FEATURE

Helen Eby

Certified Spanish interpreter and translator at Gaucha Translations

am honored to have been selected for this issue of MultiLingual. Seeing how my colleagues supported me for this is very meaningful. Both my working languages, English and Spanish, are a core part of my identity. During my 30 years in the profession, I have been passionate enough to become certified as a court interpreter, a healthcare interpreter and a translator.

I love helping people engage in events where they would otherwise be at a loss. I recently interpreted for a very unpleasant court hearing. The topic was emotional. Why did I leave the event satisfied that it had been worth doing? Through an interpreter, two people were able to communicate clearly and openly with the judge and the attorneys. They left knowing things had been fair and they had their say. I also just finished editing the Spanish translation of a healthcare book for women. I can hardly wait to see the results when the Spanish speakers I know are able to use it.

ACCOLADES

Helen Eby has worked very hard (many times silently, behind the scenes) in promoting the professions of translation and interpreting, and the standards and conditions of translators and interpreters.

Helen selflessly shares her knowledge and helps other translators and interpreters to improve their craft.

Helen is an outstanding woman and vocal advocate for the rights of the least privileged in our world.

I am a passionate advocate of the profession. This means I engage in discussions about standards, pay, and working conditions everywhere I go with clients, colleagues, associations, chambers of commerce, and government bodies. Professionals describe and define their profession, and we should define and describe our profession, just as attorneys, accountants, doctors, and engineers do. This is why I participate actively in several professional associations.

To describe our profession and the things that set us up for success, we need to know the rationale for our best practices. We need to be able to explain them clearly to clients and to those who set policies for our work. That is why training interpreters, translators, and trainers of interpreters and translators is so important. To do this, certification is critical. The stakeholders who set expectations for our profession pay more attention to people who have the relevant credentials for their profession. I am certified by the American Translators Association (ATA) for English to Spanish and Spanish to English translation. I am certified for Spanish court interpreting by the Washington State Courts, and for healthcare interpreting by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. I prepare interpreters and translators for their certification exams so they can represent the profession well. The future of the profession is in our hands.

Helen has a true passion for the profession and an excellent eye for young talents. She has helped and mentored many colleagues. She has been part of a lot of advocacy work in Oregon and now Washington. She has volunteered in many capacities for organizations like ATA, ASTM, and Oregon Health Authority.

Yasmin Alkashef

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