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OSTI 2022


Words = a Pathway to Peace

September 10, 2022 - Pre-Conference Kick Off!

September 14 - 15, 2022 - Opening Night & Events

September 16 -18, 2022 - Main Conference

*All times listed are in Pacific Time

Speaker Bios & Session Abstracts

Saturday 9/17/2022 - Main Conference, Day 2

Session 502

Pavel Elin

Email Marketing in the Market of Language Services


Pavel started his career in the field of translations and language services in 2007 as a freelance translator.

In 2010, he launched his first business. And in 2011, he moved to Portugal to become a co-owner and CEO at Freelanguage LDA, a language service provider located in Lisbon.

In 2019, Pavel started his LinkedIn blog with posts and publications for independent language professionals.

In September 2020, he completed his work on the book Effective Email Marketing for Freelance Linguists. Today, in addition to the book Pavel offers 4 consulting services for freelancers. All of them are available on LinkedIn.

In February 2022, his YouTube channel for freelance language professionals was launched.

Pavel’s freelance experience allows him to understand linguists’ goals, challenges, and restraints in a better way. On the other hand, as a CEO of a language service provider that has been operating since 2011, he can share insights from the point of view of the regular customer of translations and language services.

You can follow Pavel on his LinkedIn Blog, https://www.linkedin.com/in/pavelelin/, watch his YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-O5BNQRfNBsNtpNqz1pt0Q/videos, or find him on his Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/author/pavel.elin.

Session Abstract

Studies on interpreters’ style suggest that interpreters adopt global and local strategies that formulate their unique style. This presentation focuses on the findings from a recent empirical study on how consistent an interpreter’s style can be in the simultaneous and consecutive modes. Subjects are asked to interpret one long speech, consecutively in the first half and simultaneously in the second. By comparing the interpreters’ output in both modes, interesting observations are made about the interpreters’ unique style and how they employ the different global and local strategies. The findings also have implications for interpreters, interpreting trainers and trainees.

Session 503 (*Spanish*)

Guipsy Alata Ramos

Lenguas indígenas peruanas y justica lingüística

Focus on Linguistic Justice: Indigenous Languages of Peru


Intérprete y traductora de lengua quechua, variedad Cusco Collao, con especialidad en justicia y abogada. Como parte de su experiencia laboral ha desarrollado acciones orientadas al fortalecimiento de capacidades, acompañamiento y asesoramiento a comunidades y rondas campesinas de las provincias altas del Cusco en materia de derechos de pueblos indígenas, justicia intercultural y derechos lingüísticos. Ha participado como intérprete en contextos de conflictos sociales, espacios de diálogo intercultural y prestación de servicios públicos. Actualmente se desempeña como especialista legal en la Dirección de Lenguas Indígenas del Ministerio de Cultura del Perú.

Guipsy is an interpreter and translator of the Quechua language, Cusco Collao variety, specializing in justice and law. As part of her work experience, she has developed actions aimed at strengthening capacities, accompanying, and advising communities and peasant patrols in the high provinces of Cusco on the rights of indigenous peoples, intercultural justice, and linguistic rights. She has participated as an interpreter in contexts of social conflicts, spaces for intercultural dialogue and provision of public services. She currently works as a legal specialist in the Directorate of Indigenous Languages of the Ministry of Culture of Peru.

Session Abstract

Los derechos lingüísticos son derechos fundamentales que reconocen la libertad de las personas a usar su lengua materna en todos los espacios sociales, individual o colectivamente. Lo que implica, entre otros, su vida personal, social, educativa, política y profesional en su propia lengua, recibir atención de las entidades públicas. Si bien, en los últimos 9 años el Estado peruano ha desarrollado un amplio marco normativo en materia de derechos lingüísticos, lenguas indígenas u originarias, sin embargo, persisten ámbitos en los que pareciera que el reconocimiento y el ejercicio de los derechos lingüísticos no son garantizados de manera efectiva y oportuna, específicamente, aquellas relacionadas al acceso y administración de justicia. Así, por ejemplo, un proceso judicial con todas las garantías que este requiere (derecho a la defensa y debido proceso) no se garantiza, muchas veces, la presencia de un/a intérprete y/o traductor/a de lengua indígena u originaria. De allí que, la brecha y la discriminación lingüística se manifiestan como una de las principales causas que no permiten implementar una justicia intercultural que se corresponda a la realidad cultural y lingüística del país. Asimismo, resulta necesario reflexionar de forma crítica sobre los desafíos éticos y políticos que se presentan, así como sobre la necesidad de transformar la gestión pública y reconocer la justicia lingüística con la finalidad de restituir derechos de la ciudadanía.

Language rights are fundamental rights that recognize a people’s freedom to use their native language in all areas of society, either individually or collectively. This implies —in many instances — that people should obtain services in their native language from public entities, including in personal, social, education, political and professional spheres. Even though, in the past 9 years, the Peruvian government has developed a policy framework to address language rights, and the rights of those using indigenous or native languages, there are still areas in which this recognition and the right to language rights are not guaranteed in an effective and appropriate manner, specifically in the areas related to access and administration of the law. For example, a judicial process guarantees several rights (the right to counsel and its process), but oftentimes, there is no guarantee that an interpreter or translator of an indigenous or native language will be present. Linguist gaps and discrimination thus arise as the main reasons intercultural justice pertaining to the cultural and linguist reality to be implemented does not always happen. In addition, it is important to think critically about the ethical and political dilemmas that arise, as well as the need to change public policy and recognize language justice to restore the rights of all citizens.

Session 504 (*Russian*)

Olga Bogatova

Interpreting for Asylum Seekers in the LGBTQ(IA)+ Community


Olga is a Russian interpreter and translator based in San Francisco, CA. She is certified by CCHI and NBCMI and works as a medical interpreter and translator at Stanford Health Care. In addition, she is a medical interpreter trainer at the Chicago-based non-profit Americans Against Language Barriers.

Born and raised near Moscow in Russia, Olga earned her Master's in Biology and Diploma in Translation and moved to California. Here, she found a great demand for interpreting and translation amongst recent refugees and asylum seekers. The bulk of her daily work is dedicated to the medical and legal needs of the Russian-speaking immigrants new to the Golden State.

Session Abstract

Russian-speaking countries are seeing an increasing number of refugees fleeing their homes, especially in light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Sexual orientation-based persecution is common in post-Soviet spaces. In the recent years, Russia has adopted a “Gay Propaganda” Law and Kyrgystan introduced a similar anti-LGBT bill. Homosexuality is currently criminalized in post-Soviet Central Asia.

Interpreting for asylum claims filed by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals (LGBT) who have limited English proficiency requires compassion and empathy, impeccable interpreter ethics, and a well-developed awareness of the relevant vocabulary. To perform at their best during an asylum interview or individual calendar hearing, a court interpreter must be familiar with the current state of LGBT rights and community in the applicant’s country, be fluent in proper sexuality/gender terms, and be practiced in the necessary soft skills.

In this session, we will review the current legislative landscape for the LGBT community in Russia and other Russian-speaking countries, the anatomy of USCIS interview and the structure of the respondent’s examination during their merits hearing, and USCIS questions most common for LGBT claims. We will also examine Russian vocabulary for sexual orientation and gender identity and list some language-specific resources on this subject.

This workshop is intended for the Russian community and court interpreters, as well as for interpreters of other languages who want learn more about working with LGBTQIA+ clients in asylum proceedings.

Session 505 

Dr. AKaiser

A Survey of Catalan Translations of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass


AKaiser, PhD, is a translator of Catalan, French, and Spanish. She is recipient of a 2022 NEA Fellowship for her translation of Catalan poet Anna Gual’s collected work, Unnameable (annagual.cat). She is currently translating: the essays of transatlantic city-garden advocate (and first Iberian translator of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass), Cebrià Montoliu; Mexican poets Javier Acosta and Bertha Izuzu; as well as André Breton’s Surrealist watershed hybrid work, with commentary, Nadja. During her years at the UN, AKaiser translated A Wall in Palestine, by René Backmann, translated from the French, and a finalist for the Florence Gould French-American Translation Prize. AKaiser is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and author of glint, co-winner of the Milk & Cake Press Book Prize. Poems from manuscript break have won the Women’s National Book Association Poetry Prize and have placed as finalist for the Poetry International, Rialto Nature & Place, Bridport, and C&R Press prizes, among others. Recent poems and photos appear in Amsterdam Quarterly, New Square, Pen + Brush’s In Print No.5, guest-edited by Novella Ford, and Sonora Review's special issue on gender violence, Extinction. Recent readings include with ALTA along with Ms. Gual, Pen + Brush, City of Asylum partnered with Carlow University, Vanderbilt Open Streets and Elizabeth Street Garden’s Reading Series. Photographic work was included in the recent USAGI Gallery show. Her work has been supported by the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts; Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA); ATLAS ViceVersa Workshop; and Cité Internationale des Arts. For more on AK, & Others: https://akexperiments.org & @akexperiments.

Session Abstract

The history of translations of Whitman into Catalan is a fascinating one and spans a century and several translators. This is a presentation for those interested in sociological and political motivations for translation projects, ie: bringing literary “greats” into so-called minor languages and the contexts which can encourage such endeavors; specifics to the Catalan national project and its transformation from the late 19th c to today, including reception of this work. It will be of interest also for other European translation histories as, thanks to this Catalan study, participants will also examine trajectories of the Italian, German, French and Spanish translations of Leaves of Grass.

Session 506

Natalya Mytareva, M.A.

Master Class: The Nuances of Interpreting Meaning


Natalya Mytareva, M.A., CoreCHI, ICE-CCP, is Executive Director of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, and a Commissioner of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). In 2000-2013, Natalya was Communications Director at the International Institute of Akron, a refugee resettlement agency in Ohio. She developed and taught several courses for healthcare and court interpreters, with the focus on languages of lesser diffusion. Natalya is a Russian interpreter/translator and started her career as instructor of interpretation/translation courses at Volgograd State University (Russia) in 1991. She holds a combined BA/MA degree from VSU in Philology & Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Session Abstract

Interpreters process information differently than the direct participants in a communication. Interpreters discern the importance of elements of meaning based on the effect these could have on the health or legal outcomes. The interpreter’s ability to understand and prioritize the meaning of a verbal or written message lies in their understanding of the hierarchal nature of meaning which is governed by the communicative intent. Through a participatory review of some examples, presenter will demonstrate how the interpreter’s inability to discern key points of a message could result in interpreting errors.

Session 507

Heather Jeanne Denyer, MFA and PhD

Translating Culture, Poetry, and Politics in Contemporary African Theatre


Dr. Heather Jeanne Denyer (she/her/hers) is Assistant Professor of World Theatres and Dramaturgy at California State University, Fullerton. She is also a dramaturg and a scholar of West African theatre, women, and puppetry. She translates plays written in French into English to build bridges across cultural and linguistic barriers with a particular interest in raising awareness of emerging African theatre in the United States. She translated and read from Cameroonian Hermine Yollo's play, The Iset Woman with the playwright for the 2021 PEN Women in Translation Festival. Other translations for PEN's World Voices Festival include Ticha-Ticha by Hakim Bah of Guinea, In War as in Games by Cameroonian Edouard Elvis Bvouma, and Ways of Loving by Aristide Tarnagda of Burkina Faso. This translation was used for subtitles for the Italian premiere of this work in 2022. Heather's translation of Tarnagda's play, Musika, published in PAJ, was awarded Honorable Mention for the inaugural Translation Prize at the American Society for Theatre Research Conference in 2021. The play was published with her introduction to contextualize the work in contemporary African theatre for US readers.

Session Abstract

This presentation demonstrates strategies for translating African theatre written in French into English, especially for US scholars and theatres. There is an urgency for transcultural translations of contemporary African plays to promote a truly global theatre. However, this does not mean that every play should be translated or performed in the US context. Furthermore, the theatre genre offers particular challenges to the translator that literature intended to be read may not. Recognizing such challenges as indicated in current scholarship of dramaturgy and translation, including the questions of representation and respect in cross-cultural translations, the presentation suggests that for each project the translator consider the possibility of not translating and that they recognize the unique needs of translating the poetry, the culture, and the politics at stake. Through three examples of translated excerpts from West African plays, each aspect is exemplified, with a fourth example illustrating when one might choose to not translate. The case is made for the emphases on poetry, cultural understanding, and political representation, as well as for the incapacity for effective translation. These are supported by excerpts from interviews with the playwrights at stake. Finally, representation of the audiences' reception to the works in translation demonstrates the efficacy of the work and what has been gained in each case.

Session 508

Dr. Christina Nguyen and Tram Bui

Idioms for Translators and Interpreters


Ms. Tram Bui is a refugee from Vietnam who emigrated to the US in 1975 when she was 6 years old. She has been a Vietnamese <> English interpreter and translator since 2004 and has earned her CMI (Certified Medical Interpreter) certification with the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. She is an independent contractor who interprets in the field of medical, education, and community interpretation. She is a trainer for the Americans Against Language Barriers, (AALB is 501(c)(3)) a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with limited English proficiency by training medical interpreters, providing language services, and advocating for policy reform. a non-profit organization, focused on language access for all. She served five years on the board of the Arizona Translators and Interpreters Association as VP and Member-at-Large. She was the Vietnamese tester/evaluator for the Vietnamese Language Proficiency Test and the Interpreter Skills Test for Language Line Academy/Solutions. Before becoming an interpreter, she taught Junior High ESL (English as a Second Language) for five years for Mesa Public Schools and also taught 2nd and 3rd grade for the Riverside Unified School District. She earned her BS in Social Ecology/Criminology from UCI (University of California, Irvine). She also has a multiple subject K-12, ESL, and Bilingual teaching credential from the AZ Department of Education. She currently resides in Gilbert, AZ with her 1̀6- year-old son. She is passionate about all things related to language. She believes that hard work pays for itself and that we are born on this earth to help our fellow man and in doing so, we help ourselves. Her favorite quote is from Mother Teresa, “We can do no Great things, only small things with great love”.

Session Abstract

This workshop will be about interpreting Idiomatic expressions in English


Attendees will be able to

1. Define and recognize what is an idiom.

2. How to better interpret idioms into or out of English, using five strategies.

3. Know what to do when there is no equivalency.

3. Develop their own Glossary of idioms from EN<>VN for their own usage

4. Share their experience as to how they interpret idioms and the challenges they face.

5. Play interactive games related to identifying idioms.

Presenters will

1) provide a list of idioms (EN to VN) they have compiled over the years.

2) provide some websites and links related to idioms and proverbs for Vietnamese interpreters.

3) provide an e-handbook, "Understanding Idioms to Effectively Communicate in English" by Dr. Christina Nguyen

3) provide networking opportunities with professional Vietnamese interpreters after the workshop as well.

4.) Attendees will have FUN learning how to interpret English idioms!

Session 509

Andrea Henry, CHI

When Our Performance Depends on It: Strategies & Scripts for Addressing Interpreter Mental Fatigue


Andrea has enjoyed working professionally in the field of healthcare interpreting for 25 years. Most of those years have involved face-to-face interpreting of dialogue in both adult and children’s healthcare settings. Interpreting on the frontlines is her biggest joy. Additionally, Andrea has learned a great deal from many roles in this field having worked as a freelance interpreter, fulltime OPI interpreter, interpreter coordinator for two healthcare organizations, interpreter trainer, fulltime F2F interpreter in a level 1 trauma center, and interpreter researcher. She has extensive experience in written translation (e.g., English > Spanish home care instructions), public speaking, and mentoring novice interpreters. Andrea's areas of interest and expertise include specialization (e.g., pediatric cancer, pediatric heart defects, etc.), outside-the-box methods for navigating technical speech and sociolinguistic bumps, and value-added scripting for improved encounter interaction. Andrea is strongly invested in moving our field forward by sharing strategies that improve communication and the patient’s clinical outcome, as well as raise our perceived value. She has received 200+hours of continuing education and has attended 30+ conferences. Andrea is a volunteer member of the NCIHC Home for Trainers webinar workgroup and was named a CCHI commissioner in 2021. She regularly presents on advanced practice strategies for healthcare interpreters. Finally, Andrea is the principal investigator on grant-funded research on development and validation of a tool that measures complexity and mental fatigue in the healthcare encounter.

Session Abstract

Interpreters experience mental fatigue in the healthcare setting. While interpreters are aware of the potential for diminished accuracy when we become mentally fatigued, we do not have control over our environment. Rather, we think we don’t. Ms. Henry will provide valid arguments for interpreters to exercise more agency and effectively advocate for optimal working conditions. She will provide specific techniques and corresponding scripts for both interpreters and managers in our efforts to control the quality of our performance. Ms. Henry will argue that the use of scripts has the effect of indirectly persuading others to advocate for our optimal performance, as well. This webinar is a resource for interpreters, interpreter trainers, and administrators working to support optimal working conditions.

Session 510

Iana Ianovska

Dispelling Myths for Translators and Interpreters: Spotlight on Ukraine


Iana Ianovskaya was born and grew up in Ukraine. Driven by the desire to affect social change through education, Iana became a teacher of English and German after graduating from Nizhyn State University in Ukraine. Iana later moved to St Petersburg, Russia where she taught English as a foreign language and worked as a freelance interpreter and translator. Having gained insight into the intricacies of intercultural communication, Iana realized she could put her professional command of foreign languages to better use in this field and enrolled at the St. Petersburg School of Conference Interpreting and Translation, Herzen University, Russia. Since then, Iana has been working as an interpreter specializing mainly in psychology, interpreting workshops, courses and therapeutic sessions of prominent Western therapists and psychiatrists. Iana´s ability to interpret in this field is supported by a degree from the Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis. Iana currently resides in Germany and, in addition to interpreting, is providing counseling to people in crisis in four languages through Augsburg Crisis Hotline.

Session Abstract

At this very moment the country of Ukraine is fighting for its very survival - and for the preservation of Western values—such as the right to self-identification and the right to speak their native language—in a war that has ramifications for the whole world. Without language there is no culture, and no people. Today, it is more important than ever to talk about the Ukrainian language and culture - and to correct dangerous misconceptions about the Ukrainian language - including how its oppression in the course of history gave rise to such misconceptions. The presenter believes that raising awareness and educating members of the language access community on this issue will help Ukrainian speakers abroad receive appropriate language access and gain more support for Ukraine.

Session 511

Amanda Wheeler Kay / Piyawee Ruenjinda

Cultural Humility: a Culturally Competent Framework for Translators and Interpreters


Piyawee Ruenjinda works as a qualified Thai/English Health Care interpreter and as a legal interpreter for the Oregon Judicial Department. Being from a community with a language of lesser diffusion, she recognizes inequalities derived from language access and literacy barriers and thrives to be part of the solutions. Piyawee is an active Thai community member in translating and disseminating information—for example, regarding COVID-19, or assistance programs—and helping connect people with services. Her experience in training includes facilitating a cross-cultural communication training program for Thais and non-Thais, recruiting speakers, and coordinating educational travel programs for Americans. Prior to her relocation from Thailand to the US in 2016, Piyawee worked with people from diverse countries and backgrounds in management for private companies, specializing in business operations, quality assurance, and customer services.

Amanda Wheeler-Kay is a Certified Health Care / Community Interpreter who has interpreted in the Portland area since 2007. Learning Spanish as a second language and then working as a bilingual social worker have informed her perspective as an interpreter and educator. She prefers to work in partnership with other language equity advocates and organizations. Collaborations include courses on language equity, improving interpreter skills, best practices for working with interpreters, and the rights of LEP individuals. Amanda is a member of the Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreters, an advisory council to the Oregon Health Authority, and is currently co-chair of their Education and Training Committee. She currently lives in Oregon, her home state.

Session Abstract

Cultural factors matter when providing care to patients and working with colleagues, and we often fail to recognize how our own values and norms impact communication and care. This course gives participants the opportunity to explore their personal values and to consider how they fit in with dominant culture values; proposes the concept of Cultural Humility as a framework for providing “culturally competent” care; and familiarizes participants with the National CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate) Standards; and introduces tools to help envision what culturally and linguistically appropriate services look like. This course includes self-reflective activities, excerpts of presentations from experts in their fields, recent reports and data from credible institutions, and concrete suggestions for continued learning opportunities.

Session 512

Valentin Sanchez

Cultural and Linguistic Issues Related to Representing Indigenous Speakers in Administrative Hearings and in Court


Valentin C. Sanchez is a community educator with the Oregon Law Center’s Farmworker Program. He speaks Mixteco, Spanish and English. He has worked as a farmworker in Mexico and in California and Oregon. He joined the Oregon Law Center in 2002. Valentin provides community education to farmworkers in Oregon and conducts outreach at places where farmworkers live and gather. He has developed radio announcements, outreach materials including sociodramas in Spanish and Mixteco (San Juan Mixtepec) on various topics including pesticide issues. He worked on all three phases of the Prevent and Reduce Adverse Health Effects of Pesticides on Indigenous Farmworkers and is a co-author of several peer-reviewed articles regarding this work. He was instrumental in the design and production of a pesticide video in various indigenous languages including Spanish.

Session Abstract


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