As an interpreter, I’m always trying to improve my work. 

One of the things that I have done is taken seminars and coaching from great teachers like Holly Mikkelson, Virginia Valencia, Nestor Wagner, and Athena Maltilsky.  I’ve also taken seminars and classes from other great teachers, but for the purpose of this blog I’m highlighting these four trainers. 

Holly Mikkelson

In my opinion Holly set the standard; and her materials are amazing.  Her initial materials include scripts and recordings on her Interpreter’s Edge.

She then took it up a notch by creating the Edge 21 series which contains two tone CD’s for the Consecutive and Simultaneous modes.  Two tone means that instead of looking up the correct transfer to the target language at the end of the book, we can hear the original in one ear and the target language transfer in the other one.  The Sight Translation manual contains the CDs with the author’s translation for the scripts.

Pretty revolutionary if you ask me!

Virginia Valencia

Virginia Valencia (Interpretrain) has also done an exceptional job at helping interpreters learn in a more efficient way, with her 3 step method.  She understands learning and has taken it to the next level by breaking the learning process down into 3 steps.

She also teaches us how to self-evaluate and how to work the overall interpreting rendition. She includes the objective component and the subjective as well. 

Her programs prepare us to take court interpreting oral exams for state courts as well as at the federal level.

Virginia has also developed her Note Taking Manual.  This is game changer for consecutive interpreting!  I wish I would’ve discovered it sooner.  I looked for years for a way to be able to remember long segments of speech without loosing myself in my notes, and without having to stop a witness during court. 

I’m glad I found this great note taking tool that uses symbols and a format to enhance my memory!

Nestor Wagner

Nestor Wagner (SCSI) has developed a training program for immigration court that really impressed me!  It made me realize how fast I could learn completely new material. 

He sets up his lessons at 3 different speeds: 130 wpm (words per minute), 145 wpm and 160 wpm.  Repeating a 130wpm lesson over and over until I have it practically memorized, allowed me to do the next lesson at 145 wpm without much trouble.  After reviewing that one, I was able to go up to the 160 wpm! 

This is what I need to be to keep up in immigration court.

I don’t think I’ve ever been able to take in as many new materials as I have following this protocol.

Athena Maltilsky

Athena Maltilsky is an exceptional coach who has given me so many tools and tips on how to improve all modes of interpreting.  She recommended invaluable materials, and shared her own materials with me.

She also gave me exercises to improve my memory and my decalogue.  She understood the underlying troubles that I’ve been having and was able to give custom training to help me.

With all these available tools and with amazing study buddies, I can learn anything I set my mind to! 

Now, all I need to figure out how to make better use of my personal study time.  I need a new tool to help me create some audio flash cards to study with.  More about this in my blog: The Newest Interpreter Tool Creates Audio Flashcards.