Our Interpreters Want to be heard

Get to know Katherine Bluemel

We wanted to curate a space of engagement for our interpreters and providers, so this section of our publication is open for sharing stories, asking questions and discussing issues related to the fields of translating and interpreting. In addition, we want to take some time to highlight employees who have shown not only exemplary work here at LAMP, but also in all other facets of their lives. I am proud to announce that Spanish interpreter Katherine Bluemel was selected for our very first employee highlight section. Read about her career as an interpreter and her time with LAMP below!

Katherine1. How long have you been with LAMP?
I have been with LAMP since September 2006.

2. What has been the most challenging part of being an interpreter?
The complexity and idiosyncrasies of each interpreting assignment [I work]. Since I interpret in many different places including hospitals, clinics, health centers, private homes, schools, private offices, etc., each one of those settings demand a specific set of skills and certain adaptations in order to fulfill each assignment successfully. Besides possessing the professional training skills needed to interpret, I find that I need to prepare myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. It requires constant adaptation and flexibility from one interpreting assignment to the next. At the same, interpreting is refreshing and interesting and exciting for me because I never know exactly what each assignment is going to demand or teach me until I actually do it.

3. What is one thing you want people not in the field to understand about translating and interpreting?
People outside the interpreting and translating field need to understand that interpreting and translating are professions that demand specific set of skills and trainings that are just as important as other professions. Translators and interpreters seek to clearly connect two or more people in a way that surpasses any language barriers.

4. What is your best experience from LAMP or your time as an interpreter in general?
The best experiences I have had from being an interpreter have come from getting to know and serve so many wonderful and unique people including clients and providers. The most rewarding feeling is to truly be able to help someone in need without any desire to receive anything in return. Furthermore, making sure each client feels their worth is not determined from whether or not they know a second language or a certain skill, but because they are a human being and are entitled to be treated equally with respect and dignity. When I help someone feel that way, I have done my job well.

4. How has LAMP or interpreting impacted you and your life?
Working for LAMP has helped me gained valuable experiences. It has expanded my personal development and strengthened important character traits. I have developed more patience, endurance, gratitude, appreciation and respect for other cultures and points of views, cooperation, discipline, consistency, leadership skills, and an increasing desire to be more service-oriented. I have learned to embrace new situations and people even if they may seem daunting. Most importantly, I have become more open-minded and understanding to others, and my love for people has increased.