Jenny Rish, Director of English Programs, and Irma Hernandez, Spanish Bilingual Admin Coordinator, held an interactive presentation for the Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks and Recorders (TAMCAR) on Thursday, June 3, about “The Basics for Communicating with All of Your Residents.” TAMCAR is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the municipal clerk and encourages clerks and recorders to continue their professional growth and development through continuing educational opportunities. TLC helped participants think through interactions they have had with people from other cultures who speak other languages and provided some basic phrases in Spanish to help with their work.
Congratulations to the 21 Court Interpreter Students who completed the TN State Court Interpreter Ethics and Skills Building Workshop at the Tennessee Language Center on June 7, 2021. The workshop is the first requirement to becoming a Certified Court Interpreter in the State of Tennessee.
The students were from the U.S., Spain, and Mexico and representing the following languages: Spanish, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, Portuguese, and French. These students will now be put in direct contact with the TN Administrative Office of the Courts , which will guide them through the remainder of the court interpreter registration and, eventually, certification process, after which they will begin interpreting in courts and attorney offices statewide.
TLC, in collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center Interpreter Services graduated eight students from the 80-hour, 15-week program on Thursday, June 3. Languages represented include Spanish, Russian, and Arabic, and participants connected from across the state and beyond.
ESL to Go, a grant-funded program that is part of the Tennessee Language Center (TLC), has been able to provide free English classes to over 1,700 students in the Nashville area with the help of generous funders including the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. ESL to Go was recently awarded another year of funding from Dollar General.
ESL to Go was founded in hopes of helping refugees overcome barriers to attending classes, with transportation being at the top of the list. ESL to Go uses a “classroom on wheels” in the form of a Ford F-650 truck equipped to be a fully functioning classroom to take English classes to the areas where refugees live. ESL to Go also works closely with local refugee resettlement agencies, community organizations, apartment complexes, and churches who allow ESL to Go to use free classroom space, so TLC-trained teachers are able to meet with refugee students close to their homes.
Recently, ESL to Go has expanded class offerings to include virtual classes in order to continue helping students access classes during the time of social distancing.
Some translation mistakes can have a lasting, if mostly harmless, impact. Like early Biblical translators thinking Moses was “horned” instead of “radiant,” leading to some really interesting sculptures, statues, and illuminations of Moses with horns on his head. Or people thinking that Mars had manmade “canals” on it instead of erosion-created “channels” due to a translation error. But other translation mistakes can have lifelong, or even deadly, consequences, as Richard Ponce-de-Leon Monosalva, Interpretation & Translation Project Manager, illustrated during his presentation “Language Access in the Courts” at a recent MTAS Conference for Municipal Court Clerks from across Tennessee on May 21.
TLC provides certified court interpreters, and also offers training for court interpretation throughout the year.