Brand the Interpreter

Season 6 Finale with Host Mireya Pérez

December 29, 2023 Mireya Perez Season 6 Episode 107
Season 6 Finale with Host Mireya Pérez
Brand the Interpreter
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Brand the Interpreter
Season 6 Finale with Host Mireya Pérez
Dec 29, 2023 Season 6 Episode 107
Mireya Perez

As your guide through the intricate world of language and interpretation, I, Mireya Pérez, extend a warm invitation to join an auditory expedition into the heart of our profession on the Brand the Interpreter Podcast. This season's tapestry weaves emotional self-care with Francisca "Mana" Hoce's wisdom, historical dives into the deaf community's technological strides, and the labyrinths of Indigenous languages with Eulogio Espinoza. Together, we've navigated the personal and systemic; from the rebranding of patients in healthcare to the cold touch of AI on our field, each narrative thread is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of interpreters.

Prepare to challenge your perceptions as we dissect the poisonous mantras that threaten to undermine our self-worth within the interpreting landscape. We shed light on the shadows of doubt that can envelop even the most seasoned professionals, advocating for paths paved with authenticity. The saga of La Malinche unfolds, beckoning us to explore the interpreters' place in history, while the urgent narrative of human trafficking demands our attention, highlighting the interpreter's role in this global fight. These conversations are more than discussions—they are calls to action, reminders of the weight our words carry, and the importance we must place on understanding and sharing our own history.

As Season 6 draws to a close, I express deep gratitude for the stories shared and the communal growth fostered. The anticipation for Season 7's transformation is palpable, with promises of a renewed format and dynamic production to enrich your listening experience. So, as we bid farewell to this chapter, remember to subscribe for the upcoming season and immerse yourself in the narratives that bind us, inspire us, and remind us of our collective journey in the vast world of language and interpretation.

Thanks for tuning in, till next time! 👋

Connect with Mireya Pérez, Host
www.brandtheinterpreter.com
Facebook
LinkedIn
Instagram

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As your guide through the intricate world of language and interpretation, I, Mireya Pérez, extend a warm invitation to join an auditory expedition into the heart of our profession on the Brand the Interpreter Podcast. This season's tapestry weaves emotional self-care with Francisca "Mana" Hoce's wisdom, historical dives into the deaf community's technological strides, and the labyrinths of Indigenous languages with Eulogio Espinoza. Together, we've navigated the personal and systemic; from the rebranding of patients in healthcare to the cold touch of AI on our field, each narrative thread is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of interpreters.

Prepare to challenge your perceptions as we dissect the poisonous mantras that threaten to undermine our self-worth within the interpreting landscape. We shed light on the shadows of doubt that can envelop even the most seasoned professionals, advocating for paths paved with authenticity. The saga of La Malinche unfolds, beckoning us to explore the interpreters' place in history, while the urgent narrative of human trafficking demands our attention, highlighting the interpreter's role in this global fight. These conversations are more than discussions—they are calls to action, reminders of the weight our words carry, and the importance we must place on understanding and sharing our own history.

As Season 6 draws to a close, I express deep gratitude for the stories shared and the communal growth fostered. The anticipation for Season 7's transformation is palpable, with promises of a renewed format and dynamic production to enrich your listening experience. So, as we bid farewell to this chapter, remember to subscribe for the upcoming season and immerse yourself in the narratives that bind us, inspire us, and remind us of our collective journey in the vast world of language and interpretation.

Thanks for tuning in, till next time! 👋

Connect with Mireya Pérez, Host
www.brandtheinterpreter.com
Facebook
LinkedIn
Instagram

Speaker 1:

It's the last episode of the year here at Brand the Interpreter Podcast, and what that means is a year in recap of all the amazing guests that we've had on the show this 2023. What I do is take the highlights of my conversations with the guests and put them all in a bite-sized production just for you. It's actually one of my favorite things to do at the end of the year, because it helps remind me about all the great conversations that I had throughout the year and in the end, it becomes this collage of interpreter challenges, insights, growth, learning experiences. It basically forms a story, our story, the story of language professionals from different corners of the world all in one platform. I began 2023 with wanting to kick off the year with interpreter self-care, and for that I invited Francisca, or Manna as her friend's caller Osez with mindful interpreting. Take a listen.

Speaker 2:

My teacher, mr Juan Curilem, which I really appreciate. So shout out to you, mr Juan, if you ever listen to this. So he taught us a way in which we didn't necessarily need to be identified with the speaker or with the character. We didn't need to be identified so it isn't myself, but I could be as if I was the person. I think that has protected a lot of my mental health, because if you say to yourself, okay, this is going to be as if I was this person, but I'm not actually this person. I have my own things, but I'm going to be as if I was this person. So this person is upset, she's angry, or he is worried because of some health outcome, or you don't know actually, but if you present yourself as a person that is available, that is willing to receive that message, then you can portray it.

Speaker 1:

I don't think I have ever gone an episode without me myself having learned something throughout the conversation with the guest. So I share the episodes and the conversations with you in hopes that you also encounter the same experience, that is, that you too also encounter some level of growth or some level of higher understanding about a topic that maybe yesterday you didn't know much about. The episode the linguistic minority with Sarah Baker, also taking place at the beginning of this year, is an example of such a moment in which my mind expanded because I learned just a little bit more about the deaf community.

Speaker 3:

I remember when I lived in New Jersey that's where I was born and my mom had brought me over to my quote unquote aunt Charlotte's house and aunt Charlotte was deaf, and so we were in her apartment and we were there just visiting, enjoying some snacks, coffee, etc. And I remember sitting there on her couch and this was probably back in the early 2000s, so perhaps 2002 and on her couch I was sitting and all of a sudden the room just lights up. Where the lamp is flashing, next to me, the TV is flashing and I thought what in the world, what is this? And she reaches for her remote and she presses a button and an interpreter pops up on her television screen and, of course, me being about 11 years old at the time, I was thinking whoa, what is this?

Speaker 3:

So that was her video phone call, and back in the early 2000s, that's how deaf people were able to communicate on the telephone. So it was brand new technology at the time. In the early 2000s, video phones, or, as we call them, vps, were being installed in deaf homes. So that's how she was able to have access, to be able to communicate via telephone. So I believe it was a call that came in and saying her prescription was ready for pickup at the pharmacy or something like that. So yeah, that was my first exposure to what's called video relay service. So instead of hearing the phone ringing, you can see the lights blinking. That's part of deaf culture. That's how they do it at home. That's where a teacher can flick the lights in the classroom to get the student's attention. A nurse walking into a deaf patient's hospital room can flick the light switch in order for the deaf patient to look toward the door.

Speaker 1:

In 2023, I invited Eulogio Spinoza to speak about Indigenous interpreting. Here's a highlight of that conversation.

Speaker 4:

The Mistecco language, the one I do there's a lot more variant. If those that have heard about Mistecco, they often may be hear about Mistecco Alto, mistecco Bajo, mistecco de la Costa or Mistecco de Guerrero. So that's only four variants, right, but the reality is there's about more than 86 variants of the Mistecco language and it's not a one-size-fits-all, so one Mistecco is not going to be compatible with all those 86 variants. So categorizing the language goes back to the anthropologist that went to Oaxaca and there was the one that categorized it. We don't have the map to show you right now but there's sort of the upper higher which would north west. I guess that would be sort of the Mistecco Bajo and then sort of to the central south of Oaxaca. That would be what is known as Alto. But even then the community of the south don't call their Mistecco Bajo or Mistecco Alto. And when they do call or mention their Mistecco being Bajo, that was because either someone else have already told them that that is their language. But the reality is their Mistecco is going to be from their hometown or from their district. For example, my Mistecco is considered as Mistecco Bajo. But the way I always say is I speak Mistecco from somewhat penis.

Speaker 4:

Here in the US we call them tribes or nation tribal nations, and in Mexico we call them as indigenous groups. We don't use the word tribe. So the Mistecco is the region is in Oaxaca, guerrero and in Puebla, so it covers quite some space around that area. So we aren't direct descendant of the Nawaz or the Aztecs, but rather they were a different indigenous group, although the Aztecs did conquer most of the south of Mexico, what we know as Mexico today, and so they did, I guess, essentially conquer the Mistecco and most of Oaxaca. But we are a different indigenous group from them. So after enough we hear in Mexico, or all the Mexicans, they're proud to be Aztecs, and although that is true for most. But there are different other groups of indigenous in Mexico.

Speaker 1:

This year I also had the incredible opportunity to speak with a team of doctors from Seattle Children's Hospital. Authors of the commentary. Language matters why we should reconsider the term limited English proficiency. I remember concluding that conversation feeling very enlightened and feeling full, and what I mean by that is, you know, that feeling of satisfaction when you eat a delicious and good meal and you're just happy and full. That's how I felt, but for my mind. My mind felt full and satisfied. I had the opportunity to have such great guests on the show and be able to fill my mind with even more knowledge.

Speaker 6:

You know, when we focus in that way on limitations, it changes the way we think about what we as the clinicians are sort of doing.

Speaker 6:

Right, it makes it seem like they need something extra and different from me, rather than it being part of that normal frame where, rather than it actually being about like, well, I don't speak Vietnamese, so, just like I'm not a cardiologist and if I need cardiology expertise, I'm going to, you know, talk with my cardiologist colleagues who have specialized knowledge and training in that field, right.

Speaker 6:

And similarly, if I have a family that speaks Vietnamese, then I need to actually pull in a colleague with specialized training for that. But that's not how we think about it. When we frame the family as being limited, that makes it seem like, well, they're lacking something and then, well, there's something I could do extra to try to address that, but I'll do it if I have time or I'll do it if you know, but it's going to put me out Right. And so I think there's a really important way and we don't think about like none of it's conscious, but I think there are really important ways that when we're framing it as like a real deficit in the family, it changes our whole relationship to how we respond to it?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I was just going to add to that that that is felt and experienced by our patients and their families too. Like they feel, then, that they are the ones that are deficient, that they aren't bringing something to the table and that because of that that they aren't going to get good enough care, and that is really negative. You know, that perpetuates challenges in providing excellent care, because they're perceiving our deficiency as their deficiency, because we've created a system that makes them perceive that, and part of why changing the system level of how we approach this is so important, because it's not just me changing the words I use or Dr Yeboah changing the words she uses. It's actually changing how we as a system approach patients who speak languages other than English, so that the deficiency isn't internalized by them when they are receiving care in our institutions.

Speaker 6:

The thing that I would add on to that is that actually part of the process of changing the language that's used throughout Seattle Children's from LEP to language other than English involved talking to community members and they told us these things right. They told us, yes, it feels stigmatizing, it feels bad, it feels like I'm a burden, and we were then able to run by and probably jumping the gun here, but we were able to run by a number of different alternate terminologies and get community input and I think that's just such a crucial piece of understanding, like what we say about patients and families. They hear and they feel, and we hear and we feel, and it changes everything about how we interact with them.

Speaker 1:

Advocacy for language justice is a career in and of itself. This year, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr Bill Rivers. He shared with us more about his career trajectory and, of course, about his language access efforts.

Speaker 7:

People who want to discriminate are not dumb enough to do it. You know disparate treatment. They're not dumb enough to come right out and say it right but they'll say oh well, you have to be, you know.

Speaker 7:

So the the the way disparate impact actually evolved as illegal doctrine is in my memory At least. I could be mistaken, I'm a linguist, not lawyer. Could be mistating us is that once the civil rights act was passed, and there were also gender discrimination provisions in there too, fire departments and police departments would say, oh, you have to be five foot nine to apply, or you have to be able to do X number of pull-ups to apply. Well, who does that discriminate against? And it's women, right, because the average woman is several inches shorter than the average man and most women can't do the same number of pull-ups that a man can. So there was other case law from the Supreme Court that said no, you can't. You can't hide your discrimination by coming up with some broader category. That's disparate impact. Disparate treatment is when you single out a category. Disparate impact is when you come up with some overall term or some some mechanism to discriminate. Not providing language access is generally disparate impact.

Speaker 7:

And what the Clinton executive order did is, it said if it's disparate treatment, you can sue whoever's saying no, irish need apply, but it's disparate impact. You have to go file a civil rights complaint with the cognizant regional office of civil rights. So if this entity is funded by the Department of Education, you file with the regional Department of Education office of civil rights. Or if it's, if it's a medical you know, if it's funded by Medicare and Medicaid etc. Then you file with the regional DHHS office of civil rights.

Speaker 7:

Now that has a good side and a bad side. The bad side is that a lot of immigrant folks may not know their rights, may not know how to Assert their rights and may not not know how to file a complaint, or they may not want to, as we talked before, may not want to file a complaint with the government. That's the downside. The upside is and this was explained to me by the Attorney General of the state of Maryland at the time when I was doing a statewide needs assessment and was Talking this through with him and my salad days I was much younger and and he says well, you know, and I was, why can't I sue if?

Speaker 7:

If it's disparate impacts? Well, if you, if it's disparate treatment, you can, you know, sue as much as you want. How much money you got, you're gonna sue the state of Maryland. How much money you got, how long can you last? But if you file a civil rights complaint, the federal government's gonna investigate and sue the state of Maryland and and that means there will be a settlement right, because the federal government has essentially limitless Investigatory and and litigation resources this year I also had the amazing opportunity To speak with professor Holly Mickelson.

Speaker 1:

Here's a clip of our conversation.

Speaker 9:

As far as translation goes, machine translation has really made a difference and it hasn't eliminated human translators. I don't think that voice recognition and machine Artificial intelligence is going to replace interpreters either. I think it's going to change the settings in which interpreting takes place. It's going to change how interpreters do their jobs, but there's always going to be a need for human input, especially with the varieties of language that Community interpreters deal with.

Speaker 9:

You're dealing with people from all over in our case, the Spanish speaking world, people who have not had a strong formal education, who speak non-standard language, and it's harder for artificial intelligence, I think, to to figure that kind of thing out. It does. I mean, it is amazing how much artificial intelligence can do and it's just getting better and better. I think Google translate and Deep-L and all those machine translation products have improved tremendously, but they still need some human input. So I'm glad it's making the humans more productive and it's spreading accessibility. So I think it's a good thing, but we have to adapt and people have to Be in on the ground floor to make sure that it is used properly and not abused.

Speaker 1:

The beauty about our profession is that there are many different angles through which we can focus on and expand on what we do. This next clip is from the episode entitled communicative equity with Dr Dominic Ledesma.

Speaker 8:

But one of the ways that I saw myself as a trained language professional, but also in a in a degree program for educational leadership, was, like I was thinking, is that we also need, you know, empirical research.

Speaker 8:

We also need empirical research, and this is one way that I saw myself being able to contribute something To our profession and the work that still needs to get done. And so but don't get me wrong, though like the purpose of seeing Research or this, this or this dissertation, you know, as a way to do that, the purpose is not to intellectualize the profession. The purpose is to be able to Look at these issues from a different way, to refine our language what do we call that? When that happens, or how can we talk about this? And embedded within there, it's not just about developing new terms, but really trying to be able to articulate the strategies that can work and lead toward more bi-directional, equitable communications and bilateral relations between English dominant and non English dominant populations, in particular in public serving institutions, where language access policy mandates are a real thing and apply here's Jesse Lu on the episode.

Speaker 1:

A respected profession.

Speaker 10:

Well, I feel that a lot of us who are in this profession Is that we realize how impactful and how powerful the result of our work can be. It not only bridges the gap, it really it empowers people, because we send information along with the language and we sent meaning along. So, given this importance and this trust, it is not to be taken lightly and Obviously. When we work in this profession, when we give our time, when we Spend time to make sure we are always Up to date with what is happening around us in our community, and we spent time to make sure that we're always sharpened with our language skills, we deserve to be paid well and we deserve the respect.

Speaker 10:

You know, I don't appreciate how people don't understand what our jobs entail. They think that we are somehow because we speak two languages and they just tell us tell me what this one says, tell me what that says. No, I cannot tell you what it says, not without reading it first. It's almost like people don't understand how we work and I wish there could be more efforts in educating the public, making sure they understand that we're not walking dictionaries. We are human and we are extremely talented human beings. And not only we're extremely talented. We have a big heart.

Speaker 1:

I was blown away by the determination of this next guest this year of becoming an interpreter despite the fact that she was born blind. Take a listen.

Speaker 11:

Number one cut through the red tape at the testing centers and make sure that people get the accommodations they asked for as close as you can get. So, for instance, another totally blind friend of mine in the field of computer science had indicated to the testing agency okay, I need a reader to sit at the computer and read me the written test and click the mouse. He showed up and they said, oh, we've got a great big monitor for you and he said I'm totally blind, it's not gonna help me.

Speaker 11:

So he'd probably already paid the testing fee and ended up having to cancel last minute because the inappropriate accommodations were in place. The testing centers make me take a picture of a Braille tablet or a Braille display or something that I am much more, as I say, efficient at using, and they see a keyboard they don't recognize and they say, oh, you can't use this. So the testing centers need to educate themselves about what is out there, about the fact that most Braille displays are slave devices, which means they plug into a computer and work through a screen reader. Nowadays some Braille displays have a scratchpad function, but again there's a way to turn that off. So that's huge. I actually know of a fellow interpreter who requested a reader and I don't know how they got Armenian interpreter out of reader, but this very nice Armenian interpreter ended up reading her the test. You know, if I had my druthers, I would love testing centers to have screen reading technology on board that was kept up to date, at at least one computer per regional site at a minimum. Same for magnification software, same for if a dyslexic person needs Kurzweil 3000, a scan and read program. You know, whatever People, just they need to try to learn about what's out there and that.

Speaker 11:

No, I am not going to go into a testing environment and try to cheat or something.

Speaker 11:

That's just not who I am and I understand the logic of why certain technologies are not allowed in, but if people you know, after I took the certification exam, for instance, someone was able to take it with an iPad and I said, wait a minute, that's not entirely fair because I was made to bring in a slight and stylus.

Speaker 11:

Yeah, so that's the huge piece. The other piece, which I actually had the pleasure and honor to participate in in the beginning, was one of the folks who was really in charge of the CNI NBCMI exam, reached out to me and said could you help talk us through? You know, could you get to know these other candidates with visual impairment, see what they're going to need, and we'll schedule a time and you, I and the candidate will meet and we'll talk through potential accommodations. And I did get to help a few people and that was really amazing. That's amazing, but I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to deal with a testing center, not just a proctor the proctor were really great but the actual overseeing testing agency, like Prometric or something, and they don't have a clue what I need.

Speaker 1:

This year's most downloaded episode belongs to Dr Jonathan Downey, with the episode entitled Thriving as an Interpreter Amid AI Advancements. Here's a clip of that conversation.

Speaker 12:

So I got to I'm struggling with my mental health, panic stations, you know, big red light. Oops, this is trouble. And it was the fear of having poor mental health that was keeping me in the pit that I was in this time. I realized, okay, I've been kind of here before, this isn't fun. And I did all the blaming myself fairly quickly you know, you must be a bad interpreter blah, blah, blah. And then I came out to well, what do I do? You know, I can sit and stay in my bed again if I want, on holiday, but what do I do with this? You know, what am I actually needing to pray for? What am I actually needing to work through? And a lot of it was in counselling. I realized that, a lot of stuff that I had. So in counselling you talk about your critical voice I had internalized a lot of beliefs that simply weren't true. And I had also. I realized in counselling and also just in thinking I had internalized this is what a successful interpreter looks like, and if I'm not, that I must not be good. And kind of to widen this out, I recently wrote an article for a magazine in Germany called the Falka de Courier.

Speaker 12:

It's their conference interpreters association, where I talk about the toxic sayings that we have in interpreting, such as if you're good, the work will come Really. So we have forgotten about basic economics. Now have we? A good interpreter is fully booked Really, or things like you know. There's all sorts of things like you know. If you don't live in a certain conference city, then it's your fault if you're not getting work Really. You have to choose to live in the right place for your work Really, and so we create a culture.

Speaker 12:

I don't know so much about other forms of interpreting, but I've encountered cultures. I've encountered really supportive interpreters. But I've also encountered a culture in parts of conference interpreting where people are blamed for their own weaknesses, and I came across an article recently that said if you're feeling imposter syndrome, it means nothing to do with you, it means that you're in a hostile environment. Oh, wow. And suddenly I realised well, if I'm feeling like I'm doing rubbish at this, it probably says. It maybe says something about me because I don't have whatever the skills and I can get those skills, but it doesn't say anything about my value as a person. If I'm allowing my external circumstances to affect my value as a person, it means that I've started believing a bunch of nonsense that I'm allowing to frame my experience, and some of it was we all have internalised toxic beliefs that we've picked up. You don't grow up as a human and not in internalised toxic beliefs.

Speaker 12:

There's a saying I heard someone say recently your kids are going to go to therapy, at least make sure they have interesting stories. It's not in the negative view of parenting, but there we go. But let's assume that we've all internalised some critical voice, toxic thinking, somewhere. Well, that means that we can. Two people can see the same circumstance and see it completely differently, and we can tell people these are the decisions that you have to make to succeed as an interpreter.

Speaker 12:

Or we can ask why is our profession so heavily weighted towards a certain kind of career and a certain kind of person? If, for example, you want to be in a city that isn't massively expensive and you want to have children, confidence interpreting seems to try to push you away from that kind of thinking. So are there opportunities outside of the big cities? The answer is yes, but that means that you have to do something that's not the same as everyone else is doing, and I realized the standard conference interpreter career path of Move to Paris, brussels, washington, work for the big governments and institutions was never going to be me and I had to pick a career path that was about me, that was going to suit for me.

Speaker 12:

And that didn't mean that I was wrong or that I was a bad interpreter. It just meant this is who I am. And I think the more I realized that a lot of the things that we say about interpreting are actually toxic, the more I realized I can build this my way. I don't have to do it that way, because that way is for a certain kind of interpreting in a certain kind of city, in a certain kind of life. That's not the life I want to live and that's OK. We'll create a new path.

Speaker 1:

For episode number 97 of the podcast, I had the opportunity to invite Tarenca Manguino all the way from Mexico City, and in this episode I learned about the story of La Malinche. Take a listen.

Speaker 13:

Well, la Malinche was my booth mate during the pandemic At least, that's how I like to see her because it somehow the pandemic coincided with the 500 anniversary of the fall of Mexico City, which back then it was called Tenochtitlan, and a lot of conferences, a lot of books and many, many, many events were organized around this moment in Mexican history. But the figure, the star of all of all of this efforts, was the interpreter of Cortez. So, as a Mexican, malinche well, that's how she was called for a long time, and it even led to an insult. It led to a concept, a verb, so she became somehow like the epitome of how Mexicans relate with foreign cultures. So, being a Malinche is someone who prefers what comes from abroad than what you find in your country, and this is a concept that you find in every country that has gone through a colonization process. So it's very interesting as a phenomenon, but I've always felt very uncomfortable that an interpreter, the name of an interpreter, is an insult in my language. So, but before that moment, I just had that thought cross my mind, but I didn't research much about her until then that I started noticing and sharing in social media. Oh look, they're going to talk about Cortez's interpreter. How interesting.

Speaker 13:

And then colleagues started sharing with me resources that they found along the way and I ended up having a very long list of resources movies, documentaries, novels about her and it was fascinating to see that her story tells the story of our profession and it is very easy to relate to her choices and there are very serious researchers that have analyzed her choices as a woman, as a historical character, but not necessarily from the standpoint of an interpreter. So I found it very interesting that in all of this conversations you had anthropologists, you had a specialist in many areas of social sciences, but not a single interpreter in those specialized panels. So I started feeling like this is unfair. Why are we not represented in this conversation? But then I realized how fascinating that all of these people have spent their lives, years of their lives and many hours researching what an interpreter did 500 years ago. So I decided, ok, probably it's not that this is unfair. This is a great opportunity to learn about our profession and to understand how people see us and what we have not managed to explain about what we do. These people are doing it for us and everything I would hear about the description of this woman were praises, adjectives of wonder, intelligence. It was like, wow, they're talking about us and they admire everything she did.

Speaker 13:

And she was not described as a traitor, which is what this insult means in Spanish. So you give preference to the foreign culture that came after what we had. So and then, since this was serious research, they told us the story about why it became an insult. And it happened with the independence, because the independence movement in Mexico. Well, what they wanted was to detach completely from Spain and what they needed was an image, a character, someone who would represent closeness to Spain, and that was the perfect match the Cortez's interpreter. So, after 200 years of Malin, since then, her name became an insult, but she didn't notice. And it was part of this strategy, political campaigning against what Spain meant back then and what the new government or the new idea of a country was planning to do, which was create something new. And they needed a landmark.

Speaker 13:

Exactly exactly. So if it worked 500 years ago, why not? Well, of course, we are not going to be blamed for our mistakes, but we were professionals. You need professional interpreters to make interpreting work and she was, I would say, the proto professional, the first professional interpreter that we had in Mexico, and I was not told about her story when I studied, and that was that. It's shameful, because we have a tremendous story to tell and I believe that the future of our profession also depends on how good we tell our story and how well we describe what happens in the background, in the backstage, because people don't know, they only see us opening our mouths and it looks pretty easy and we haven't managed to describe how complex it is.

Speaker 13:

So I think that there are many researchers, many, many resources out there that describe Malinche in a way that we haven't managed to do the same at that level of detail. It doesn't matter if they don't describe the interpreting process as we do, but it's there and they respect her. She has a very special place and she has even become the symbol of social movements, like in the US she represents I will have to use more of your time to define but, for example, the Chicano movement. For them, malinche represents their experience and how they feel in the middle of two countries, and you come from one culture, you acquire a second one, but you are in the middle. So she represents even a movement, a generation that it's very far from when she existed, and she's an interpreter. So we interpreters represent a lot and we haven't been able to at least not me.

Speaker 13:

Probably I'm generalizing and that is unfair, but I think that we could start using those descriptions of our profession and listen. So what I learned from that experience was that I needed to listen and then I would decide what to do with this information. But it's fascinating to see how our profession is described. And we didn't ask for it. No one told this people. Hey, this is a very interesting story, you should explore it. No, no, no. Her story is fascinating enough to keep inspire people after 500 years, and I think it's just a start, because she has inspired so many, so many people to keep on learning and rewriting the story of what really happened. Well, I don't know if it's possible to 100%, but at least there are resources and she is everywhere and she was highly regarded 500 years ago and we today, interpreters, are not as highly regarded as she was. So we might learn a lot from her story and just feel that gap because we haven't changed that much.

Speaker 1:

This year I also had the opportunity to invite Professor Bruce Adelson bringing into the conversation non-discrimination laws, but with the specific focus in the field of education. Here's a clip from that conversation.

Speaker 14:

It's the same as in many different situations in life. Sometimes people will be interested in what you have to say. Sometimes people won't give a blank what you have to say and OK, well then, what do you do? And, as you know, I'm a big advocacy person. I'm a big believer in you. The rights that we have don't exist unless we use them.

Speaker 14:

Now, not everybody knows what the rights are, and I understand that.

Speaker 14:

That's a challenge too, but I would challenge folks, particularly in the education setting, that we're dealing with children and, as parents or guardians, we need to be involved with what's happening in our kids' schools. Conversely, the school districts, the teachers, the administrators If I'm a teacher and I'm sitting in a conference with a 12-year-old and a parent who doesn't speak English, you would think that something would click in my head that wait a minute. He's not speaking English, so how he can't understand what I'm saying. You would think that I would like to think that there are teachers who actively feel that way. But sometimes it's a matter of going to the board of education and even going to individual members of the school board and telling them you get $5 million a year for the federal government. You are required to provide X. You don't do that and we have a large LEP population who speaks Tagalog, who speaks Spanish, who speak Italian, but we're not addressing that and we need to. So sometimes you can get a larger conversation going just by doing it that way.

Speaker 1:

Season six also brought us the episode entitled the dark side of interpreting. In it we delve into the realm of human trafficking, and this particular guest, Richard Aviles, talks about what it's like interpreting for such cases. Take a listen.

Speaker 15:

And it was terrifying man. Because what most people don't understand is that that's child trafficking. What that's called is child war trafficking is what that's called and that happens in this world. That's happening right now in India, that's happening right now in Afghanistan, it's happening right now in Iraq, it's happening in Africa, it's happening in places in Central and South America where they take kids and they basically indoctrinate them into some sort of extreme behavior. I mean, you know, I told you about the kid that was from Mara Salvatrucha and he was 13. He was just 13 and he had already killed people because they took him from his house and they were like we need the oldest kid and you know that's called right there.

Speaker 15:

A child soldier is what that's called, and it's one of the types of human trafficking that you have right. So you have child trafficking, sex trafficking, servitude, right, or indefinite servitude also, which is like debt or forced labor. You have Oregon trafficking and then you have child soldiers, right. What people don't understand is that all of those things have the same processes to get to it right, like when we talk about human trafficking. People don't understand what human trafficking is. It's actions plus means, plus purpose equals trafficking.

Speaker 15:

Your actions by recruiting, harboring, transporting, hiding, patronizing, abusing, moving. Recruiting, that's the process. Right by the means of force, coercing, abusing any other bad thing, coercing right With the purpose of either a commercial sex act or a labor or service of some sort. That's it. That's the two things that you can put them to. That equals human trafficking. When you have all of those three things combined and when I teach it right, I teach it like a math formula. I teach it like either process means ends right Equals trafficking, or actions means purpose equals trafficking. That's what human trafficking is. That's why I tell people like the probability that you've ran into someone that's done that is higher than you think, higher, way higher than you think. The problem is is that we don't look around.

Speaker 1:

The following clip is a bit of the conversation with Hemi Periani from the episode Across Continents and Cultures.

Speaker 16:

This profession, like doctors, it comes from heart. You have to feel it, you have to sense it. The doctors feel the pain of the patient. That's why they can diagnose and they understand. And, of course, the science behind it. And this profession also has science as well, the science of communication and human relations. So you have to like people. Yeah, please, and yeah. If you put the money before people, then this is not a good route to go. I suggest pick something else.

Speaker 1:

At some point of our interpreting career, whether that be in the beginning or in the middle, we may stop to think about why we do what we do, why do we want to do the work or why should we continue to do this work, which is why I very much appreciated my conversation this season with Dr Sophia Garcia-Beyer on the essence of interpreting.

Speaker 17:

Well, okay, so maybe I'll start by reading the definition that was reached after group discussion, right, because this was a result of teamwork, as I mentioned, when we did this textbook, we met so often and we all impacted each other's way of thinking of the content that we were creating. And the definition for communicative autonomy that we landed on, I will read, is the capacity of each party in an encounter to be responsible for and in control of his or her own communication. What this is trying to say is, when the interpreter is called to provide a service, the interpreter's mandate is to help people own their own communicative process, and for that the parties that are involved in that encounter need to have their own voice, and because of the language barrier, that's a challenge. So when they send messages, if the interpreter is people who love conveying those messages accurately, reliably, then the interpreter is supporting communicative autonomy. But there's also the other side. When the interpreter is making sure that the messages that are directed or expressed in the room directed to that party or expressed in the room are also conveyed, then you can fully be an owner of your communicative process. So supporting communicative autonomy is facilitated in communication, but facilitating communication could also mean having a part in that communication.

Speaker 17:

Oh, let me explain. You just misunderstood. This is what they meant. That is not supporting communicative autonomy. So in that way I wanted to find a way to express this in a more precise way. And some people will not agree with the fact that communicative autonomy is the special contribution of the community interpreting profession, but for those of us who do agree, I think it helps to have a way of naming it that is unequivocal.

Speaker 1:

Episode 102 of season six, Bradas Gabriela Vocanete, with the topic the Art of Self-Care for Interpreters.

Speaker 18:

So as soon as the conference started, she just froze. She froze completely. She couldn't utter any kind of word or sentences. So I continued working until the break and then I had to take her to quiet corner and say, look, it's difficult for everybody, but we have to do our best because it's not the delegates fault that we couldn't prepare. So we do our best, breathe, come down and just do your best. So then later on she did, actually she did, and it was okay, but she had frozen because she was not used to this level of technical medical information. And you know, when the speaker comes and says I've prepared this for it's a three hour presentation, but I'm going to rush through it because we only have half an hour, no, that never happened, something like that. So those moments, those speakers, I was doing and she was doing the more normal ones and it was good.

Speaker 18:

In the end it wasn't a success, but there was this moment of, you know, the nervous system, the human nervous system, like any mammals, we have this rest and digest, which is the parasympathetic and mode of our nervous system. And then we have fight, flight or freeze. So the freeze is the worst. We never want to have that kind of in other mammals, like the gazelle, for example. When she's chased by a big cat and she's caught, the nervous system shuts down because the natural evolution has made it so that the animal doesn't suffer all that pain. So you freeze and then you're totally disconnected because otherwise it would be an enormous amount of pain. Nature is wise like that and nature tries to avoid. So in the human the freeze reaction is you go blank, you go blank, you freeze, you can't find your words and you can't think straight and you also disconnect from the neck down. It's a whole body reaction. Huh, yes, so that's what happened to my colleague.

Speaker 1:

This year, the world of remote interpreting, more specifically, community remote interpreters, experienced the publication of a textbook that is very specific for remote interpreters and community settings. Volume one of the remote interpreter was published this year and I had the incredible opportunity to speak with the authors here on the show about their experience working together for its creation. Here's a clip from that conversation.

Speaker 19:

The personal and individual stories are, you know, of course, what we treasure and carry with us. But actually, for me, I've been in this profession long enough to have seen some of the specializations found both get founded and then develop into what we consider developed to some degree right. So I came into this profession at the beginning of the really the professionalization and the formalization of healthcare interpreting. I came in as an educational interpreter. I mean, that was where I first did most of my early, you know, before ethics before anything. Then I spent, you know, 25 years helping focusing on the healthcare interpreting side of build itself, only to now see educational interpreting, right, you know, be in a very similar moment and actually now have a perspective that I did not have 25 years ago.

Speaker 19:

That, oh my gosh. You know, small groups of people working really hard on these foundational pieces of a profession can make change happen fast, right, and I would make legitimate. Like it really helped turn something that's kind of a, as we've been talking about, a very, very demess, you know, into something more formalized and robust and credible, and so I give that as framing. Like this is a small group of people who have a broad, you know, variety of background, the right kind of background, and our goal for me, certainly my goal for this textbook is that it be one of those foundational pieces that can get us away from language service companies having the burden of training interpreters because there is no expected norm or set of norms you know across the board for it when you're working remotely, to actually having.

Speaker 19:

Hey, here's a first stab at standardization. Take it, improve it, use it, create guidelines. I hope professional associations pay attention to it, not just the people who are working in, you know, in the interpreted moment right. So I know that's a little grandiose, but, like to me, that's 100% what I hope this volume and what the second volume will lead to, that 10 years from now we'll look back and go look, we have all these training programs on remote interpreting and they all kind of agree on the content and they have agreement about what the skill set is and what should be included in it.

Speaker 1:

Season 6 gave us more interpreter stories, more challenges that we could learn from, more experiences and knowledge that was shared, and it's all made possible thanks to the willingness of the guests that come on the show to share their story publicly. And, of course, it goes beyond saying that. The podcast wouldn't be what it is today without the support of you, the listener, coming back each and every episode to hear the stories of the individuals behind the scenes. Like these stories, there are so many other stories out there of interpreters and language professionals in the world wanting to share their knowledge and their experiences, and I'm hoping that that continues to be something that I am able to share for the next season. I really hope that this season brought you some sort of motivation, learning experience or inspiration about the work that we do. Brand the Interpreter was born from a desire to highlight the stories of language professionals from around the world, and I'm ever so grateful that you continue to come back to support the show and grateful for the guests that are willing to come and share their stories on this specific platform. As it is the case at the close of each and every season, I'd like to ask that you please share the podcast on your social media platforms for others to be able to experience perhaps what you've experienced the exposure of the stories of language professionals from around the world, the connections, the relatedness potentially that you may experience from your own story with the stories of others out in the field. I also ask that you consider rating and reviewing the show if you have not done so already, and if you have potentially request or ask, then another colleague do the same. These help the podcast, of course, but it also helps to support me as your host and the guests that are willing to come on the show.

Speaker 1:

Brandy interpreter has had the opportunity to interview over 100 guests. Now, if I put that into perspective or potentially you joined me into putting that into perspective if we were in a room filled with 100 individuals, I personally would feel overwhelmed. I would feel that it is a room full of people that have stories, stories that are very specific to the industry, stories that they are willing to share and make public for others to listen to, for potentially the new generation of language professionals to be inspired by, to learn a little bit more and to simply leave a mark in the industry about their story within the profession. So when you leave a rating or a review. It's more than a vanity metric. What it really is is the support of me, first and foremost, as your host, to know that the work that is being produced and published is accepted by you, the interpreting community, but also for future guests. It supports them, so when that they search Brandy interpreter and before they accept an invitation of mine, they can see the work that has been out there and what listeners think about the show. So it's just a continuous way of being able to support one another within the industry that supports us Since the start of the podcast in 2020, I, at the end of the year, will take a break from production and restart the new season in February.

Speaker 1:

I encourage you to catch up during that time to some of the stories that were shared that maybe you weren't able to listen to when they were published. And if you're a new listener, it's a great time to go back to the beginning of the podcast to listen to some of those stories way in the beginning of time, three years ago, when the podcast was first born, and listen to the stories of the first guests that were on the show. And while the year 2023 comes to a close, and so does season six of Brandy interpreter. Brandy interpreter podcast will continue its season next year with even more great stories, and I'll let you in on a little secret, but only if you promise not to tell anyone.

Speaker 1:

Next year's season will bring in a new format to the stories that are being shared, so it's a completely new production and I'm super excited to be able to share it with you all I know. So exciting, right? I mean I'm definitely excited. So make sure that you subscribe to the podcast on whatever application you listen from, so that it reminds you when episode one of season seven drops next year. And with that, dear listener, this is your host, mireya Perez, signing off from season six of the Brandy interpreter podcast, the podcast that shares your stories about our profession. Till next time.

Year in Recap
Language Access and Communicative Equity
The Power and Challenges of Interpretation
Challenging Toxic Beliefs in Interpreting Careers
Exploring La Malinche and Interpreting
Understanding Human Trafficking, Communication, and Interpreting
Reflections on Season 6, Future Plans
Season Seven of Brandy Interpreter