Want to post on our blog? The NOTIS Publications Committee accepts T&I-relevant content submissions on a rolling basis. Read more about the type of content we're intrested in here, and send any questions (or submissions) directly to our marketing specialist at Thank you! 

  • 02/13/2023 00:11 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    As of January 1, 2023, the DSHS Language Testing and Certification (LTC) Program has changed how medical interpreters can be certified.

    There are no changes to testing for social services interpretation or document translation certification.

    DSHS LTC no longer administers medical interpreter exams; rather, they accept interpreter exams administered by the following entities:

    • Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI)
    • The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI)
    • UniversalLanguage Service
    • ALTA Language Services

    Each of the above entities has different processes and requirements for testing. Please visit the DSHS LTC Test Information page for details of each option.

    Please note that the first two entities, CCHI and NBCMI, are national certification bodies. Most healthcare providers will fully accept CCHI or NBCMI certification in lieu of DSHS certification, therefore making it unnecessary to submit CCHI or NBCMI scores to DSHS. However, DSHS may require that any medical interpreter providing services within a DSHS setting be credentialed through DSHS.

    These changes to DSHS’ certification process have been a concern to many in Washington. The interpreters’ union, WFSE Local 1671 – AFSCME 28, Interpreters United, published a position paper about the changes and are supporting WA State Senate Bill 5304 which would require DSHS to resume their testing and certification program. A video of the union’s statements about the SB5304 hearing can be found here. A representative from NOTIS also spoke at this hearing in favor of the bill.

  • 01/26/2023 02:40 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    In January of 2023, the Board of Directors at NOTIS welcomed two new members to its ranks: Howard Chou, a Mandarin and Cantonese <> English community and healthcare interpreter, and Timothy Gregory, an Arabic to English (mostly literary, mostly science fiction and fantasy) translator. Beyond their biographies, which you can read here, on the NOTIS website, we asked them to share a bit about their experience in the field(s)—and, in the case of Howard, some advice for colleagues. Read on to learn more!

    Directors are elected for a two-year term, which can be renewed up to two more times. Interested in volunteering? Want to learn more? Contact (and/or consult our bylaws here).

    Howard Chou

    What I enjoy the most about interpreting is helping the person with limited English proficiency (LEP) communicate with the providers. I always feel that by doing so, I make the world a slightly better place for those that need our service. 

    One of my most rewarding experiences in the field was when I helped an LEP in a Labor and Delivery session. It was five and a half hours long, and, after the baby was born, the new parents decided to name the baby after me. (Can you imagine there is another Howard running around town?)

    My most challenging experience was interpreting for the parents of a two-year-old girl that drowned in the neighbor's pool. The session was transferred to me from a colleague that was not able to continue. The deceased was already wrapped in a white blanket when I took over and the charge nurse was carrying her to the morgue in the basement with the parents following behind. For the next two weeks, I had to sleep with the lights on, and, to this date, the image of that white blanket still pops in my head from time to time...

    A piece of advice I would like to share with my colleagues is "LET IT GO." Vicarious trauma is our worst enemy in this profession. Talk to your supervisor and your colleagues and seek professional help if you notice any physical or mental changes as soon as possible. At the end of the day, turn off the computer, throw the keys on the dresser, pour yourself a stiff drink, light up a cigar, get the music going and have a party.

    Howard’s NOTIS mission statement:
    This past year of volunteering for NOTIS’s CID (Community Interpreter Division) has been the best time in my interpreting career. I have enjoyed all the meetings and events in which I’ve participated, and I’ve learned so much from my colleagues here. As a board member, I will contribute as much as I can to help NOTIS prosper,  to help educate the members to be better interpreters, and to close more linguistic and cultural gaps in the community.

    Tim Gregory

    The thing I enjoy most about translating is the constant challenge. I know quite a few people who find their field and their niche in it and are happy to translate the same sorts of things all day every day. They become a master of that domain. My career has followed a more meandering path; I’ve translated a lot of personal documents, years of military and government, a smattering of religious and technical texts, and I am focusing my literary efforts on science fiction and fantasy, which can include a bit of all of the above. The new opportunities to learn and stretch my mind keep the job fresh and exciting for me. 

    Tim’s NOTIS mission statement:
    I’ve been a member of NOTIS since approximately 2007 when I attended my first workshop for the ATA certification (then accreditation) exam. After attending just a couple of in-person events, I knew that I had found my tribe: a group of people who were deeply interested in the same sorts of things I was. Professionalism in translation, a constant quest for self-improvement, and an environment that is supportive rather than competitive. One of my favorite features of NOTIS is that the organization is member-driven. The training offered, whether online or in-person, comes organically from within. If someone has something to share, or notices that a friend or colleague has something to share, NOTIS will help create the venue. In particular, the NOTIS-backed Northwest Literary Translators group has helped me find a home among like-minded friends. As a member of the NOTIS board, I will work diligently to continue this collegial mindset of peer mentoring, skills development, and friendly support.

  • 01/01/2023 07:27 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    What is the WHAT?
    by Teodosia Rivera 

    Hello everyone, and welcome back! For our second installment, I would like to circle back to a question I posed last time. It’s a question that all new and emerging translators and interpreters tend to ask themselves from time to time: What do I do when I don’t know what I don’t know? As a guide to answering this question, I proposed the 5Ws method, that is: the who, what, where, when, and why of your decision to embark on this journey.

    In part one we answered the WHO? question, and we established that you are the embodiment of the success you want to achieve. You can check out our first installment of this five-part series here on the Northwest Linguist Blog. Today, we will tackle the WHAT?

    The WHAT? question here is twofold:

    1. What is your ultimate goal? and, 
    2. What do you possess that guarantees you can reach that goal? 
    Your ultimate goal, for example, could be to have more than one specialization for more marketability. Another goal could be to have your own business and train other language professionals to find their niche in the industry. As for what you possess, think of it this way: if you are the embodiment of the success you want to achieve, what is it about you that makes that so? 

    HINT: Jot down your answers to questions one and two above either in the “Notes” space in your phone or on post-its in your office. If you’re like me, your mind may play tricks on you when you are trying to remember what you need to remember at a given time or place; been there, done that, right? 

    Here (below) are some DOs and DON’Ts I believe can guide you to answer these two questions on a more personal level:

    This is the second installment of a five-part advice column for new (and not-so-new) translators and interpreters. The next three installments will be released periodically over the coming months. Subscribe to the
     NW Linguist Blog and to NOTIS News Quarterly, our—you guessed it—quarterly newsletter, here.

    Have you got a question for Teodosia? You can get in touch by leaving a comment or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, by emailing

    Teodosia Rivera has been working as a professional translator and interpreter since 2018. She is a member of ATA’s Interpreters Division, Spanish Language Division, and Translation Company Division, in addition to two ATA chapters: the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida (ATIF) and the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society (NOTIS). Teodosia has established her own business since participating in professional development in the language profession. She brings with her the background of a classroom teacher after teaching for more than 20 years in Osceola County, Florida. “I am still growing and learning,” she says.

  • 10/29/2022 13:02 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    ATTENTION: We are currently seeking submissions for our longer annual newsletter, to be released in December. Scroll down for details. Deadline = 15 November


    NOTIS welcomes content submissions for all of our publications on a rolling basis, and we want to hear from you! Our publications include:

    • The NW Linguist Blog
    • NOTIS News Quarterly 
    • NW Linguist Annual Newsletter (December)

    This is an excellent opportunity to put your name and your voice out there, to draw attention to your work, and to be recognized by your peers.

    The Northwest Linguist NOTIS News Quarterlythe official printed publications of the Northwest Translators & Interpreters Society, are designed to share organization and industry news, useful tips, fun facts, and educational pieces with our members.

    We are currently accepting submissions in the following areas:

    • Articles or essays on: 
      • approaches to translation
      • interpretation skills
      • translation reviews
      • T&I technology
      • local language access developments
      • legislation affecting language professionals 
      • personal/professional anecdotes 
    • Translations of: 
      • poems 
      • short prose or excerpts of prose
      • recipes
      • songs 
      • etc... 
    • Comics, memes, and other bits of humor!

    Submissions should be written in English and — excepting translations — should fall somewhere between 200 and 800 words (longer pieces will be considered for the blog or the annual newsletter; shorter pieces, for our quarterly newsletters or blog). Relevant images may also be submitted, alongside or independent of the written piece.

    If submitting a translation, please send both the original version and the translation. Copyright notes and source references should be included as well, if applicable.

    Your submissions will be evaluated by NOTIS's Publications Committee and will be edited for content, grammar, and space limitations. 

    Please send submissions and any other queries to our publications editor, Brianna Salinas, at We look forward to publishing your work!

    Best wishes,
    The NOTIS Publications Committee

  • 10/24/2022 13:37 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    New or not-so-new to translation or interpreting? Whatever your answer, don’t be surprised if every now and then you find yourself overwhelmed by the same question I struggled with when I first joined the profession in 2018: What do I do when I don’t know what I don’t know?

    Even after four years of taking training courses to stay educated about the profession, I continue to find myself not completely sure of what to do if I don’t know what I don’t know. How could that be? You may ask. The answer is simple: The translation and interpreting landscape is constantly changing. The changes come as human innovation continues to advance, terminology management becomes more complex, communication with direct clients and agencies evolves, and we try to find our niche in the surrounding market culture. In my humble opinion, this ever-evolving market keeps us language professionals aspiring to stay engaged in what we love: being a bridge that connects language communities.

    How can we stay engaged in the translation and interpreting landscape? I would like to offer some advice based on the “Five-Ws” approach and the knowledge I have acquired since joining the profession four years ago.

    The “Five-Ws” approach utilizes the words Who, What, When, Where, and Why as a guide to create a schema of the key elements of a story. Remember back in the day when our teachers were trying to show us how to write a book report? (I know—I taught this when I was a classroom teacher beginning in the 1990s!) Those five words would serve as the primary components in our summaries of a given story or passage. In the same way, I would like to repurpose the “Five Ws” to help you summarize yourself and, in so doing, find your own answer to a question we all sooner or later face in this field: What do I do when I don’t know what I don’t know?

    For starters, let’s take out a piece of paper and something to write with and begin with the first guiding word in our series of five: ‘Who.’

    1. Start with a sentence describing ‘Who’ you are using two to three adjectives that summarize the uncompromising you!
    2. Now, write a second sentence sharing how you envision yourself as a translator or interpreter at this juncture in your life—regardless of your present age. If you are working as a translator or interpreter, for instance, you are probably a person who enjoys languages and likes to be a bridge of communication for others.
    3. Write yet a third sentence to mention who you have around you that could potentially hold you back from becoming exactly who you want to be as you plow the ground for your professional success.
    4. Direct a fourth sentence to that person—in a positive and confident tone—expressing how determined you are in your pursuit of this new career.
    5. Before you write the fifth sentence, think about who you have contacted (including professional associations or colleagues) as key components of the T&I landscape you are now exploring. Write the names of the associations or chapters you have joined to educate yourself about the industry on your way to becoming a serious translator or interpreter.
    6. Finally, combine the above five sentences into a single paragraph, editing anything you would like. Once you’ve finished, read the paragraph out loud and listen to who you have become in this new venture. You embody the success for which you are willing to work hard. You just discovered who is in charge of making the inevitable decisions that come your way in your translating and interpreting business: You, that’s who!

    To summarize, when you are just beginning to establish yourself as a translator or interpreter, everything begins and ends with who you are and who you choose to keep around you. It is of great importance that we all begin this journey knowing who we are and how that has led us to where we are. This foundational knowledge must remain firm and ever-present, even as we continue to discover along the way that we may not know exactly what to do when we do not know what we don’t know.

    This piece is the first installment of a five-part advice column for new (and not-so-new) translators and interpreters. The next four installments will be released periodically over the coming months. Subscribe to the NW Linguist Blog and to NOTIS News Quarterly, our—you guessed it—quarterly newsletter, here.

    Have you got a question for Teodosia? You can get in touch by leaving a comment or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, by emailing

    Teodosia Rivera has been working as a professional translator and interpreter since 2018. She is a member of ATA’s Interpreters Division, Spanish Language Division, and Translation Company Division, in addition to two ATA chapters: the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida (ATIF) and the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society (NOTIS). Teodosia has established her own business since participating in professional development in the language profession. She brings with her the background of a classroom teacher after teaching for more than 20 years in Osceola County, Florida. “I am still growing and learning,” she says.

  • 09/23/2022 02:56 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    For this issue of the Northwest Linguist Blog, Laura Friend, our current NOTIS president, interviewed Caitilin Walsh, who held the same role more than 20 years ago—from 1998 to 2000! 

    You can catch both Laura and Caitilin at our Annual ITD Event on October 1st as well as at #ATA63. Now, without further ado... 

    Laura Friend (LF):  Caitilin, thank you so much for joining us. It is a pleasure to “sit down” with you for this virtual chat. You have done so much for our profession over the years, through NOTIS, ATA and Bellevue College, to name just a few organizations, that I think our members would benefit by hearing from you again in the
    Northwest Linguist.

    Caitilin Walsh (CW):  Thanks, Laura, it's always a pleasure to talk with people who have picked up the baton, especially for NOTIS, which will always have a special place in my heart. 

    LF:  You started translating professionally in the late 1980s, after completing degrees in Theatre (Willamette University, 1984) and French Language and Literature (University of Strasbourg, 1989), is that right? What was it about translation that attracted you? How did your earliest projects come to you? 

    CW:  I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but was discouraged when I returned to the U.S. with my shiny French diplomas; in order to teach, I would have had to complete yet another degree, and I needed to generate income (and we won't even mention how low the starting salary for a teacher was). My résumé opened doors to private schools, one of which had a translation department. Since I knew something about it—I had made the acquaintance of a conference interpreter in Germany—they put me on the desk managing T&I, and asked me to do some translation. It turns out that I had a knack for it, and projects started flowing in.

    One of my first lessons was that smart project managers (who also do double duty as mentors) like married couples. My husband and I tried really hard to make our resumés different, but of course, our address was the same—and the reason we were first hired! Our first project was a simple one-page invoice, and we spent hours on it. We got hung up on a reference to "16 chains”—we just couldn't make sense of it (how do you count chains?), until my long-haul trucker brother showed up (it was close to dinner time), looked over our shoulders, and said, “Oh, yeah, that's the company that makes these neat new cable chains—so much easier to put on than old chains!” That's when I learned lesson #2: know what you are writing about.

    LF:  You translate primarily for the software and culinary industries. Did one come before the other? Do you approach software translation projects and culinary translation projects differently?

    CW:  Software definitely came first. I saw an ad in the newspaper for a localization intern and applied (theatre people will try their hand at anything). I was the only applicant who actually had any real language skills—all the other applicants just "loved travel.” I learned localization from the ground floor—this was just about the time Windows 3.1 came out and changed the game. From there, demand for freelance localization kept me very busy for years, and padded my bank account nicely. Software has many technical demands, but the hardest part is working with developers (and some managers) who never studied language and could not grasp things like gender or accented characters, or different syntax. The sector has matured immensely. 

    I've always "studied” foods and am accomplished in pastry work and classical French techniques. So, I worked my connections and landed translating recipes in glossy magazines and several cookbooks. It really is a highly technical exercise in knowing how foods and ingredients work: if I add a little more butter to a pastry recipe to round a converted measurement, it won't make a difference; but if I change the amount or type of sugar in a frozen dessert by even one gram, it won't have the right texture. You really need to have a depth of understanding that most home cooks don't. 

    In the end, both types of translation really have to be user-focused: will they understand a new program or recipe?

    LF:  I see you have volunteered for Translators without Borders for the past 11 years.  What inspired you to get involved with that organization, and what is the nature of the work you do for them? Are there ever legitimate grounds for concern about potential exploitation of volunteers in arrangements of this sort?

    CW:  If you look at long standing traditions in the "liberal professions” ("professions libérales"), one important piece is pro bono work. Everyone from lawyers to architects to doctors is expected to volunteer their services for the good of society. Translators without Borders is one way I found to give back to those finding themselves in a situation where they need help. 

    One of the most powerful lessons we can learn both professionally and personally is to set boundaries—that's a lesson from my years in the theatre: you can only be exploited if you allow it; you always have the opportunity to say ‘no.’ (And this applies to more than volunteering professional services!) The folks at TWB have always sought feedback from volunteers to make our experience meet our capacities and abilities. 

    LF:  You served as president of both NOTIS (1998-2000) and the American Translators Association (2013-2015). In your opinion, what are some of the main benefits of organizations like these?  

    CW:  In an industry dominated by self-employed people (and mostly women), professional associations provide us with a "home” to be with others like us. I've seen a wonderful evolution over the years from where we went to meetings to be able to gripe about demanding clients to a place where professionalism is something we learn from each other, and support is just a quick message away. It also allows us to amplify our voices both for our profession and the people we serve, both locally and beyond. I personally enjoy being able to spend this phase of my career focusing on projects that will strengthen our profession for future generations.

    LF:  You also teach translation and have been working as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor at Bellevue College for 30 years now. What are some tips you can share with student translators and interpreters who are just starting out in the industry?

    CW:  Because the “product” we sell as independent contractors is ourself, students need to not only work on the “externals” of gaining and honing the skills to work; they also need to spend some time introspectively. Do their life experiences (past jobs, hobbies, curiosity) lead them to certain areas of practice? Do they have the self-discipline to work for themselves, or should they be seeking an in-house position? Knowing yourself is key to marketing your services, setting your rates, and creating a business structure that works for you

    There's no single piece of advice for newcomers, since so much depends on what their own strengths and weaknesses are: if you're gregarious, networking will come naturally; an introvert may abhor the networking but excel at terminology research. If they know and understand their own value, they shouldn't get trapped by unreasonable demands or usurious practices. Learning to say "no” is an important life and business skill. And of course, I am a huge proponent of joining the local and national group(s), both for T&I and for your particular focus area. 

    LF:  Can you tell us a bit about the T&I certificate programs at Bellevue College’s Tombolo Institute? Who are they designed for? How do they prepare aspiring language professionals for careers in translation and/or interpreting? 

    CW:  We were given the brief to revamp the successful, decades-old program at Bellevue College by splitting it into two comprehensive certificates: a language-neutral core certificate, and language-specific skills-building certificate. Additionally, we integrated technology and ethics into each unit of the program, since they touch on all areas of what we do. Our target audience is people with advanced language skills—either learned or heritage language—who want to enter this broad field. By providing them with the tools they need to work (everything from how to work with CAT tools to how to market themselves to working through ethical dilemmas), and the time to really reflect on what they bring to the equation in terms of specialized knowledge and ability, students should leave the program ready to launch their careers. 

    Caitilin Walsh is an ATA-Certified French-English translator specializing in software and gastronomy, and a translation educator. A past president of the American Translators Association and the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society, she chairs the ATA Education and Pedagogy Committee and works on a local and national scale to bring organizations and institutions together to create and illuminate educational pathways for Heritage speakers and World Language students seeking to use their skills in rewarding careers. She brings her strong opinions on professionalism to bear as an instructor in the Translation and Interpreting Certificate Program at Bellevue College’s Tombolo Institute. When not at her computer, she can be found pursuing creative endeavors, from orchestral music to food preparation. You can follow her on Twitter @caitilinwalsh.

    Laura Friend is a certified Russian and French to English translator specializing in legal translation. She is currently the President of NOTIS. View her bio here, and read more about her journey as a translator in last month’s issue of the Northwest Linguist Blog

  • 09/18/2022 01:10 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    We would like to share with you some more words in remembrance of Angela Torres Henrick, a beloved mentor and trailblazing member of the interpreter community who passed away last week. 

    Angela's obituary, which includes a link to her live-streamed service (Monday, 19 September), can be found here

    "I met 'Angelita' in Seattle when we were assigned to interpret together for a trial.  The first of many we shared together as a team. She taught me to advocate for my needs as an Interpreter. She helped me to be assertive as a professional and to get acquainted with the way things worked in the King County Courts. 

    "Outside of the courts, What was fun and remarkable was how she would also guide me through the different restaurants and shops in Seattle, the city she knew so well. 

    "All you had to do was to ask Angela: where can I find a broach for a dinner gown that is antique and green. And she’d say: I know just the place. And she would!!

    "No matter how specific the request, she’d always know where to go. At one point not only me but others were urging her to write a guide book for tourists and newcomers. 

    "Having Angela come visit me in Skagit was always a treat; she made friends everywhere and when we visited Chiapas with our Spanish Conversation group, she was the one walking in the front of the group. The first one to find music so she could start dancing and the last one to complain about anything that might’ve gone wrong. 

    "She had an inner joy that was reflected in her 'gusto' for food, travel and the arts. 

    "I was lucky and blessed to have had her as a friend and more than a friend. A sister, an aunt, a sweet soul to confide in and share fun things with. Angelita, you will be deeply missed!!"

    —María de Lourdes Benet

    "Angela was a friend and a role model to me. It would be hard to overstate how much she did for our profession, not only here in Washington but nationwide, for Washington was on the forefront of court interpreting and certification back in the 80s, and Angela was a central figure in that effort. I had the honor of serving as WITS president at one point, and I looked to her for guidance, and I knew I had big shoes to fill. A lovely, lovely person. We all really loved her a lot."

    —Kenneth Barger

    "A very important part of 
    Angela's life was devoted to yet another endeavor: court interpreting as a recognized profession.

    "In the dismal old times, anybody who said that he or she was able to speak another language, was called to act as an ad-hoc interpreter in courts, hospitals, or any other venue where they had this 'problem': a non-English speaker. And Angela responded to the call, as well as many other bilingual speakers who understood the dire need.

    "In 1986 or so, there was a translators and interpreters conference in Vancouver, Canada. A small contingent of friends and colleagues in this 'ad-hoc' category (which included Angela and this writer) from the Seattle area took the opportunity to listen eagerly to professionals at this Conference. During the free times between presentations, these attendees came up with the idea of organizing a group -even a professional association!- to train interpreters, advocate for them, educate the public.

    "Upon their return home the meetings continued for well over a year (the main blocking point being the by-laws), and finally the association was born, thanks to The Founding Mothers: Washington State Interpreters and Translators Society, for short, WITS (as John Henrick managed to christen it). Angela was its first president; Susana Sawrey, the VP; the next year, we reversed our roles. WITS offered some training and many opportunities for exchanging ideas. Angela and Susana wore several hats: publishers of the Society’s newsletter for a while, and advocacy, to name a few.

    "At about this time, there was a strong push for professionalizing Court Interpreting by means of state sponsored training and certification. This had the support of a Supreme Court judge. WITS was invited to be represented on the board which finally approved what was the first such program in the US: State sponsored training and testing for Certification in Court Interpreting, in Spanish to begin with.

    "The first test was offered in 1990, and Angela, of course, was one of the first proud Court Certified Spanish interpreters –as we all must identify ourselves before a judge.

    "WITS eventually merged with NOTIS (Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society), which continues the good work.

    "Angela interpreted in hundreds of trials and hearings, always supporting her colleagues and keeping in mind the needs of the many litigants in criminal and civil cases, helping them in the only way an interpreter can help: with the best interpretation possible, so that the person can hear everything and be heard in Court, as any English-speaker."

    —Susana Sawrey 

    "I was saddened to hear about Angela. The memories came back in waves. I remember her being at all the workshops and events that helped prepare us for the very first test, as well as her dedication to WITS. I fondly remember Angela asking me to serve on the board of directors for WITS, during a lunch break at one of our workshops at the University of Washington. My circumstances didn’t allow me to accept, and she just smiled with the grace that was integral to her 'SER', and something to the effect of 'thank you anyway, Pete, for considering it, and please let us know if you change your mind.'

    "We will all miss her very much, especially those of us who were present for our swearing-in ceremony at the Washington State Supreme Court, in front of all 9 justices, on March 7, 1991. She contributed greatly to the pride we all felt as a new profession was born in Washington. Thank you Angela! 'Hasta luego.'"

    —Pete Hinton

    If you too would like to share a few words about Angela, please add them to the comments or send them via email to 

  • 09/13/2022 05:34 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    We are saddened to announce the passing of our colleague and friend, Angela Torres Henrick. 

    Angela was much loved and respected by those around her, who recall her joie de vivre and sense of style — she is well known for her wonderful accessories. As one colleague noted, "She was such an elegant lady, who truly enjoyed going to the SIFF festival, always with friends, always in a great mood. Such an example!"

    Our deepest condolences.

    The following obituary was previously posted in the Seattle Times.

    Read more, multi-voiced words of rememberance here.

    Angela Torres Henrick

    (February 17, 1935—September 2, 2022)

    Angela Torres Henrick, 87, died peacefully September 2, 2022 at UW Medical Center in Seattle. Predeceased by her dear spouse John J. Henrick (2017) and survived by her loving daughter Karla Henrick.

    A funeral mass will be held Monday, September 19th at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US), Blessed Sacrament Church, 5050 8th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105. The mass will be livestreamed at Inurnment at Calvary Cemetery.

    Angela was born in Yungay, a town in the highlands of Callejón de Huaylas, Peru. In her early 20s she worked with the Peruvian-American Cultural Institute in Lima, forming friendships with people of varying backgrounds and interests, and inspiring her move to the United States.

    An accomplished radio personality for NPR, she contributed to the news program Enfoque Nacional (KCMU). Her bilingual program Revista Latina aired for seven years on KUOW-FM and featured both a rich mixture of folk and contemporary music and interviews with prominent artists and musicians from many countries. She provided narration for Women’s Health Initiative (KCTS), and assisted on Celebrate the Differences (KING-TV5).

    She was a professional, court certified Spanish interpreter until her retirement in December of 2021, and was a founding member and the first president of the Washington State Court Interpreters and Translators Society (WITS). Angela interpreted in hundreds of trials and hearings, always supporting her colleagues, keeping in mind the needs of the many litigants in criminal and civil cases—helping them in the best way an interpreter can—enabling everyone in the court to hear and understand. Angela was honored to be profiled in the book “100 Women of Washington State.”

    Angela was truly a great person; optimistic and caring, generous with her love and warm smile, filled with a youthful spirit and zest for life. She was a natural mentor, sharing her knowledge and experience with friends and colleagues who knew and loved her immensely. Her legacy is one of compassion, encouragement, and joy. Her friendship was valuable, kind, accepting, and welcoming to all.

    “Nadie te quita lo bailado.”

    In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to the UN World Food Programme: Guestbook at

  • 08/24/2022 13:12 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    We’re thrilled to be sitting down with our friend and colleague, Laura. An ATA-certified Russian and French to English translator specializing in legal translation, Laura began her tenure as NOTIS President in January 2022 after serving a two-year term as Vice President.

    Below is our conversation with Laura Friend, in which she tells us how she came to be where she is today and shares some sage advice for her fellow freelancers.


    Brianna Salinas (BS):  Welcome Laura, and congratulations on your new-ish gig! How did you first get involved with NOTIS? What drew you to the organization?

    Laura Friend (LF):  I first learned about NOTIS while studying Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Washington. NOTIS held an informational workshop for linguists wishing to take the ATA certification exam. I was impressed to see accomplished language professionals sharing their time and giving fellow translators a hand. After that I attended many worthwhile NOTIS trainings and gatherings and learned that this is what it’s all about. I have enjoyed some of the Literary Translation Feedback Forums, to name just one series.

    BS:  Those feedback forums are so much fun. Who knew how thrilling it could be to mull over punctuation marks and onomatopoeia with fellow language nerds! 

    Judging from your bio, you've got an impressive talent for language. In addition to English, your working languages are French and Russian, and you also know Czech, Spanish, and German. Can you trace your interest in language study to any particular source? What was your first foreign language? What led you to continue expanding your repertoire?

    LF:  I have been fortunate to live in several different countries, and I was always motivated to learn well the language of whatever country I lived in. I owe this largely to my parents, who, as scholars and teachers, were fluent in French, as well as many teachers and friends. I first experienced foreign language immersion at age five in a French grade school. Back in the U.S. I progressed through advanced French language, literature and drama in high school.

    My interest in Russian began with high school history and literature classes, for which we read some of the great Russian novels. I took up Russian in college and ended up completing two intensive language study programs in the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War.

    BS:  A fascinating trajectory! I'm always happy to meet another language lover whose curiosity was piqued by great books. 

    Will you talk to us about how you got started as a translator? What drew you to the field and, more specifically, to legal translation—your specialty?

    LF:  Growing up near the nation’s capital, I developed an interest in politics, thanks partly to the Washington Post and its reporting on the Watergate scandal. In college I minored in Political Science/International Relations, which proved good preparation for legal translation. Over time, friends and colleagues asked me to translate various things for them, and I enjoyed doing so. My first paid job was translating military history texts for a historian.

    For several years I worked for a law firm in D.C. and Moscow. There I sometimes translated Russian laws for partners, and before long they invited me to work in their growing Moscow office, where I experienced the exciting Post-Soviet Transitional Period. At the time Russia and the United States had what seemed like a fairly friendly relationship. Working in a bilingual, binational setting was rewarding: nearly all the lawyers and staff, American and Russian alike, were fluent in Russian and English. I had the privilege of helping to supervise a cadre of impressive translators and interpreters from both countries.

    BS:  That must have been a surreal experience, especially taking into account the affairs of today. It sounds like a joy and a challenge—which brings me to my next question:  What do you find most rewarding about the work you do today? Most challenging? 

    LF:  I enjoy the process and craft of translation itself. I don’t tend to promote myself, so finding new clients can be a challenge. Clients find me through the ATA and NOTIS online directories, and through colleagues.

    BS:  So your work is mostly freelance. With that in mind, what does an average workday look like for you? 

    LF:  For freelance translators, it can be feast or famine. You may have no work for a few days, and then be “slammed” for weeks. It’s up to you to decide what kind of a schedule you want to have. If you work for agencies, you are likely to be at the mercy of their deadlines, which are typically short. If you want to be able to set regular hours, you may need to cultivate your own, private clients or even create your own projects, such as finding a book to translate.

    BS:  Speaking of books in translation, are there a couple—or a few—that you might recommend? 

    LF:  Lately I have been enjoying Japanese literature in translation, including classics such as Snow Country and Botchan, and current fiction such as Killing Commendatore and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Murakami works with some phenomenal translators, such as Philip Gabriel, Jay Rubin and Ted Goossen. For a taste of Murakami, I recommend the short story “The Year of Spaghetti.”

    BS:  Excellent, thank you! We can't let you go without asking this one last question:  Any advice for emerging translators? 

    LF:  Yes. Take full advantage of the rich and varied opportunities for continuing education and professional networking offered by NOTIS and ATA. Attend webinars, workshops and conferences. Our next event, on October 1, will be an all-day, in-person conference in honor of International Translation Day

    [Stay tuned!]


    Laura Friend is an ATA-certified Russian and French to English translator specializing in legal translation. She is originally from the Washington, D.C. area and has traveled widely. She attended elementary school in St. Cloud, France for two years and has studied, worked and lived in Russia, Spain and Germany. Later she taught Russian at Georgetown University and the University of Washington while earning a second M.A. in Slavic Languages and Linguistics. Her other languages include German, Spanish and Czech. Laura holds degrees in Russian language and area studies from Yale University, UW and Middlebury College. She has lived in the Puget Sound area for over twenty years, in Seattle, Newcastle and the Kitsap Peninsula. In 2017 Laura chaired the ATA Slavic Languages Division Nominating Committee. She loves nature, music, film and literature. She works hard to create and nurture a backyard wildlife sanctuary and native pollinator garden.

  • 07/29/2022 16:32 | Brianna Salinas (Administrator)

    A Conference Preview 
    y Shelley Fairweather-Vega

    Sometimes, you have to go to California to meet your neighbors. Sure, one of the perks of attending a big national conference like ATA is meeting colleagues from all over the country, and the world. But it’s extra thrilling to meet a fellow NOTIS member when networking far from home. Conference veterans recommend that you go to all the conference networking and social events, and count the NOTIS members you run into at your division dinner, "Buddies Welcome Newbies," or the job fair. The Northwest Literary Translators will be well represented at the Book Fair and After Hours Café, and you’ll meet plenty of Washingtonians, Oregonians, and (we hope) even Idahoans, Alaskans and Montanans you can boogie down with at the Saturday night dance party, or break a sweat with at Zumba every morning. And if you meet someone from our five-state area who isn’t a NOTIS member, turn on the charm, and recruit them to join!

    For those of you who prefer to treat conferences as more serious educational opportunities, we’ve compiled the following list of NOTIS members and friends who will be presenting at ATA63, arranged in program order. Stop by and say hello!

    Stacey Brown-Sommers, the owner of Mindlink Resources, LLC (Oregon) and member of the WASCLA board of directors
    Be an Ally: Using Inclusive Language in a Divided World (007)
    Thursday, October 13, 2022 11:00 a.m.

    Caitilin Walsh, past NOTIS president, Bellevue College instructor
    LSP vs. LSP, or What's Happening in World Language Education and Why Should We Care? (031)
    Thursday, October 13, 2022 3:30 p.m  

    Javier Castillo, frequent NOTIS instructor and member of the board of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators
    Language and Culture: American English Profanity (082)
    Friday, October 14, 2022 3:30 p.m.

    Caitilin Walsh, past NOTIS president, Bellevue College instructor
    ATA Advocacy: Stand Up and Speak Up for Translators and Interpreters! (112)
    Friday, October 14, 2022 4:45 p.m.

    Svetlana Ruth, NOTIS and OSTI trainer
    Americanisms: To Use or Not to Use? (111)
    Saturday, October 15, 2022 8:30 a.m.

    Shelley Fairweather-Vega, past NOTIS president and member of the advisory board of the University of Washington Translation Studies Hub
    Translating for Authors: Risks and Rewards (101)
    Saturday, October 15, 2022 8:30 a.m

    Sameh Ragab, past NOTIS workshop presenter
    All a Translator Needs to Know about PDF Files (122)
    Saturday, October 15, 2022 10:00 a.m

    Tim Gregory, member of the Northwest Literary Translators
    A Literary Translator's Second Brain: Note-Taking and Recordkeeping for Book Translation (161)
    Saturday, October 15, 2022 3:45 p.m.

    The 63rd Annual Conference of the American Translators and Interpreters Society (ATA63) will be held October 12-15, 2022 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, California. The complete schedule and all other info, plus conference registration, is available now at a click of the button below! 

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