Interpreting teams being blunt with each other for the sake of consumers

They did not seem to find a need to soften the statements with qualifiers or with the use of questions. As indicated earlier, this may be due to their comfort level with each other.

–Shaw, 1995 p. 265

I read the above statement in an article by Risa Shaw called “A conversation: Written feedback while team interpreting” and it summarized the many examples of respectfully blunt notes the interpreting team wrote to each other. I envy their rapport, that they were able to be so blunt with each other for the sake of their consumers! I felt the same envy when I read the article in the Views last spring by the husband-wife interpreting team and the notes they wrote to each other while teaming (Snyder & Snyder, 2011). I have not had many experiences with no-nonsense, helpful, “just-say-it” note-taking; yes, I have done notes, and it has been helpful, but I don’t think the notes between me and my partners have ever been as dedicated to excellence as these examples are.

Have you had the pleasure of such note-taking with your team interpreters? I would love to read some examples of notes you have written to each other that have had positive affects on the work at hand. Consumers: Have you even been aware of the feedback your interpreting teams are giving each other that is positively or negatively affecting the service you receive? Please leave comments.


Shaw, R. (1995). A conversation: Written feedback while team interpreting. In Elizabeth W. (Ed.) Mapping Our Course: A Collaborative Venture, pp. 245-276. Charlotte, NC: Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Retrieved from

Snyder, C. & Snyder, N. (2011). Let’s go team! Views 28(2). Alexandria, VA: Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.


Response to RID Invalid NIC Scores Announcement

The gist of my comments, for those who don’t know American Sign Language, is that we should trust the validity of the NIC (National Interpreter Certification) and the RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf). This unfortunate incident of one individual’s corrupt behavior does not invalidate test scores any but 3% of test takers during the time in question; those candidates have already been notified and will have to retest. RID conducted the examination into this matter professionally in every way, and though I was frustrated myself while waiting for my test results for a long time, I now applaud RID for following a stringent protocol and maintaining secrecy about the situation until the investigation was complete. Please, consumers of interpreting services, continue to trust RID. It is a trustworthy organization. And please, fellow interpreters, do not doubt your scores. If you passed at the level you wanted, there is no need to retest. If you failed, you failed. Many of us fail tests the first time. Believe the results, learn what you need to learn to pass the test, and retake it. That’s what I did, and it worked. Again, this is a sad situation, but it has been handled. Let’s not let this get us down. We are good and RID is good. I am proud of us.

P.S. I forgot to include a link to the source announcement. I don’t want to post a link to the RID media page, because that link is constantly changing, so I will refer you to RID Addresses Invalid Rater Scores on National Interpreter Certification Exam — FAQs.

My Article on Vague Language (VL) Featured in RID Views

RID Views Cover Spring 2011My article “Interpreting Intentionally Vague Language” was featured in the RID Views, Spring 2011. If you read the article, or are already familiar with VL, I would like to know your thoughts on the subject, so please feel free to leave a comment on this blog post.

In case you’re interested, I teach workshops on VL and other topics— and love to travel. 🙂

I earned the title NIC Master and learned a lot along the way!

I am happy to announce that the results of the “practical” and “oral” exam I took in August came in today: I passed at the Master level! The certifying board is the RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf), and the exam is the National Interpreter Certification exam co–developed by NAD (National Association of the Deaf) and RID. Master is the highest of three levels: NIC, NIC Advanced, and NIC Master.

I took this exam even though I was already RID-certified in 1998 and 1999, respectively, with the CI (Certificate of Interpretation) and CT (Certificate of Transliteration). The reason I took it was to stay current with my profession and show the interpreters I train and students I teach that I have mastered the test they hope to pass or advance in.

Studying for the interview portion of this exam got me more familiar than ever with the NAD–RID Code of Professional Conduct (CPC). This helped me become a more ethically minded interpreter who can think through dilemmas, see the perspectives of all the stakeholders, enact solutions, and foresee the short– and long–term effects of my actions. If for nothing else, I am glad I took the exam the professional development aspect.

I am grateful to Michelle Monahan, NIC Master, for her Mastering the Interview Portion of the NIC Exam workshop and to Windy Kellems, NIC Master, for being my study buddy as we practiced together to articulate answers to ethical dilemmas. You were both a great help, Michelle and Windy!

—Daniel Greene, BA, CI and CT, NIC Master 🙂

Day before oral exam prep ideas?

I’m sitting for an oral exam tomorrow that I have been preparing for the past two months (well, more than that, if you consider workshops and general studies). I’m going to be taking the RID NIC performance exam.

I would love to hear from people who have prepared for oral exams, board exams, etc. What did you do the day before the test to get yourself ready to excel?

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