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OSTI 2021


Together Again (from afar)

September 17-19, 2021 - Main Conference

October 1-3, 2021 - Literary Translation Focus Weekend

via Zoom

Conference Main Page

Main Conference - Day 2 (9/18/2021)

Speaker Bios & Session Abstracts

Session 202

Olga Bogatova

Interpreting for Russian-speaking Religious Minorities in Asylum Proceedings


Olga Bogatova is a Russian interpreter and translator based in San Francisco, CA. She is certified as a medical interpreter by both CCHI and NBCMI. In addition, she is a medical interpreter trainer at the Chicago-based non-profit Americans Against Language Barriers. The bulk of her daily work is dedicated to the medical and legal needs of the new Russian-speaking immigrants in California Born and raised near Moscow in Russia, Olga earned her Master's in Biology and Diploma in Translation in 2010, moved to California and started working as a language services provider here. In 2014, Olga earned a Certificate of Health Care Interpreter from City College of San Francisco and became certified two years later. While providing language services to the Russian-speaking community in the Bay Area, she found a great demand for interpreting and translation services amongst recent migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Olga has discussed interpretation at asylum interviews with the local professional community on the platforms provided by NCTA and CIA in 2020.

Session Abstract

The number of asylum claims based on religious persecution has been growing in recent years. The Russian-speaking community in California and on the West Coast includes religious minorities such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, Baptists, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and others who might seek immigration relief. In order to perform at their best during asylum interviews and hearings for individuals, court interpreters must be familiar with the current issues impacting religious freedom in the applicant’s home country, use basic theological and biblical terms appropriately, and be familiar with the customs of the denomination they are interpreting for. This is not an easy task when you meet the respondent only minutes before a hearing or interview starts. At this workshop, we will review: the current legal climate in Russia and government practices relevant to religious claims; the anatomy of a USCIS interview and a respondent's examination during a merits hearing; customs and vocabulary relevant to the five most frequently encountered denominations encountered in court or in asylum offices. This workshop is intended both for the Russian community and court interpreters as well as interpreters of other languages who would like to learn more about working with religious minorities in asylum proceedings.

Session 203

Christopher Cardona

Impartial Interpreting for the ASL LGBT Community


Christopher Cardona is a Nationally Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CoreCHI), an Associate Member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, a Professional Member of the American Alliance of Professional Translators and Interpreters, the owner of C4 Communication ASL Interpreter Referral Service, and is currently working as an interpreter and instructor at the collegiate level in Southern California. He has earned a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, a Graduate Certificate in American History, two certificates from Harvard School of Education. He is currently taking a course in Oral Traditions in ASL at Gallaudet University, and is earning a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Christopher has presented workshops for the National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Session Abstract

Are you able to provide effective and accurate ASL interpreting for everyone? The need to serve diverse populations is increasing, as are professional practices that require certain sensitivities, and interpreters who can maintain impartiality. We cannot ignore the role impartiality plays when interpreting for people from various backgrounds. Whether we disagree with the client or we want to advocate for the client, the interpreter must walk the fine line of impartiality. How do we accomplish that? Interpreters will receive hands-on practice with various scenarios wherein they will be interpreting for a member of the LGBT Community in various settings. As a result, interpreters will be able to better identify areas where impartiality may be a challenge. Interpreters will leave with tools for self-reflection, as well as ASL terminology frequently used in the LGBT Community.

Session 204

Mamen Delgado

Pon en Forma tu Voz. Cuidados esenciales / Voice Essentials: Caring for Your Voice as an Interpreter


En la actualidad colaboro como Mentora de Voz y Comunicación Escénica en TEDxTorrelodones y Startup Weekend Madrid, y en el programa EMPRENDE de RTVE ayudando a emprendedores a mejorar sus discursos del ascensor y presentaciones ante clientes e inversores. Durante once años he sido la voz institucional de Telefónica I+D para contestadores, conversor de voz y vídeos internos, con más de 500 servicios grabados en la compañía. Enamorada de mi profesión como locutora de publicidad y actriz de doblaje, he colaborado con mi voz en vídeos corporativos para Peugeot, Iberia, Ericsson, Indra, OHL, Endesa, DIA, Clinique, Fundación MAPFRE, Fundación Telefónica… Y multitud de otras grandes y pequeñitas empresas. Mis más de 20 años de experiencia en locuciones, doblaje, radio y televisión me dan un amplio abanico de recursos para llevarte hacia el éxito con tus habilidades comunicativas.

Session Abstract

En esta presentación, examinamos hábitos saludables para el cuidado de tu voz como en tu trabajo.

Session 205


Networking with OSTI for Translators and Interpreters

Session Abstract

Sponsored by OSTI board and conference committee members, this session provides information and professional support for both translators and interpreters.

Session 207

Dr. Gabriel González-Núñez

The Ethics of Translating and Interpreting for the Least Among Us: The Why and How of It


Dr. González Núñez is an Associate Professor of Translation. He is also the Executive Consultant of the Translation & Interpreting Office in the areas of Legal and Institutional Translation and Interpreting. He is a former director of UTRGV’s Translation and Interpreting Programs. He has published books and articles with highly reputable journals and publishers in his field. He holds a BA in Spanish Translation, a JD, an MA in Translation and Intercultural Studies, and a PhD in Translation Studies. At KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven), he was a Marie Curie Actions Fellow who carried out research into the role of translation policy in the integration of linguistic minorities. He has also worked as a lawyer, translator, interpreter, language teacher, and sports broadcaster. He was born in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Session Abstract

Translation and interpreting are often overlooked as elements in helping to realize the promises of democracy in protecting the most vulnerable. Even so, within Translation Studies, some scholars have begun assessing the role of translation and interpreting as an integral part of creating more equitable and inclusive societies. This paper will deal with the role of translation and interpreting precisely as a means to protect linguistic minorities, which can be considered vulnerable elements of society. It will address how translation and interpreting are theorized as a tool that helps provide language access in multilingual, democratic societies. Then it will deal with matters of implementation, specifically by considering the challenges of turning this theory into a reality, which range from public attitudes to professionalization of the service. The paper will conclude with considerations of the road ahead in order to better integrate translation and interpreting as part of helping “the least among us.”

Session 208

Amanda Wheeler-Kay & Piyawee Ruenjinda

Advocacy and Ethics in Health Care Interpreting in the Context of Systemic Racism


Amanda Wheeler-Kay is a Certified Health Care / Community Interpreter in Spanish/English who has interpreted in the Portland area since 2007. She has also worked for several years as an educator creating and teaching workshops, often in collaboration with other language equity advocates and organizations. Topics include language equity, improving interpreter skills, best practices for working with interpreters, and the rights of LEP individuals. Amanda previously worked as a bilingual social worker for multiple agencies including Child Welfare and North Clackamas School District, and as Executive Director for Los Niños Cuentan, a small local non-profit supporting Latino survivors of domestic violence. She has served on the board of the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine clinic and is a current board member of Nuevas Sonrisas. Amanda is a member of the Health Care Interpreter Advisory Council and is currently co-chair of their Education and Training Committee. She currently lives in Oregon, her home state, but has also lived in Washington DC and El Salvador.

Piyawee Ruenjinda is a registered Thai/English interpreter with the Oregon Health Authority and 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 strives to be part of the solutions. Piyawee is active in the Thai community as a translator and in disseminating information—for example, regarding COVID-19, or assistance programs—and also helps 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. 

Session Abstract

The National Code of Ethics for Healthcare Interpreters states: “When the patient’s health, well-being, or dignity is at risk, the interpreter may be justified in acting as an advocate.” Advocacy is understood as an action taken on behalf of an individual that goes beyond facilitating communication with the intention of supporting good health outcomes. Conversations about ethics and advocacy in health care interpreting rarely consider the risks to a patient from micro-aggressions, patient inexperience with or ignorance of health care systems and structural racism. This participatory course will dive into the dominant cultural values that guide patient/provider interactions and how structural racism is embedded into the US medical cultural. Participants will identify values from their respective cultures/communities and how these elements might present potential risks to patient health and well-being. We will discuss what advocacy looks like in this context and create and practice strategies.

Session 210

Ana Soler

One Training Does Not Fit All: Special Considerations for Training Speakers of Languages of Lesser-Diffusion


Ana Soler is the Chairperson of the National Accreditation of Educational Translators and Interpreters of Spoken Languages (NAETISL: https://naetisl.org/) and Founder of SeSo, Inc., a source of qualified and trained interpreters, and cultural humility - family engagement workshops for school districts. She completed her degree in Social Work at Georgia State University, her Master’s Degree in Public Health at Emory University, and is a Ph.D. in Special Education student at the University of Georgia. For over a decade, Ana worked with the largest school district in Georgia as the Language Services and Parent Outreach Coordinator, developing, implementing and evaluating professional development opportunities for multilingual personnel, as well as discovering endless opportunities to engage multilingual families in their children’s education. Ana has authored interpreter training curricula nationally including the Intercultural Parent and Youth Leadership Program, the Interpretation Academy for Bilingual High School Students, the Arkansas Interpreter in Education Credential Training, a 40-hour course for medical interpreters, and online courses for the University of Georgia, including the Professional Interpreter in Education Certificate course and the Professional Interpreter in Special Education Certificate course. Ana hopes to continue identifying ways to highlight the cultural wealth of multilingual families while supporting schools to strengthen cultural and linguistic bridges.

Session Abstract

Speakers of languages of lesser diffusion are often underrepresented in interpreter trainings. Barriers to language access and language justice in smaller language communities are equally important and relevant, and interpreter trainers must make a conscious effort to adapt their content and ensure that all multilingual participants feel welcomed and valued. This presentation will provide an overview of methods utilized to conduct a successful interpreter training with the Marshallese community in Arkansas and the strategies implemented to create a community-driven initiative, shift the goals of the sessions to the needs of the participants, and create a capstone project to benefit future Marshallese interpreters. Lessons learned, success stories, areas of improvement and suggestions for planning, implementation and evaluation of trainings will be shared with the goal of increasing meaningful training opportunities for speakers of languages of lesser diffusion.

Session 211

Felicity Ratway

Medical Marijuana for Interpreters


Felicity Ratway holds a Master’s degree in Interpreting and Translation Studies and has been working as an interpreter in Oregon since 2015. Felicity is a Certified Medical Interpreter through NBCMI and the Oregon Health Authority, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Health to support her work in advancing health equity for Oregonians who rely on language access services. In addition to her work as an interpreter, Felicity has experience teaching interpreters, drafting language access policies and procedures, and creating training for medical staff working with interpreters. She has advocated on behalf of legislation supporting interpreters and the communities they serve in the last three legislative sessions (2019, 2020, and 2021). Felicity is a member of the Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreters (OCHCI) and a founding member of Oregon Interpreters in Action.

Session Abstract

Marijuana is now legal for medical use in the majority of states in the U.S. and is growing in popularity as a treatment for a plethora of medical conditions, often as an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals. As the use of medical marijuana becomes more common, it is essential for interpreters to familiarize themselves with this treatment option. This course will give a history of the use of medical marijuana in the US, cover conditions that may be treated with medical marijuana, describe different marijuana products that may be used in the medical setting, and review related terminology for interpreters to know in appointments where medical marijuana is being discussed or prescribed as a treatment option. Interpreters who complete this CEU will leave more familiar with medical marijuana and better prepared to interpret when it comes up in an appointment.

Session 213

Becca Hardwick

The Art of Transcription


Becca Hardwick began her transcription career in 2010, when she worked as a personal historian.

Transcribing interviews with local residents for the South Thurston Historical Society in the small town of Tenino, Washington opened her eyes to the field of transcription and its importance. She has also collaborated with Pacific Northwest authors on an anthology of health and healing stories, once again transcribing interviews. Becca has experience in the field of medical transcription, working with an integrative doctor who practices in Yelm, Washington. She currently transcribes teachings for a spiritual school, Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment.

Session Abstract

Transcribing as a form of documentation has been around since ancient times, and is still highly relevant today. As early as 3400 BCE, scribes would train in hieroglyphics and scripts in order to become employed in Roman and Egyptian times. The art of transcription is more than just getting the words on the page. It is an important field to prepare written documents for archival purposes, for use in books, or for translating. This presentation will explore the origins of transcribing, its significance in various fields today, and its potential future. We will investigate why it’s an art, how it relates to translating, and whether or not it is a dying field in a world of advancing technology.

Session 214

Svetlana Ruth

Best Practices for Ethical Dilemmas


Svetlana Ruth is a Certified Medical Interpreter - Russian (NBCMI and OHA) and a Licensed Interpreters’ Trainer since 2017. Her interpreting career started in 1994 working for The Peace Corps in Latvia and she became a medical interpreter in 2015. Svetlana has offered 11 interpreter training courses to date as well as multiple workshops, seminars, and presentations. She is passionate about advocating and promoting career development for interpreters.

Session Abstract

Through guided discussions and sharing experiences brought by participants and the presenter, participants will gain insight into the best practices based on Ethical Principles.


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