Interview with Susan Vo – Part 2

By Jonathan Goldberg

Note from the editors: We are taking the unusual step of presenting this interview of interpreter Susan Vo by Jonathan Goldberg in two parts, the first covering her early life and introduction to the interpreting profession, and the second covering her work as an interpreter at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Publishing the interview in two parts also resolves the issue of length: as it stands, the text is quite a bit longer than our limits for Translorial.com articles, which we set for online readability.

While the two halves of this long interview reveal Vo’s depth as an interpreter, each can stand alone in its own right. The insights she shares in Part 2 were directly influenced by her early life. Growing up in a culture other than her own, which she knew only secondhand through her parents and other refugees, she came to understand her Vietnamese birth culture more fully by comparison with that of her adopted country (Canada). This might well have given her the perspective that made her capable of an ethical approach to persons who had done great harm: no culture is without its moral outliers.

We see the parallels between Vo’s professional life and the panel discussion about ethics in interpreting conducted by 6 experienced interpreters at the NCTA September 8 General Meeting. The panel was held in response to the impassioned discussion about the role of interpreters in crucial political meetings, sparked by the circumstances surrounding the Putin–Trump summit earlier this year. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal took place after the fact; the Helsinki summit between two world powers has portent for the future. Part 1 of this interview reveals how Vo reached an understanding of differences between cultures; Part 2 brings the past into the present and the future, emphasizing the importance of skill and ethical stance in interpreting.

You can find part 1 here. A French translation of this interview is available on Jonathan Goldberg’s blog, Le mot juste en anglais, here. → continue reading

Interview with Susan Vo – Part 1

By Jonathan Goldberg

Note from the editors: We are taking the unusual step of presenting this interview of interpreter Susan Vo by Jonathan Goldberg in two parts, the first covering her early life and introduction to the interpreting profession, and the second covering her work as an interpreter at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Publishing the interview in two parts also resolves the issue of length: as it stands, the text is quite a bit longer than our limits for Translorial.com articles, which we set for online readability.

While the two halves of this long interview reveal Vo’s depth as an interpreter, each can stand alone in its own right. The insights she shares in Part 2 were directly influenced by her early life. Growing up in a culture other than her own, which she knew only secondhand through her parents and other refugees, she came to understand her Vietnamese birth culture more fully by comparison with that of her adopted country (Canada). This might well have given her the perspective that made her capable of an ethical approach to persons who had done great harm: no culture is without its moral outliers. → continue reading

The Principle of Confidentiality – Do interpreters have the right to remain silent?

By Monica Lange

The Principle of Confidentiality

Members of our panel (L to R): Angie Birchfield, Andrea Hofmann-Miller, Johanna Parker, Robert Finnegan, moderator Olivia Reinshagen-Hernandez, Holly Mikkelson, and NCTA Events Co-Directors Monica Lange and Fernanda Brandão-Galea.

I will never forget my first meetup with the Linguists, Translators and Interpreters from the Bay Area. I had recently moved to California and wanted to connect with colleagues in San Francisco. It was there that I first heard about NCTA. I joined the association a couple of weeks later, and I dare say it was one of the best things I have ever done. I have learned so much and met so many amazing people at NCTA’s General Meetings, workshops, and meetups. Among everything NCTA has to offer, I personally believe the General Meetings are its most generous gift.

For the September General Meeting, NCTA brought together a panel of high-level interpreters: Angie Birchfield, Johanna Parker, Holly Mikkelson, Andrea Hofmann-Miller, Robert Finnegan, and panel moderator Olivia Reinshagen-Hernandez. The topic discussed was a very important one for interpreters and translators: interpreter–client privilege, or our right to remain silent. With the Global Climate Action Summit just a few days away, a crowd was protesting on the streets of San Francisco—and the big names on our panel brought a crowd of our own to the NCTA meeting, including a group of interpreting students from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who had driven up from Monterey. → continue reading

BRING THE SOUND OF HOME TO…

Voice Acting hopefuls take the plunge during an organized day trip to Medialocate. Do they have what it takes? BY ANA ISABEL BELTRAN AND NOEMI GONZALEZ

Voiceover artists, those disembodied voices we hear in audio books, commercials and public announcements can conjure laughter, relief, mystery, awe, respect and sadness. In audio books, voiceover artists may make imaginations soar. In commercials, they may sway a consumer’s perception on a bank’s trustworthiness, an insurance company’s reliability or an automobile’s safety. What about movies? → continue reading

LUNCH BREAK

Amusing anecdotes offer wisdom on the topics of poetry, translation, and even ballet; a lunch hour presentation by American poet and translator Richard Howard leaves this reporter reminiscing of a 1970s Paris. BY ERIC CHIANG

A presentation by Richard Howard, American poet and translator of such French authors as Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault and Alain Robbe-Grillet, brought back memories of the Paris I knew in the 1970s. These illustrious French authors, now all deceased, were very much alive when I was a student in France in 1973. My sister and I were there on separate study abroad programs. I went to the University of Nancy in Lorraine while she studied at Reid Hall, a veritable chateau on Rue de Chevreuse in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. I went to Paris as often as I could and slept in the men’s dormitory at the chateau for free. The sixth arrondissement wasn’t the most chic and expensive district of Paris that it is now; those fancy shops didn’t start to move in until the late 1970s. There was a quartier chinois that consisted of a small grocery store of unknown Asian origin and a couple of Vietnamese restaurants on Rue Monsieur-le-Prince. From her memoirs, I knew that Simone de Beauvoir lived in an apartment on Boulevard Raspail. → continue reading

THE TRANSMUG REPORT – THE ULTIMATE iFAN EVENT

Sharlee Merner-Bradley and Emmanuel Lemor at one of TransMUG’s latest quarterly lunch meetings.

BY CHRISTINE LEMOR-DRAKE

For 2012, Macworld has become Macworld/iWorld 2012. The new name says it all: Steve Jobs was not there; Apple® was not there; but the creative juice that has always been there was definitely in the air. Computers, iWhatever, accessories and a lot of apps. → continue reading