Monthly News Archives: July 2015


On First Taking the ATA Certification Exam

by Denise Fainberg, an OSTI member from Bend, Oregon

On May 2, 2015, I entered a classroom at North Seattle Community College—not without some trepidation—to take the American Translators Association certification exam.

A handful of aspirants of varying ages and language combinations distributed themselves along the classroom tables. My pile of dictionaries looked distressingly small compared to the stacked glossaries and other permitted reference materials dotting the desks. A neophyte, I didn’t know what was “normal” to bring—plus, there was only so much I was willing to schlepp from my home in Bend, Oregon. Continue reading


Resources to support interpreting and translation quality

Today I received an email from a colleague saying she was having a conversation about the importance of backing up our message with research, poor outcomes,etc. The following materials are well researched and have references listed in the documents themselves.

This map shows the areas of Oregon where interpreters were trained (Qualified or Certified) as of April of 2014. Continue reading


Scams – how not to get taken in

Today I received an email from Manami Imaoka, an OSTI member:

Today I received an email exactly like the one you were discussing the other day on the OSTI members listserv. Now I know for sure not to respond to this one:) It would be very useful for you to publish the advice you gave the OSTI members!

An OSTI member

As a membership benefit, OSTI members participate in a listserv where we warn them about industry scams, let them know about job postings, inform them about high priority issues, and of course invite them to participate in the democratic process of choosing leadership. All members can send messages to the whole group and start discussions about any topic. It is unmoderated.

Here is an expansion of the email OSTI members received: Continue reading


Letter to Interpreting Stakeholders

At the June 18, 2015 Health Care Interpreters Stakeholders Session hosted by the Oregon Health Authority, Heidi Schmaltz, OSTI member, read the following letter. The Stakeholders present requested that it be distributed to all the Stakeholders. We publish it on the OSTI blog with her permission.

The next Stakeholder session will be on September 24th from 10am to 12pm.

Heidi is a member of the OSTI Nominating Committee ( and has been appointed to the Oregon Council on Healthcare Interpreters.

June 18th, 2015

Dear interpreter Stakeholders:

I would like to bring to your attention the current working conditions of interpreters in our state. While I have not conducted formal research on this issue, from my informal research and knowledge of the profession, the going rate for contracted interpreters (the majority of interpreters employed in the state), is $20 per hour. This rate has not changed in ten years, and I have heard of contracted interpreters currently working for $15 per hour or less. This rate has not increased with certification. Continue reading