The term “interpretation” refers to the oral conversion of one language to another. We provide both simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation. Simultaneous interpretation happens at the same time the speaker is talking—usually through the use of audio equipment. The interpreter wears a pair of headphones and speaks into a microphone; the listeners wear earphones so that they can hear the interpreter so the interpreter does not have to interrupt the speaker. This mode of interpreting saves time, so it is preferred for conferences and meetings in which a great deal of information has to be conveyed.
Consecutive interpretation requires the speaker to finish a sentence or an idea and then pause so that the interpreter can convert the speaker’s words into another language. This mode is best suited for situations involving a small number of people, or where a personal touch is required such as be business meetings, press conferences, interviews, or any type of one-on-one exchange. Our interpreters are trained in both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. To request interpretation services please click here.
The term “translation” refers to the written conversion of one language to another. We provide translation for a variety of documents: transcripts, articles, agency forms, public notices, meeting minutes, etc. To request translation services please click here.
Training, Practice and Evaluation
We offer trainings to people that are interested in becoming interpreters and potential members of the collective. We teach the technical skills necessary for interpreting as well as the ethics of interpreting. Our curriculum focus on the ethical dilemmas that interpreters face when there are situations of a power imbalance, especially when the interpreter has to play the role of an advocate. When advocating, it is necessary to pick a side, however, an interpreter’s role is to always stay neutral—we explore these issues and how to respond in our trainings.
We also work to build the skills of the members of our group by holding monthly practice sessions. Interpreters get hands on experience using the audio equipment and receive feedback from the other interpreters on word choice, tone, accuracy, all in an effort to help each other grow as interpreters. Our members learn from each other by sharing their experiences and coming up with “best practices” for interpreters.
Evaluating and assessing the skills of our interpreters is important for ensuring that we provide quality interpreting to our clients. We use an internal assessment tool that we developed for simultaneous interpretation to evaluate the skills of our interpreters and identify ways to support the development of specific skills.
Consulting and Building Language Access
We consult with government institutions and nonprofit organizations to better communicate and meet the needs of their of their clients. Becoming a language accessible organization requires good deal of foresight and a budget—it is becoming more and more necessary for agencies to invest in transitioning to a multilingual institution.
We have worked with a variety of local organizations helping them build their capacity to create multilingual spaces and programming, such organizations include: Workers Defense Project, Austin Immigrants Rights Coalition, Texans United for Families, University of Texas-Austin, American Gateways, National Council of La Raza, and the Women’s Community Center of Central Texas, among others.