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Interpreter Spotlight- Inder Singh, Legal Interpreter

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It was providential, in the sense that I wasn’t actively seeking to ‘get into’ the interpretation field.  I had decades of experience in teaching Spoken English to the LEP people, virtually from all over the globe at my own institute in India. The way it transpired is that my services were recommended by a fellow churchgoer when the court system needed somebody for a jury trial to interpret. That was my first step to legal interpretation becoming my profession!

It is the sense of fulfillment…a satisfaction that I have contributed my mite in helping to provide the much-needed voice, literally, to the vast sea of the voiceless amongst us. This is because of no inherent fault of their own, except that they do not know the ‘language-of-the-land’!

There are a number of instances in my legal interpretation profession when I’m tempted to speak up and advocate for the helpless. They’re unable to appropriately and completely express their thoughts, issues, pain, and suffering to authority figures in healthcare, legal, or community.

I find it extremely difficult to restrain myself to refrain from advocating on their behalf!

There are innumerable tools-of-the-trade, not the least of which is continuing education, whereby one tries to delve deep into the virtually un-ending expanse of language, nuance, accuracy and dedication.

Social Media Groups and professional associations play a huge part and pay rich dividends by way of honing skills, increasing knowledge and, exposing us to varying and unique perspectives.

There are many opportunities in the legal, healthcare, community, and corporate industries for on-site and remote interpretation services. Thus far, much of my own ‘practice’ has been concentrated on-site, though remote opportunities are presenting themselves more often.

Relentless competition leads to the under-cutting of professional fees. Many have thrown in the towel in order to make a quick buck! I somehow feel that this profession is turning its collective back on the profession and morphing into a business that borders on being unscrupulous at times.

However, it is never too late to try to make amends and put the profession back on track!

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