• 08/27/2016 00:00 | Shelley Fairweather-Vega (Administrator)

    NOTIS has a new website this year, and with it, a new online directory that is much easier to maintain than the clunky old database of the past. All corporate and individual members are entitled to one directory entry as a benefit of membership.

    The directory has two purposes: to help NOTIS manage our membership better (send you customized email messages, keep a record of your dues paid and events attended, monitor our numbers, and so on) and to help our members be found by potential local customers for their T&I services.

    Here are some points to remember in considering how the directory currently works.

    • At present the NOTIS directory contains profiles for over 300 individual members and 7 corporate members. If you’re a paid member (other than a student member), you’re in the directory!
    • Directory search results are always listed in a random (rather than alphabetical) order, so every search yields results in a different order. This means that an agency called AAA Translation, for example, will not have an undue advantage in search results, and that YOU will be the top result as often as anyone else when the information in your profile matches a search by a potential customer.
    • Your profile will come up in search results based on the information you’ve entered in it. You can be as precise or as vague as you like, but we advise you to at least make sure your languages and credentials are up to date. As a matter of professional ethics, please be honest.
    • You can customize which information in your profile is visible to other members and to the public, so it’s easy to protect your personal information.
    • Corporate members (mainly agencies) show up differently from individuals in search results, in several ways: They're labeled with their type of membership, and their company names appear in their profiles. This way, potential customers can easily see which of their search results are agencies and which are individuals, and can choose whom to contact based on their own needs and preferences for each particular assignment.

    We’re also working to advertise our directory more actively this year. Look for information about the directory in the next version of the official NOTIS brochure, which we pass out wherever potential T&I buyers gather. Starting in September 2016, we’ll also be running advertisements online, including both Google ads (which appear based on Google search results) and LinkedIn ads (which are shown to targeted categories of professionals when they use LinkedIn).

    Do you have questions or advice about the directory (or anything else NOTIS does)? Please get in touch! We’re working hard to become an even more valuable resource for professionals in translation and interpretation across the Pacific Northwest. Your ideas can help make that happen. And since we are volunteer-run, we’d especially love to hear from members who can donate their time and energy to help with our directory (or any other project). You can email any board member directly from this page.

  • 07/08/2016 22:27 | Anonymous
    NOTIS social events tend to be around Seattle, since that’s where most of our event-organizing board members reside.  To include members from other areas in the fun, the NOTIS Board has approved a new program to reimburse members up to $50 once per calendar year for social events they organize at least 30 miles away from Seattle that are attended by 4 or more NOTIS members
    Here’s how it works:
    • Plan your event, and email the NOTIS board at least two weeks in advance of the planned event so we can help publicize it.
    • Invite other local language professionals, and make sure at least 4 NOTIS members who live at least 30 miles away from Seattle plan to attend. Consider inviting students of translation and interpretation, local businesses engaged in translation and interpretation, and all the translators and interpreters you know.
    • Enjoy your event!
    • Take pictures (with attendees’ permission to post them without names on NOTIS social media), and make a list of attendees’ names and email addresses.
    • Email us your two best pictures, the list of attendees’ names and email addresses, and receipts for your costs.  NOTIS will reimburse you up to $50 for event costs such as venue fees, advertising, and food or drink.

    For future reference, the full policy is also described in the members-only section of our website.
    We hope this new program will spread the benefits of NOTIS membership more widely throughout all five of our states (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho). We can’t wait to hear about the fun you have, wherever you are!

  • 07/01/2016 13:18 | Anonymous

    NOTIS President Kathryn German offers some simple advice on how to become a voting member of the ATA. Besides providing you with the benefits of voting membership in our national organization, your status as a Voting Member in ATA (meaning you have an Active or Corresponding membership) also benefits NOTIS. Our chapter receives financial support from ATA for every NOTIS member who also belongs to one of these ATA membership categories, which means NOTIS has more resources to serve our members here in the Pacific Northwest.

    Voting membership is available to all Associate or Student members who either pass the ATA certification exam or go through Active Membership Review.  That means that even if you have not passed the ATA exam, or if no exam is offered in your language pairs, you can apply to be a voting member.

    Active Membership Review is a simple online process open to translators, interpreters, or other individuals actively engaged in work related to translation and/or interpreting. You can fill out the online form here.

    Translators will need to have proof of a degree or certificate in translation and one letter of reference OR at least three years of experience, three letters of reference, or copies of records of business activities. Interpreters must have proof of a degree or certificate in interpreting and one letter of reference OR three letters of reference plus acceptable proof of their business activities.

    Once accepted as a voting member, you are entitled to vote in the ATA elections.

    For more information, please see the ATA website:

  • 06/30/2016 14:02 | Shelley Fairweather-Vega (Administrator)
    MedSIG (the Medical Special Interest Group) has been busy this year running trainings for healthcare interpreters all over the region! So far, we have offered:
    •          January: Interpreting for Cancer Genetics, Tacoma
    •          February: Transitioning to Simultaneous Interpreting, Renton
    •          March: Fundamentals of Health Care Interpreting, Spokane (Cancelled due to low registration)
    •          May: Notetaking and Sight Translation, Tacoma
    •          June: Medical Terminology, Yakima

    The schedule for the rest of the year promises to be just as busy, with classes coming up on glossary building, pediatric cancer, bone marrow transplants, cardiology and perhaps a special three-part master’s class on interpreter notetaking.

    Even more exciting are three new additions to our cadre of trainers – Joe Tien from Whidbey Island, Yvonne Simpson from Seattle, and Dr. Sofia Garcia Beyaert from Spain, now living in Seattle.

    Joe Tein is a DSHS-certified medical interpreter and a Washington State certified court interpreter. He holds a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and is also a freelance medical translator, working from Spanish and Italian into English. Some of you may know Joe as the creator of the AOC Court Interpreters’ English-Spanish glossary of legal terms, but did you know that he is also an author of the most comprehensive Italian medical acronym website? He has taught numerous classes and workshops for medical and court interpreters over the years, both in person and through online webinars, and his recent workshop on medical terminology in Yakima was very well received.

    Yvonne Simpson is the Medical Interpreter Supervisor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She holds a Master of Arts in Spanish (Linguistics) and has significant experience in interpreting, translating, teaching and training. Yvonne is a DSHS Certified Spanish Medical Interpreter and is a Certified Medical Interpreter through the National Board. Formerly, she was the Lead Interpreter at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. We’re lucky to have Yvonne here in Seattle, and especially lucky to have her training with NOTIS. 

    Sofia Garcia Beyaert is a NOTIS board member and a practicing interpreter, as well as a researcher in the field of public policy and cross-linguistic communication. With a BA in applied languages and a focus on legal and economic translation, Sofia took additional specialized training in conference interpreting at the Universidad de Granada. She also holds an MA in social and political science from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and a PhD from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona after writing her dissertation on the institutionalization of community interpreting. Sofia has taught post-graduate and master’s classes in community interpreting and is a co-author of The Community Interpreter, International Edition from Cross-Cultural Communications. With credentials like these, guess who might be teaching a master’s class on interpreter notetaking this fall? But no need to wait till September to meet Sofia; watch for her upcoming class in August on glossary building for interpreters and come give her a warm NOTIS welcome.

    With more trainers and with a growing active committee, MedSIG’s goal is to better serve an interpreter community of diverse skill levels, living in diverse parts of the state and looking for training in diverse modalities. What’s next? Trainings in Bellingham? Webinars? Offerings for social service and educational interpreters? Stay tuned and find out, or share your own suggestions!


  • 05/26/2016 22:42 | Anonymous

    By Saori Sampa

    What is the most important element of a social event for you?  It can be good food and drinks, a relaxing atmosphere, fun people to enjoy it with, or perhaps an opportunity to showcase your talents.

    NOTIS’s new board started planning our 2016 social events right after last year’s holiday party, and our first social event of the year was held on January 16. NOTIS Secretary Elise Kruidenier knew of a very relaxing neighborhood café in West Seattle that was the perfect place to get together at the beginning of the year. Many of us gathered and enjoyed, not only the café’s relaxing atmosphere, but also the time we shared.
    February 19 was a cold but perfect day to visit a library after work. An avid reader, María Luisa Gracia Camón led the Chat Evening of the Month at Redmond Library. The group exchanged anecdotes and enjoyed being together. It was a short, one-hour event, but it was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other.
    Then it was time to try something new. One of our social event enthusiasts and art lovers, Thei Zervaki, and others went to the Pioneer Square Art Walk. It was raining on March 3, but that didn’t bother them at all. The group walked from art studios to galleries, and shops to boutiques, and they were enriched by the dozens of local works of art. While walking through town, the group also enjoyed Seattle’s famous historic neighborhood filled with Renaissance Revival architecture.
    Food is a universal language and an easy icebreaker for those who love to make new friends. On April 13, Brooke Cochran introduced us to a restaurant where we could enhance our taste experience. Island Soul Restaurant specializes in Caribbean soul food. Their famous pork tips, fish tacos, and Cuban black beans satisfied our appetites. After sampling wonderful Island comfort foods, we all had something to rave about.
    Show time! The Translators in the Spotlight was a perfect event to showcase our professional translation abilities and other, not-yet-demonstrated performance skills. Some arrived from other states to attend the May 21 event, including Alaska and Oregon, and we welcomed a student who had translated a French song into English. This creative show, organized by Shelley Fairweather-Vega, put a spotlight on those who work in the art and literary fields. Caffe Appassionato definitely added a calming element to our exciting event. Their wine and local beer was also a great advantage to this late-night outing.
    What’s next? Mark your calendars and prepare for our traditional BBQ & picnic! See you all at the Coral Shelter at Seahurst Beach on July 10 (Sunday). Check out the NOTIS event page and Facebook page for more event information.

  • 05/26/2016 10:21 | Shelley Fairweather-Vega (Administrator)
    If you're reading this, you have already found the beta version of our new website!  This site will appear at our official address starting on June 1, 2016, and has a lot of great new features:

    Easy log-in: your user name is your email address, and you can select any password you like.  Just click on Log In in the upper right corner of the home page, then click on "Forgot Password". You will receive an email message with instructions on setting your password and logging in.
    Improved directory: the new directory is much easier to search, more robust, and allows you to make any fields you wish private or visible only to members.
    Automatic membership renewal reminders and confirmations
    Easy event registration

    Action Needed - Profile Update:
    If you are a NOTIS member and you would like to have a complete profile in the new directory, you must log in to the new site, click on your name at the top, then click Edit Profile to add information. Your language pairs and certifications will not appear in the new directory until you take this step.
    If you have any questions about how the new site works, check the Wild Apricot new member guide (Wild Apricot is the membership software behind our new site.)  You are also welcome to contact NOTIS Vice President Julie Wilchins or board member Shelley Fairweather-Vega with questions.

  • 04/30/2016 21:27 | Anonymous

    The Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society is a diverse group, with members who live all over the greater Northwest region. Our members are at many different stages of their careers and they do all kinds of jobs, from emergency-room interpreting to the translation of contemporary poetry. NOTIS board members and volunteers are organized into divisions and committees that focus on providing specific information, events and connections that are so important to our members. One of these divisions is the Translation Division, led this year by NOTIS Secretary Elise Kruidenier. The Translation Division has traditionally spearheaded arrangements for a big, day-long event to celebrate International Translation Day. There are no plans for such a major event in 2016, but members can expect a series of smaller events instead.

    We are most excited to be hosting Jost Zetzsche, a prominent English-to- German translator and expert in technology solutions for translation. Jost is an Oregon translator and the author of the popular Tool Box Journal newsletter and a book called the Translator’s Tool Box, currently in its 12th edition. He will be presenting a long-format workshop in the fall of 2016, covering topics such as “How to choose a TEnT (Translation Environment Tool)”; “Getting the most out of your TEnT”; and “Working with PDFs and other tricky formats”; This will be a great opportunity for translators who are looking for a TEnT, those who already have one, and for those just looking for some tips on how to use their technology more effectively.

    NOTIS’s May social event is also a Translation Division event. Local translators and their fans will take over The Bounty in Seattle on the evening of May 21 for a translation open mic night. Translators in half a dozen languages, from Portland, Tacoma and Seattle, have already signed up to read from their work. Everyone is welcome. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert literary translator, or even, say, a project manager who dabbles in fiction, please consider bringing something to read.

    Finally, NOTIS will start producing webinars this year. Look for more information about those in the coming weeks.

  • 04/10/2016 18:20 | Deleted user

    It’s 2016, and social media is woven into the fabric of our lives, whether we know it or not. It’s a news source, a platform for voicing opinions, and a way to communicate with friends. But, professionally, it’s a marketing and networking tool. Take NOTIS, for example. Here are our accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We use these services to tell our members about industry news, continuing education opportunities, and other relevant information. We also provide our members with virtual forums to discuss and share stories.

    This encourages interaction between professionals who rarely work together. So, translators and interpreters can benefit immensely from what NOTIS broadcasts. That being said, why not take a lesson from NOTIS? Put these tools to use for your own professional benefit—marketing and networking. Many agencies are active on social media, as are (potential) end clients and colleagues. This means you have the opportunity to interact and share information with them, making them aware of your expertise.

    In the past, a resume was the best way to tout your qualifications to clients. The name of the game has changed, though. Social media allows you to gain their trust first. Clients will see that you’re a real person who’s dedicated to your career field. Interacting with them on Twitter, for example, creates a personal connection that you can depend on later when you do offer them your services, or meet them in person in court, for example. On the other hand, if you’re already working with them, social media interactions keep you fresh in their minds. Then, they call on you when a suitable project arises.

    If you haven’t already embraced social media, here are some helpful steps:

    1) Start by choosing just one tool.

    2) Establish a routine, such as 30 minutes in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    3) Use that time to follow/connect with clients and colleagues.

    4) Commit to a set amount of sharing and responding. For example, share two or more informative articles each time and respond to two or more posts/group conversations.

    And you’re off to a great start! The key is to create a routine that you can follow. Don’t commit to too much. Then, once you’re comfortable with it, you might use it more often. You can even repeat the process for a second tool. It’s kind of like learning a language, you’ll have the foundation in place, making it quicker to learn how to use a new one.

    NOTIS and the board of directors are already available on various social media platforms, so start growing your network, now. Find us here:

    Brooke A. Cochran:


    Shelley Fairweather-Vega:


    Kathryn German: Facebook

    Elise Kruidenier:

    Sofía García Beyaert:

    Saori Sampa: LinkedIn

    Lindsay Bentsen: LinkedIn

  • 03/30/2016 18:29 | Deleted user

    Check out our latest postings! NOTIS members are welcome to submit articles as well. Send your blog articles, 500 words or fewer, to Please note that blog articles may be subject to editing and will become the property of The Northwest Linguist.

  • 03/24/2016 17:28 | Deleted user

    Do you still need to fulfill your annual ethics credit for DSHS? If so, you can take an approved ethics class from home! DSHS has a free ethics webinar on its website.

    Six steps to earn your free ethics credit:

    1) Go to the DSHS “Orientation and Ethics Training” page:

    2) Click on the “Ethics Training” hyperlink. The link is found under both the Medical and the Social Services headings.

    3) Watch the video.

    4) Go back to the DSHS page, click on the “Quiz” link and complete the quiz.

    5) Take a screenshot of your quiz results.

    6) Email your quiz results and DSHS number(s) to:

    Remember: If you earned your DSHS certification/authorization before April 6, 2015, you must complete and submit your ethics credit before December 31, 2016.

    If you have any questions, you can contact DSHS at:

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