Translating documents for legal purposes

I am often asked for guidelines to translate documents to submit to the courts. Rather than write my own explanation, I will provide resources to two authoritative sources: Guide to Translation of Legal Materials, prepared by the Professional Issues Committee of the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts in 2011. This document lists details [...]

By |2019-02-03T17:30:10-08:00March 14th, 2017|Translation, Translation Standards|

Translation Certification in the Pacific Northwest

In the Pacific Northwest, and specifically in Washington State, two translation certification programs are relevant. The American Translators Association is a professional association that certifies members who are translators. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services has a Language Testing and Certification Unit that has been certifying translators since 1996. This certification program [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:05:12-07:00November 16th, 2016|Certification, Translation Standards|

Checking for Quality in Translation: Teamwork

Airplane pilots have checklists and follow them carefully. One of them reads items off the list, according to popular belief, and the other one says “check”. This way, both pilot and copilot verify that everything is in order. What happens when there is a “check” that isn’t said? “We would like to inform our passengers [...]

By |2019-02-03T17:31:09-08:00May 24th, 2016|Translation, Translation Standards|

The Translator Requests a Clarification: Tracking the conversation

Translators and interpreters face a common problem: lack of clarity in the source message. Interpreters have a standard formula for addressing this: “the interpreter requests clarification”. Although translators deal with the same issue, a standard formula is missing. We deal with acronyms that are company-specific, missing terms, etc. and clarify them with clients over email. In the [...]

By |2020-03-10T14:19:42-07:00May 11th, 2016|Translation, Translation Standards|

ASTM Interpreting and Translation Standards

This presentation was prepared for two school Districts in Oregon. Recently, some Oregon school districts have made the news because they have had multiple Title VI complaints. The  language access principles presented here should help school districts implement policies that enable them to use their funds effectively and avoid these problems. Schools base their language [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:08:47-07:00January 28th, 2016|Interpreting Standards, Translation Standards|

Communicating at various levels of formality

CLAS Standard 7: Competence of interpreters – Ability to communicate in all registers and at varying levels of formality What is a “register”? The “register” is the variety of the language we use in a particular social setting or for a particular purpose. For example, we speak differently at a doctor’s office, our friends’ living [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:30:03-07:00January 15th, 2015|Interpreting Standards, Translation Standards|

ASTM Standards – Legal applications

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) was signed into law March 7, 1996. The Act made a direct impact on the development of new industrial and technology standards by requiring that all Federal agencies and departments shall: Use technical standards developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies if compliance would not be [...]

By |2020-03-10T14:19:42-07:00November 14th, 2014|Interpreting Standards, Translation Standards|

Cultural competence

The following are three different ways to define cultural competence or competence in intercultural communication. In today’s environment diversity training is very common, and it is important to understand what aspects of this are relevant to interpreting. In this blog post, I will focus on aspects of cultural competence that lead to developing better communication [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:13:16-07:00November 1st, 2014|Interpreting Standards, Translation Standards|

CLAS Standards

This week I was reading the CLAS Standards. CLAS stands for Culturally and Linguistic Appropriate Services. I went to the Blueprint on the CLAS site, and downloaded the Blueprint. The full Blueprint is available for download here. EnhancedCLASStandardsBlueprint Standard 7 reads: Ensure the competence of individuals providing language assistance, recognizing that the use of untrained [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:13:32-07:00October 23rd, 2014|Interpreting Standards, Translation Standards|
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