Monthly News Archives: May 2015


Standard Practice for Language Interpreting

The new Standard Practice for Language Interpreting, published by the ASTM, has been published! Please click here to purchase it.

The ASTM Standards are developed by teams that include stakeholders from all fields. In this case stakeholders included users, producers, freelancers, companies, ASL, spoken languages, government, independent companies, and international perspectives. Each organization holds only one vote. Every negative vote must be given due consideration. A negative vote by any member has to be declared non-persuasive by 90% of the other voters for the process to move forward.

Some concepts expressed in the Standard Practice for Language Interpreting:

Definition of interpreting:
“The process of first fully understanding, analyzing, and processing a spoken or signed message and then faithfully rendering it into another spoken or signed language.”
“Discussion: Interpreting is different from translation, which results in the creation of a written target text.”

“A high level of proficiency in two or more languages is a necessary prerequisite, but not sufficient by itself to provide quality interpreting”… It then lists the skills necessary for interpreting in detail.

Number of interpreters required:
It gives details about how to determine the amount of interpreters needed for simultaneous and consecutive assignments.

Interpreter preparation materials:
“To ensure interpreting quality and accuracy, interpreters shall have access to or be briefed on pertinent materials that will be discussed or referenced at the event.”

This chart is Gaucha TI’s implementation of the Interpreting Standard, which Helen Eby has shared at American Translator Association conference presentations.

Again, the ASTM Standard Practice for Language Interpreting, ASTM F2089 – 15, is available online for $43. Please click here to download it.

The Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation is available at this link. Section 8 was updated in 2014, and the full Standard is in the process of being updated. Helen Eby, OSTI President, is the Technical Contact for this project.

This is Gaucha TI’s implementation of the Translation Standard, which has also been shared at American Translator Association conference presentations.


California Advocacy

The California Workers Compensation Intepreters’ Association is launching an advocacy drive. They are developing categories of interpreters similar to the Certified and Qualified categories we have in Oregon, to provide better service to their community. See their proposal on this page, and submit your feedback. They would like the support of their Oregon counterparts!


OSTI Interpreters interpret for Nobel Laureate

DrMenchu@JeffersonHighOn April 16, OSTI Spanish Interpreters Helen Eby, Jazmin Manjarrez and Heidi Schmaltz, all Medical Interpreters, were honored to interpret for Nobel Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum at Jefferson High School. See the pictures here!

For us, the interpreters, it was an amazing privilege. We learned the lessons the public learned, but more intimately. Dr. Menchú speaks from the heart when she says that she has chosen not to become just another victim. Watch this video of the event!

As interpreters, we had a big responsibility. We made her words, and the words of the others who participated, intelligible to the 1500 who came to hear her. Before we went on stage, we talked. We understood our responsibility. Our accuracy was no more important than it is before a surgery or when a patient goes to the Emergency Room. The message was just… “a little more public.”

We knew about this assignment for over three weeks. We prepared by reading about her, watching videos, and doing what we could. We prepared to make the transition from the privacy of the doctor’s office to the 1,500 member audience of the Jefferson High auditorium. We prepared to switch for the different speakers. But nothing could have prepared us for the warmth and kindness, the human touch of Dr. Menchú and the honest, frank integrity of the rest of the participants. This was real. As interpreters, we had bonded as a team, D’Artagnan style, “All for one and one for all.” Now we bonded with another team, and we worked together. The message had an impact. Portland Public Schools published this press release. “She’s an amazing woman,” said Jack, a Franklin High School student. “She has an amazing amount of courage.”

It was an honor. And when it was all said and done, that is how we felt as interpreters. Honored to have been invited to be part of that team that day, to participate with the leaders of Portland Public Schools and Dr. Menchú to bring a message of peace and encouragement to the youth of Portland, to the Guatemalan youth of Portland Public Schools, and to those who needed assistance with ASL, as we passed the baton of the message to them – Spanish to English to ASL, relay-style.

As interpreters, we look forward to continuing to help our community communicate well. That day we did it very publicly. Most days, it is very privately. Every day it is exciting.


OSTI launches first election cycle

The OSTI Board is proud to announce its first nominating committee:

Danna Garcia
Jeanette Poston
Heidi Schmaltz

Please support them through the elections process, as listed in this document.
This document was developed based on our bylaws, which can be found in our bylaws.

Elections will be held at our second Annual Conference! Contact our committee at:
nominations at ostiweb dot org