Earned my Court Interpreter Certificate!

Certification is important to me because it requires me to improve my skills so I can give better service to consumers.

I just found out I earned the Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters Court Interpreter Certificate (BEI CIC)! This is a very stringent test of ASL/English interpreting skill in legal / judicial / law enforcement contexts. It took two attempts, almost three years apart, for me to pass. The first time it took seven months to find out I didn’t pass; the second time it took three months to find out I passed. There was a whole year during COVID-19 quarantine when they were not administering the test, so when the BEI started administering the test again, I jumped on the chance to take it. I needed it to keep doing legal interpreting in my home state of Arizona!

The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) is the licensing body for ASL/English interpreters in the state of Arizona, and in order for one to get a license, one must be certified by either the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or the BEI. That’s just for a general license. For the Legal A license, which is required for an interpreter to work alone in all legal settings, one must hold either the RID Specialist Certificate: Legal (SC:L, which was placed under moratorium in 2016) or the BEI CIC. One used to be able to take the SC:L test at any nearby testing location, but the BEI CIC test can only be taken in Austin, TX, which makes taking the test a business trip, including flight, hotel, and rental car— quite expensive! It’s worth it to me, though, because I love legal interpreting, have been doing it for six years now, and needed the BEI CIC to keep doing it. I do get paid more for legal interpreting, and am more in demand because I can be assigned to do legal jobs, so the expense of becoming certified is a worthwhile cost of doing business. Above all, certification is important to me because it requires me to improve my skills so I can give better service to consumers.

This is my sixth interpreting certificate. I earned the California Association of the Deaf Certificate of Competence Level IV – Advanced (CAD IV) in 1991, the National Association of the Deaf Certificate of Competence Level IV – Advanced (NAD IV) in 1998, the RID Certificate of Interpretation (CI) in 1998, the RID Certificate of Transliteration (CT) in 1999, the NAD-RID National Interpreter Certificate (NIC) Master in 2010, and now the BEI CIC in 2021.

Reblog: interpreter’s viral moment misses the point (opinion) – CNN

Lilit Marcus, who is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), whose first language was American Sign Language, calls out hearing folks who are sharing the now-viral video of ASL interpreter Amber Galloway Gallego working at a Twista performance.
— Read on www-m.cnn.com/2019/08/23/opinions/asl-interpreter-twista-video-deaf-culture-marcus/index.html

I love this article. it reminds me of what I want to say to the 1,000 hearing people watching me while I interpret for a single Deaf person: “I’m here for them, not for you.”

2019 Preview

Here are some of my resolutions and plans for 2019:

This evening I started teaching my beginning course of American Sign Language, ASL I or SLG101 as they call it at Paradise Valley Community College. After teaching at the Maricopa Community Colleges during the day for the past five-and-a-half years, I am finally teaching an evening class. It will be interesting to see how it goes. One benefit will be that it will not interfere with my interpreting schedule. One change I notice is that I do not have as many concurrently enrolled high school students as I get during the day; I have a few of them, though, and the rest are very young, with one or two exceptions. I am looking forward to teaching this course through May. I do not know whether I will be teaching an ASL II course this summer to immediately follow through with my ASL I students or I will be teaching both ASL I and ASL II next fall. Usually we teach ASL I in the fall and ASL II in the spring, but my division chair wanted me to teach an ASL I class in the spring, and it is just about full! Obviously students don’t care whether it’s the fall or the spring; they just want to start learning ASL. I look forward to another good year of teaching in 2019.

I plan to continue giving workshops in 2019, including all the workshops I have taught before plus a new workshop I have developed to introduce people to trilingual (English-Spanish-ASL) interpreting and the special demands of interpreting in Spanish-influenced settings. My goal is to educate those who are in charge of hiring interpreters for these settings as well as interpreters who already work in these settings or are interested in doing so. Having done a fair amount of bilingual interpreting with Spanish-English interpreting partners as well as trilingual interpreting on my own and with other trilingual partners — and having attended the trilingual interpreting track at a conference last year — I feel ready to share what I have learned with those who can serve our Deaf clients, their Spanish-speaking loved ones, and the English-speaking people they communicate with.

In terms of trilingual interpreting, I will retake the Test of Spanish Proficiency and, if I pass it (which I think I will), the Trilingual Interpreting Exam. I believe I might actually pass it after one or two tries this year. Wish me success! (I would say luck, but it’s really all about hard work.)

On the friendship front, I am so happy to say that I met a guy at the end of 2018 who I have gone out with several times over the last three weeks. It is new and exciting, and although a long-distance Spanish conversation partner of mine told me not to get my hopes up, I told him I am going to enjoy this moment. I know that not all relationships last, but I also know that all we have is the present. There are never any guarantees that our loved ones will be with us in the future; they could die at any moment or leave us for unforeseen reasons. For instance, I know our old dog will die in the not-too-distant future, and it grieves me to think about it, but I shut it out of my mind and enjoy every sweet moment with her while she is still with us. I will likewise enjoy every fine moment with a friend, come what may.

Travel will come later this year with a South American cruise. We booked today, and will be joined by our dear friends from Quebec. Aside from the cruise we met on, it will be our first cruise together; actually it will be the first cruise we’ve ever taken with friends. I am sure we will not always want to do the same things for two weeks on end, but I look forward to all the good times we will share.

As far as resolutions are concerned, I would have to say that something I resolved to do last year, say less and mean more, is a continuous goal. I will also continue to work on being a good friend and having a good friend (or a few good friends).

Thank you for reading, and I wish you the best possible 2019.