Translation and Interpreting Services

I am an ATA-certified translator (Spanish>English) and a certified DSHS Translator (English > Spanish) by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. I am s also a Spanish state-certified (Oregon) court interpreter and a medical interpreter certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) as well as the Oregon Health Authority.

One of my major interests is guiding translators and interpreters who are just entering the professions. It is this commitment to helping newcomers that 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 an English and Spanish teacher also led to her involvement with Cuatro Mosqueteras, a team of bloggers working to improve Spanish writing, as well as my participation in the ASTM work group for translation standards.

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. They have been endorsed by highly recognized professional associations.

Bilingual vs. interpreter/translator

According to the FBI, only 40% of those who have the necessary language proficiency skills pass their translation test! Translation and interpretation involve specialized skills beyond language proficiency.

The Art of Translation

A translation is more than taking words from one language and putting them into another one. Since each language exists in the context of a culture, my goal is that the reader of the translation understand the same message as the reader of the original text. In other words, they shouldn’t sound like a translation.

The Art of Interpretation

When someone speaks two languages, we expect they can interpret. However, it’s more complicated than that. The meaning has to be transferred from one language to another language. It’s a little bit like playing the piano. Being able to play with one hand at a time is not that hard. Many people can get there with little help. However, playing with two hands requires special training, especially when both hands are working somewhat independently. Transferring meaning from one language to another, whether orally or in writing, requires special training.

This document, first published in March of 2015, clarifies the roles of Translators, Interpreters, Transcriber-Translators and Terminologists, and has been endorsed by several professional associations. Helen Eby is one of the team leaders for this project.

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.