ASHA Leader: Beyond Word-for-Word Interpreting

This month, I was honored to write a cover article for the ASHA Leader. It covered one of my great passions: working with interpreters in clinical settings.

“Just say what I’m saying, word for word!” It’s common for interpreters to hear this from clinicians. But this statement can have different meanings.

The most obvious meaning would be to simply repeat, in the same language, every word spoken in precisely the same order. As applied in Spanish, for example, “I am Phil,” might be said, “Yo estoy Felipe.”

But that’s likely not what is being requested. It’s more likely that the clinician aims to have the message content conveyed effectively in the target language. For example, in Spanish, “I am Phil” might be the more conversationally appropriate “Soy Felipe.”

This article is a part of the work I've been doing the past two years, starting with my poster at ASHA Connect and the subsequent seminar at the ASHA Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.

In this month's ASHA, there's another excellent article diving into more detail about making sure your services are accessible to all. You can read that article here.