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Webinar Series

Preserving Interpreter Neutrality: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Advocacy

February 20 / 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Uncover the essence of interpreter neutrality and learn to navigate the challenges of advocacy in this webinar, equipping language professionals with the insights and practical strategies needed to preserve the crucial tenets of impartiality and neutrality in interpreting.

The urge to help is natural for interpreters drawn to the profession by a desire to facilitate communication among people. By recognizing and acknowledging this urge and the motivations behind it, as well as the crucial reasons why advocacy falls outside the purview of our profession, we equip ourselves with the tools necessary to remain true to our mandate of neutrality and impartiality. The presenters will emphasize the importance of interpreter neutrality and provide practical tips to avoid and resist the temptation to venture outside the scope of interpreting.

The webinar addresses the pitfalls of advocacy in all areas of interpreting. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines pitfall as follows: a hidden or not easily recognized danger or difficulty.

The presenters are well aware of the codes of ethics for healthcare interpreters in the US. In 2004, the NCIHC published its code stating, “The idea of advocacy in relation to health care interpreting has been and continues to be a controversial one.” So frequently interpreters misunderstand their canon on advocacy, that NCIHC found it necessary to publish in 2021 a 55-page document to dispel some misconceptions. The webinar touches on some of those misunderstandings by focusing on the motivations that underlie interpreters’ urge to advocate

In this webinar, you will:

  1. Learn about the importance of neutrality and impartiality for interpreters.
  2. Understand the origins of cultural brokerage.
  3. Recognize the motivations behind the desire to advocate.
  4. Refrain from actions and behaviors that create the perception of bias.

This webinar has been approved for 0.1 IMIA/NBCMI CEUs, and 1 CE point for WA AOC.


About the Presenters

Emma Garkavi, CT is a certified Russian court interpreter in Washington and California and an ATA-certified English>Russian translator. She served as president of the Washington Court Interpreters and Translators Society. She participated in developing the ASTM F2089-15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting. She co-authored the Washington State Supreme Court General Rule 11.2 – Code of Professional Responsibility for Judiciary Interpreters, and Standards of Practice and Ethics for Judiciary Interpreters. During her 14-year tenure as interpreter services manager for Seattle Municipal Court, she set standards for pay and protocols that served as a benchmark for the entire state.

Linda Noble, CT is a certified Russian court interpreter in Washington and an ATA-certified Russian>English translator. She received her BA in Russian studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, then studied verbal prefixation at the Pushkin Institute, Moscow, USSR. She worked as an interpreter, editor, and translator in Moscow before returning to the U.S. and pursuing court interpreting. She delved into issues of interpreter ethics, practices, and policy, serving six years on the Washington Supreme Court Interpreter Commission. She co-authored Standards of Practice for Judiciary Interpreters, Supreme Court General Rules 11.2 and 11.4, and the Bench Card for Courtroom Interpreting—all in Washington State.

Milena Calderari-Waldron is a certified Spanish court interpreter in Washington, a Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (WA DSHS) certified Spanish medical and social services Interpreter, and a WA DSHS certified English>Spanish translator. She has a general certificate of English (University of Cambridge). She completed her O levels in Spanish, French, and Latin (University of London). She has a licence d’histoire de l’art et archéologie (Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne). She is a drafting member of ASTM F2089-15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting. She is co-author of the court rules GR 11.2 and GR 11.4. She is a former adjunct faculty member for Bellevue College’s Translation and Interpreting Certificate Program (TRANS 106 Ethics and Business Practices for Interpreters).


Register Now!


February 20
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
Event Category:
Presenter(s): Emma Garkavi, Linda Noble, and Milena Calderari Waldron
Duration: 60 minutes
Presenting Language(s): English
Level: All levels
ATA CEPs: 1.0

Code of Conduct

ATA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Code of Conduct for Virtual Programs.



American Translators Association

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