and interpreter since 1985. My goal is to help you communicate clearly with your target audience and present a professional image in either Spanish or English. Please refer to these role definitions for interpreters, translators, translator-transcribers, and terminologists. I was honored to be the lead author of this document, which has been endorsed by several highly recognized professional associations.

To hear an interview aired on NPR that expresses my views on the issues in interpreting, click here.

To learn more about me, read my profile in Translation Journal.

This is a comparison of interpreting certifications in the United States.

I have also written a comparison of translation certifications available in the Northwest.

Why “gaucha”?

In Spanish, a “gaucho” is a cowboy. However, in modern Argentine usage, it is more than that. You do a “gauchada” (a favor) to a friend, expecting nothing in return. When you solve a problem creatively, you may be told “¡qué gaucho!” (What a “gaucho”!). Since I am a woman, I am a “gaucha”.

Gaucha: creative problem solver, willing to go the extra mile.


Click to read more about Helen’s experience in Spanish translation.

If you have a translation, interpreting or training need, please click here.

Helen Eby

Helen Eby

Certified by:

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters

Oregon Health Authority logo


American Translators Association logo