In the U.S. the interpreting profession getting off the ground. 52 years have passed since legislation began making it’s way through Congress. Now, we are at last seeing the profession mature. The result—Texas’ English Spanish interpreters are among the best in the world. Download the list of Texas licensed court interpreters from the state website.
Law makers in the 60’s drafted legislation addressing discrimination toward limited English speakers. Their aim was increasing access to language professionals. In Texas our English Spanish interpreters are the busiest ones providing services. In short, Kennedy and Clinton both signed laws to improve access among other issues. From a legal standpoint, the effort paid off.
The World’s Best English Spanish Interpreters
However, in court rooms, law offices, and hospitals interpreters are not always seen as professionals. Commonly I hear excellent, qualified professionals referring to interpreting services as a nuisance. Some say, “We just need someone who speaks the language!” So, because of the many latinos in Texas, our clients frequently work with interpreters. As a result, conversations with doctors and judges reveal changing attitudes. Broad vocabulary, public speaking skill, and professional demeanor are only a part of a professional interpreter’s skill.
But, to the point of the article. A couple of years ago I was in immigration court. I chatted with a Somali interpreter who was a real jet-setter. A tall, lean and gently spoken Somali, he is among just a handful of Federal Somali-English interpreters in the U.S. As I was early in my career, I lamented the challenges of interpreting in federal court. “Almost everyone in the courtroom speaks Spanish! So people are on top of my interpretation” It was difficult time. I am not a native Spanish speaker. Due to the pressure my skill increased rapidly. Mastering the breadth of dialects is a long hill to climb. He concluded saying “Yes, but that is why Spanish-English interpreters are among the best in the world.”
Professional organizations are beginning to understand. The difference between bi-linguals and interpreters is tremendous. The numbers of people from Latin America are contributing to our economies and social fabric. If you are reading this wondering about the value of an interpreter, just remember, if nothing else Texas has some of the best English Spanish interpreters in the world.