Recent Blog Posts

As an American living in New Zealand, it took some time to fully adjust to the Kiwi lifestyle. Learning to drive on the opposite side of the road (or wrong side, as I like to refer to it) and acquainting myself with the long list of slang/colloquialisms has gone a […]

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Salish As a recently arrived transplant to Kalispell, Montana, I couldn’t help noticing that several of the road signs on Highway 93 are written in English and an interesting looking language that I later learned was called ‘Salish.’ Salish consists of consonant clusters (sometimes as many as 13 in a […]

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From a young age, our lives are filled with assessments: standardized tests, driving exams, placement tests, and, if a business or government agency tests the English or foreign language skills of potential hires and current staff, there is a good chance that they use ALTA language testing. Creating a valid […]

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ALTA has completed a comprehensive study of court interpreter exams for the Judicial Council of California. The published report, California's Assessment of the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts' Exams, appears on the California Court's website. In May of 2009, the Judicial Council of California contracted ALTA to assess […]

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A new online resource for legal interpreters and translators has recently become available thanks to Vancouver Community College. A team of language professionals collaborated to compile an online legal dictionary consisting of 5000 Canadian legal and court-related terms in English, as well as six other languages: Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi, Russian, […]

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Hurray! Yipee! Wowee! Let’s hear it for my favorite part of speech: the interjection! Interjections help to express emotion on the part of the speaker in written language. They are usually separated off from the rest of a sentence by commas or exclamations points. In any language, interjections make the […]

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I recently read a book titled The Origins of Simultaneous Interpretation: The Nuremburg Trial that I thought I would recommend given that the pool of information regarding the history of interpreting can be somewhat limited, or difficult to find. Written by Fracesca Gaiba, Origins describes how the Nuremburg Trial, conducted […]

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California has set a precedent yet again in the world of interpreting by becoming the first state in the U.S. to pass a law requiring that health insurance organizations provide interpreting and translating services to patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). The law “requires health, dental and specialty insurers to […]

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La Malinche, Doña Marina, La Chingada. No matter what name you use, there is no doubt that she is one of the most influential interpreters in history. Doña Marina, who came to be known in Mexico as La Malinche, was born the daughter of a cacique during the rule of […]

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The Angoff Method is a widely used standard-setting approach in test development. In plain English, it is a kind of study that test developers use to determine the passing percentage (cutscore) for a test. The passing grade of a test can’t be decided arbitrarily; it must be justified with empirical […]

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