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! 

  • 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:

  • 02/22/2016 21:22 | Anonymous

    Posted by María Luisa García Camón

    Every year, NOTIS goes through the process of preparing meaningful and interesting trainings for professional linguists in the Northwest. The idea of a language-specific training has been going around in our heads for quite some time. This is a long overdue promise for many linguists. The general feeling is that we are tired of the same old type of seminars. We all want new and useful training that will teach us something new and might help us in carrying out our daily duties and developing our careers.

    This year NOTIS is finally providing not one, but three language-specific trainings. It may look like the training is more focused on translation than interpretation, but let’s not forget that both areas are intrinsically related. The subjects we are proposing for this training are equally valuable to both translators and interpreters, and the dissection of the legal language will certainly benefit all of us in the long run.

    Thomas West III, renowned linguist and jurist, has agreed to spend one weekend in Seattle to provide us with a very specific series of trainings that, in my opinion, is very much needed. He will teach three seminars, each one of them focusing on a different language: Spanish, Russian and French. Below please find a description of the trainings and a brief biography of Thomas West III.

    Please make sure that you do not miss this great opportunity. To register, go to the NOTIS Events page and click on the event link. I hope to see you there!

    Presenter: THOMAS WEST III

    Thomas West founded Intermark Language Services in 1995 after practicing law for five years with a large Atlanta law firm. Intermark recently celebrated its 21st year in business. Tom received his B.A. degree in French and English from the University of Mississippi summa cum laude and his M.A. in German from Vanderbilt University, where he was a Harold Stirling Vanderbilt fellow. He earned his J.D. at the University of Virginia School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1990. From 2001 to 2003, he served as president of the American Translators Association (ATA), and has conducted seminars on legal translation throughout Europe and Latin America. Tom is ATA certified for translation from French, Spanish, German and Dutch into English. The second edition of his Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business was published to wide acclaim in June 2012. The first workshop will be provided for Spanish language translators and interpreters on March 19, 2016, at North Seattle Community College.

    SPANISH. – Mexican Civil Procedure and “Hilando muy fino con el lenguaje jurídico”

    During the first part of this full-day workshop Thomas West will walk us through Mexican Civil Procedure and will examine the stages of a civil lawsuit and documents related to it. “Hilando muy fino con el lenguaje jurídico” is the second part of the Spanish language-specific training, which will examine tricky aspects of legal terminology in both Spanish and English that can trip up even the most experienced translator or interpreter.

    The second day, March 20, at the same venue, there will be two workshops, one each for translator and interpreters working with French and Russian.

    FRENCH. – Dissecting French contracts

    In this workshop Thomas West will give us insight into contracts from France and the United States and will discuss key concepts, such as “consideration” in English-language agreements and the distinction between “obligations de moyens” and “obligations de résultats” in French-language ones. We will also discuss issues of syntax and consider whether the translation of a contract should follow French word order or whether it is appropriate to change the word order in English.

    RUSSIAN. – Dissecting Russian contracts

    Thomas West will talk about contract law in Russia and how it differs from contract law in the United States. We will particularly focus on Russian terms that are difficult to translate because there is no equivalent in the United States. We will then look at the “anatomy of a contract” and consider the boilerplate clauses that appear in most contracts. If time permits, we will try our hand at correcting a faulty translation of a contract from Russian into English.

  • 02/20/2016 21:19 | Anonymous

    NOTIS conducted a survey between November 16 and December 15, 2015, to assess member satisfaction and how to improve services to members. The survey was circulated to all NOTIS members (numbering 387 in December 2015), interpreters on the registries of state courts in the region, and members of the Interpreters United union; as well as publicized on NOTIS’s Facebook page. NOTIS was thrilled to receive responses from 211 translators and interpreters, 135 of whom were NOTIS members. Because NOTIS is almost wholly volunteer-run, we were also pleased to see that 75.4% of member respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their NOTIS membership. Many thanks to all who responded.

    Survey respondents were especially interested in the following from NOTIS:

    • More continuing education, on a broader range of topics, in more geographic areas
    • Better marketing of NOTIS’s online directory of translators and interpreters, and of NOTIS and its members generally, to the region’s business community
    • Improved communication with members
    • More advocacy for translators and interpreters

    We hear you! Based on your input, NOTIS’s 2016 priorities include expanded continuing education, improved marketing of our members’ services, and improved communication with members. Specific 2016 plans include:

    • Webinars! NOTIS will offer at least two webinars, accessible to translators and interpreters anywhere with internet access, in 2016.
    • Expanded in-person continuing education programming, in a wider range of locations
    • Improvement of our website and online directory, and marketing of the directory
    • Introduction of the Northwest Linguist blog, with posts at least monthly
    • Improving our systems to simplify membership renewal and event registration
    • Appointment of a new advocacy chair, with academic and research experience in community interpreting

    Do any of these projects interest you? Would you like to pitch in with planning webinars, classes or social events? Marketing NOTIS to the Northwest business community? Sharing your thoughts on translation, interpretation, or language access for our blog? Advocating for translators and interpreters?

    Please contact us at! Our work depends on volunteers like you, and working together benefits our profession, the community, and our members’ bottom line.

  • 02/14/2016 16:30 | Deleted user

    We have many new Board members who diligently work to serve our profession in general, and our local translator and interpreter members specifically.

    Check them out on this page, and if you have questions ask them.

    You want to get involved? We have many committees where you can engage and help to make our member community still stronger, and even more fun. Check out the committees page.


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