Blog & Information

Here is how you helped industry non-profits by attending IEO 2nd Language Access conference

We received such an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for our 2nd Language Access Conference. Part of the proceeds was donated to several industry non-profits. Here are some of their thank you notes. This wouldn’t have been possible without all of the attendees and sponsors. Thank you for making the world a better place!

“Thank you so much for all your support! I wanted to personally thank you for your generous donation to TWB’s Holiday Fundraising Campaign “ Language for a Just World”. With your help, we were able to exceed our fundraising goal and raise $118,000. This is an outstanding achievement in a very difficult year.

Your donation helps us build a more just world, through language:

  • Translate critical COVID-19 information into over 150 languages
  • Develop multilingual chatbots that allow speakers of marginalized languages access the information they need, when they want it, in their language
  • Build a more equitable world that allows everyone access information and share their voice, no matter what language they speak

Many of us were grappling with a lot of uncertainty and unexpected challenges in 2020. I really appreciate your commitment to helping the world’s most vulnerable people get vital information in a language they can understand. Without your support, we could not do this much needed work.

Although I don’t know what will happen next in these tumultuous times, I do know that TWB will be ready to face whatever comes next because of the support we have received from the whole team at Interpreter Education Online. Thanks to you we will continue to share information, rapidly respond, and listen to people across the globe in a multitude of languages. We very much appreciate your support, and hope that we can continue to count on you. Thank you.

Translators without Borders”

“On behalf of Translation Commons, I would like to thank you for your generous gift. With your help we will manage to progress our agenda on our “Impact” programs and further develop our online “Community” and knowledge “Academy”.

Translation Commons


Letter to CDC: interpreters are essential and need to be vaccinated

Photo courtesy of Beth Podber

ATA wrote a letter to CDC, urging “to explicitly include on-site medical interpreters among the listed examples of health care personnel (HCP) eligible for Phase 1 vaccinations, and to include on-site interpreters in other settings (community interpreting, educational interpreting, state and local government offices, court and interpreters in legal or administrative law settings) among “other essential workers” per theCybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).”

We support the leading industry associations coming together to put out a strong message on the need for onsite medical interpreters to be recognized for who they are: frontline workers, regardless whether they are employees of a particular organization or work as freelancers in a variety of medical settings. 

IEO hopes that this step will help interpreters receive vaccinations in the earlier phase and may overall lead to wider acceptance of the essential, life-changing role interpreters play in healthcare, court, community and government settings.

IEO 2nd conference feedback

Thank you, everyone who joined us last week, our great sponsors and amazing speakers! We appreciate each and every one of you. 

The recorded video will be available and sent out to all attendees this week. If you registered for CEUs, please find the attendance questionnaire here. It was also emailed to everyone on Monday. 

The winners of free courses and IEO Plus membership were notified by email. Congratulations!

Below is some feedback we’d like to share with you, as none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you!

I have been in many trainings and some conferences, just this year, and I am very impressed with your coordination, presentation, presenters, information and price of this event! – Mariela S.

Overall, I enjoyed the conference and its wealth of helpful information to help me stay on top of my profession, by being aware of the various changes affecting our profession and to continue to make flexible self-improvements through different trainings and new technologies. – Lee Y.

They were ALL really helpful, but I really got a lot out of the sessions on What the future holds [by Bill, Chris and Konstantin], Pivoting in the time of “Quaranteams,” [by Liz, Ernest and Janis] and What the job market says [by Paul, Virginia, Ksenia and Beth]. I’ve started working for a remote interpreting company, and I’m reassured knowing that to an extent, remote interpreting will now be here to stay. This is SUCH an impossible time to hold a “conference,” and yet IEO successfully addressed concerns that are common among many of us. THANK YOU!!!! – Virginia C.

“HIPAA for Interpreters and Translators” was a very beneficial session, with important information for interpreters as well as healthcare providers. The examples of actual legal cases were very helpful. “Language Access and the Law” was an  excellent panel and the dynamics between the speakers [Bruce and Carla] was great. The information discussed was interesting (best practices during the pandemic, possible changes with new administration, for instance). I also liked that they addressed topics such as the COVID vaccine, mandatory vaccination, and the future of onsite vs. remote interpreting. However, I believe all the sessions and panels were informative and insightful. Thank you! – Roxana D.

All of the sessions were very informative. From the current results on the ongoing study on EtoE that CHI is conducting presented by Natalya to the expansion and growth of the RIS across all platforms. I was also very happy to hear about alternatives to the current face to face interpretations. From dubbing and subbing to translations and which equipment to use. I was even reintroduced to Audacity per Natali‘s panel and was very happy to note I could still edit as before.  Overall the panels were very informative and, for me, served as a reminder that although circumstances have changed, the interpreting community is still thriving. – Silvia O.

Language access and the law [by Bruce and Carla] was very informative. The panel was interactive and educational. The speakers were all very informative and I definitely will follow up on getting the training necessary to get certified. I am very thankful for all the information shared such as links to websites, all answers were thorough, and all speakers were great. Loved that you saved Caitilin for last. Great way to end on an upbeat note. – Mariana R.


The case about an ASL interpreter following the standards of practice and not the laws was extremely interesting. Natalya‘s presentation on findings of the study was great. Thanks to Jinny! Caitilin‘s sense of humor is fantastic! – Thea Tahary

I enjoyed all the discussions, but of course especially Caitilin Walsh‘s. I needed that in these challenging times. Looking forward to the next conference! – Anamaria Tet

Each panelist added important information. For example: What the future holds was great, especially  Bill Rivers. Expanding skills and carriers all were very informative, Rafa was great. National ETOE Study: Natalya was very detailed. Advocacy, Caitilin Walsh was amazing. It was a full package conference that covered all aspects and was rich with important information. – Sura A.

Bruce Adelson’s explanation of HIPAA with real-life examples made the topic very clear to me – especially his instructions on HIPAA compliance when it comes to transparency. Giovanna Lester’s presentation was very inspiring, I appreciate the list of resources and the new outlook on this profession that she opened for me. [Bill, Chris and Konstantin] had a great discussion. It was so interesting to hear different perspectives on job opportunities worldwide and some great advice on how to expand your business and go global. I feel pretty inspired! – Gulya S.

Loved being able to hear from panelists from all over the US and the world. The technology information and new paths for employment – very, very informative. – Maria C.

The last session with Caitilin Walsh called Doom, Gloom and Zoom.  It was a great place to listen to her after a very long day at this wonderful conference. I remembered her from the last time and looked forward to her warm demeanour, wise teachings and cute sense of humour! – Linda R.

I liked everything shared about COVID. How to take care of ourselves, it was an eye opener. Each one of the sessions was important for me. Everything was refreshing to hear since I’ve been actively trying to stay afloat in my profession as an interpreter. I am from California and in the first session [by Bill, Chris and Konstantin] it was very important to hear about liability being an independent contractor, having a business and federal tax ID. For me this information is crucial to continue working as an interpreter. I enjoyed the last one [by Caitilin] about how to deal with stress. It was very entertaining and uplifting. – Gloria V.

They were all excellent, but most appropriate for me were Language access and the law [by Bruce and Carla], because it highlighted concepts I’d not thought about, and the Quarantining and Pivoting. As a whole, the entire conference made me realize I need to rethink / retool and figure out what direction I’m going and how I’m going to get there. – Judith H.

HIPAA, What the Future Holds, Bruce and Carla, quarantines and doomscrolling, and What the job market says. All wonderful resources for me to learn the helpful knowledge and the current situation.  I truly appreciate the honest & frank discussions as well as great information they shared during the sessions.  Timely and insightful. As CoreCHI myself, EtoE session [by Natalya] was interesting and gave me an idea of what ability I can improve. Expanding skills and careers [by Natali, Alessandra and Rafa] gave me valuable tips as well. Advocacy [by Caitilin] gave me a good vibe!  All these sessions gave me an idea of what I can do and how I can start exploring. Practical and encouraging. – Akiko K.

Bruce Adelson’s HIPAA workshop was a reinforcement and refresher of things we miss sometimes. Great examples, very clear. Language access and law: loved Carla Fogaren’s presentation and opinions. She was very clear and said what is really going on on hospitals and how valuable interpreters are in that setting. Liz. Ernest and Janis were great stating challenges of their profession. Great comments. Love expanding skills. Love Rafa Lombardino’s career. Liked Natali’s career and a great way to show what we can do expanding our skills, same with Alessandra. Victor Sosa was great at opening eyes as well as Mireya Perez. – Victoria C. 

What the Future Holds [by Bill, Chris and Konstantin] was the most informative panel to me. Although I have to say that they all were good. I did come away with something from each and every one of them. – Selia C.


I learned something from every single one of the sessions and panels. Perhaps the two that enlightened me the most were “Expanding Skills and Careers” [by Natali, Alessandra and Rafa] and also ”Pivoting…” [by Liz, Ernest and Janis]. Some were very interesting, but not very applicable to my own situation, like the “needs in education” [by Victor Sosa]. – Laura G.

It’s hard to name just one – they were all wonderful in their own way. I found the session “National EtoE Study: Preliminary Results” [by Natalya] very interesting, because this study seems so promising in terms of development of an assessment for those desiring to interpret for languages other than Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic. I was also very interested in “Navigating Language Access in K-12 Education” [by Mireya Perez], because I was an elementary school teacher for over 20 years, 4 of those working in a Title VII Bilingual Program in the 1970’s. – Sheila A. 

The most beneficial information I learned was from the National ETOE study [by Natalya]: the importance of memory and being able to bring an equivalent message into the new language.  This encourages me to keep working on memory games, and practicing simultaneous interpreting while driving. From the one on Quaranteams [by Liz, Ernest and Janis], I appreciated all the tips about Zoom, and I also liked hearing them tell how they dealt with problems when they arose. It’s healing to know that problems happen to everyone and what’s important is continuing in the most professional way possible. From the first one today, one of the notes I made was about appreciating Konstantin’s approach to evaluating opportunities. Caitilin Walsh – invigorating presenter to wrap up the day! – Tammy S.

The conference was excellent with lots of important information and great ideas on adapting to the new reality and getting jobs. It was also a great opportunity to network with colleagues. – Monica P.

Bruce Adelson presented interesting cases that spoke to how our professionalism and confidentiality play an important role. I also enjoyed the one about the options that we have in addition to interpreting: audio, subtitling, voice over [by Natali, Alessandra and Rafa]. Overall kudos to the organizers, sponsors, presenters, and attendees! Wonderful conference. See you all very soon! – Ingrid G.

I really enjoyed “Expanding Skills and Careers” with Rafa Lombardino, Alessandra Checcarelli and Natali Lekka, as most of the discussion was about things that were new to me. Gio Lester did a great job talking about integrating technology and applications into one’s work, and the session with Carla Fogaren and Bruce Adelson was critically important for interpreters to feel justified in keeping safe while performing their work. Well done, IEO! – Eliana L.

Enjoyed discussion regarding what is to come [by Bill, Chris and Konstantin] and general feeling from all panelists that need for interpreters will bounce back. Also really enjoyed the first session with Bruce related to HIPAA. I’m primarily a medical interpreter and run into these situations often. Hearing about specific cases and incidental disclosures was helpful. Better information than most HIPAA trainings. – Quang T.

Interpreting 2020: pivoting in the time of quaranteams and doomscrolling [by Liz, Ernest and Janis] was a favorite, it talked a lot about the current reality of working during the pandemic and how to deal with it. – Felicia B.

Overall it was great to hear other colleagues talk about their experience working remotely and the challenges that they have. I also learned about different applications and programs to use for interpreting and translating, all very exciting. – Josefina H.

I was thrilled to participate and hear each presenter. Giovanna Lester on Thursday was awesome! Her insight, technology challenges and conquests made her presentation interesting and educational. She shared lots of tools for interpreters such as interpreter websites and how to grow my business. – Patricia N.

Honestly, all panels were awesome. I got some valuable information on surviving pandemic as a professional interpreter. Great advice on self-care. I’m glad that there is a supportive community out there and I’ll be looking forward to the summer session. – Maria L. 

The session which included 4 panelists [Paul, Virginia, Ksenia and Beth] sharing their insights and expertise regarding new opening opportunities coming up for interpreters and language professionals. In addition to information on new business it was very motivational, something needed in these times of uncertainties. – Ricardo S.

The panelists were well prepared, therefore, they conveyed a lot of information that it’s helpful for how we are conducting business these days. The conference itself was very organized! I enjoyed every session! – Marina B.

I found it useful to listen to Bruce Adelson’s lecture on HIPAA. I thought it would be the most boring one, as I was trained in HIPAA a few times. To my surprise, that was a very informative lecture! I found the examples that Bruce presented very useful. I think that HIPAA training should be done in a form of lecture. Current training is not sufficient. – Katarzyna P.

All of the sessions were very useful to me, both in improving current work and in planning for career development into other areas of language-related work. I felt the HIPAA presentation [by Bruce] was a very good refresher, Language Access and the Law [by Bruce] and Carla], and Pivoting in the Time of Quaranteams and Doomscrolling [by Liz, Ernest and Janis] were most helpful and interesting. – Lily C.

All of them where excellent and gave a lot of great information. I liked What the future holds…excellent panelists [Bill, Chris and Konstantin]. Lots of insight regarding our profession. Also, Language access and the law, it was great to listen to these 2 panelists. Carla Fogaren is great and Bruce too. Very informative. I liked all the sessions, good information regarding tools and technology for us to use. – Victoria C.

I genuinely enjoyed hearing Gio Lester talk about the many opportunities out there for interpreters/translators, such as audio, narrating, blogging etc. It really opened up my mind and gave me sense of direction, in order to continue growing professionally and personally. All of the presenters had valuable info and I appreciate them all for their work and time. – Maria V.

I was most fascinated by Natalya’s presentation on the EtoE preliminary findings. I also enjoyed hearing from Bruce and Carla about language access and the law. They both had very interesting perspectives from parts of the field I don’t often get to hear from.– Katherine D.

I truly enjoyed all the panels, but the most beneficial ones were Bruce Adelson presenting on HIPPA, and the Law. Although I am Lead of our language services department at Children’s Wisconsin, and our focus is hospital interpreters, I found the legal interpreter panel very interesting as well as the platforms they use. I appreciated the apps they shared with us as well. – Aimee R.

HIPAA information that was provided [by Bruce] was an excellent reference, I took many notes that I am certain I shall revisit in the future. Also sessions that dealt with the technology aspects, both new and emerging were very beneficial and eye opening not only in regards to working in the current atmosphere of the pandemic, but also in regards to moving towards a future in a world that is becoming more connected through technology. I would like to add that it was inspiring and comforting to hear about the panelists’ various coping skills….these days it is always good to add something new to one’s routine of self care. – Mona H.

Doom, Gloom & Zoom (aka Advocacy) by Caitilin Walsh! While I found all sessions very informative and engaging, this one was just a perfect end to a great conference. It is so important that we as Interpreters take care of ourselves and learn to be kind to ourselves so we can continue to do the great job that we do for our community. Caitilin was on point, funny and helped make what would have been a very long day, seem like a breeze. – Dolly M.

I loved the conference, it was full of so many practical suggestions and examples from very experienced and successful professionals. It was great. – Alicia P.

Featured Translator: Natali Lekka

Our Featured Translator this week is Natali Lekka. Natali has a MA in Translation Studies from the University of Warwick in the UK and has been translating professionally from English and French into Greek since 2008. She specializes in marketing, advertising and transcreation. Natali is also a bilingual content writer and feature writer for brands and publications. In 2020, she launched “Content Writing For Translators”, an e-course that helps translators branch out to content writing. She was also named #11 of top 50 influencers in the localization industry by Nimdzi Insights. 

Q: How long have you been a translator? Why did you choose this profession? 

A: I grew up in a multilingual household. My mom who grew up in the former Belgian Congo is a French speaker and my first best friend at the age of six was an American girl, so I’ve always known I wanted to work with languages.

I studied to become a translator at the end of the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 10 years later that I decided to become a freelancer. Translation encompasses my two biggest passions: languages and writing.   

Q: Do you remember your first translation job?

A: Back in the 1990s when I was still a student, I was asked to translate two pages of a very densely written French text into Greek. Not knowing what to charge back then, I asked for 5,000 drachmas per page. I couldn’t believe my luck when I made my first 10,000 drachmas from translating (about 30.00 USD).  I thought no one could be in their right mind to pay me that much for my work!

Q: What was the funniest/most interesting experience in the job?

A: Even before I became a full-time freelance translator in 2011, most of the jobs I did involved languages. In 2005 I started working on a travel and property TV program for Channel 4 in the UK. I was sent to Spain to talk to real estate agents and interpret between prospective buyers and agents.  

But the most interesting and life-affirming experience for me was meeting my husband-to-be through translation.  He was looking for a Greek translator for one of his clients when a mutual acquaintance of ours put us in touch. I did an excellent job for him and kept it professional for about 2 years before our late-night conversations over gTalk evolved into something else. We still have that first e-mail he sent out looking for a Greek translator. 

Q: Which social media do you use? What are your most favorite pages/accounts/groups to follow?

A: LinkedIn, hands down! I try to be active as often as I can, and it seems people like what I am posting because this year Nimdzi Insights chose me to be on their Top 50 Localization Influencers Watchlist. What an honor!

On Facebook, my three favorite FB groups to follow are:  “Things Translators Never Say”, “Foodie Translators” and “Translators with CATs”.

Q: What are your favorite books?

A: Business development books aside, I am a big Nordic noir fan and love Icelandic authors especially. I am also a big fan of modern Japanese literature.  Finally, I really like reading Gaston Dorren’s books about languages.

Q: What advice would you give to an up-and-coming translator?

A: Pick a specialization or two, read a lot and try to become the go-to person in your expert field. Many specializations does not equal more work. No one wants to work with a jack of all trades.

Make CPD part of your business plan and don’t hesitate to pivot or add more skills to your skill set. Learning about new skills such as writing, editing, CAT tools or DTP will only serve to make you better as a translator.

Q: What do you do to develop your professional skills? Webinars, conferences?

A: I am a serial course taker. I do both free and paid courses about various aspects of my business, especially marketing, which is my main specialization as a translator too. I also like attending trade shows in person (when that’s possible), as this allows me to find potential clients.

Q: What would you like changed or improved in the industry?

A: I think university modern language or translation degrees should become more applied, by offering to teach skills like CAT tools, marketing and small business administration. Learning about language and culture is very important of course, but that often leads to people graduating with a degree without knowing anything about starting a business or finding a client.

Moreover, the industry needs to assert itself and educate clients about the value it offers.  Marketing translators for example should be paid the same as copywriters, as localization is copywriting in another language.

Q: What is the most important to be successful as a translator, in your opinion?

A: The most important thing in my opinion is to try and achieve a healthy work-life balance. As freelancers, we often find it difficult to switch off, especially when we have to work with clients from different time zones. There is also this flawed mentality that the more work we have, the more successful we must be, when this is, in fact, a by-product of the poor rates that are on offer in the industry.  Our industry seems to consider burnout a badge of honor, but this needs to change. Success for me is having both a healthy lifestyle and a healthy bank balance. If you feel you need to work all the time to make ends meet, then consider raising your fees or creating some passive income. 

You can find Natali on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Natali is one of the speakers at IEO 2nd conference Language Access and the New Reality on December 3-4, 2020. Together with Alessandra Checcarelli and Rafa Lombardino she will be speaking on the panel “Expanding skills and careers”. This panel will discuss the potential to diversify your career by acquiring new knowledge. Topics to be covered are content writing, live subtitling and voiceover.

CCHI and Critical Incident Report

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) is one of IEO 2nd online conference’s Gold sponsors. CCHI administers a national, accredited, and inclusive certification program for healthcare interpreters in the U.S. CCHI is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization founded in 2009, with the purpose to assess medical interpreters’ competence and to help ensure quality of interpreting in any healthcare setting and in any modality of interpreting. CCHI is the only national certifying entity offering accredited comprehensive certification programs for medical interpreters.

CCHI offers two national certifications: CoreCHI™, a language-neutral core professional knowledge certification, and CHI™, a language-specific performance certification, available in Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish. CCHI counts over 4,400 certificants nationwide. 

Reflect on your interpreting encounters and submit an online Critical Incident Report. Share your concerns and help us learn from each other!

Translation + Interpretation + Management = Plunet BusinessManager!

Plunet BusinessManager is one of IEO’s 2nd conference Platinum sponsors and the integrated management system for translation and interpretation businesses.

Would you like to know how you can manage translation and interpreting projects with one powerful software solution? If so, check out this fact sheet / flyer on Plunet InterpretingManager module. 

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