Excerpts of the following appeared on the website of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (http://bit.ly/Navarro-Hall-tribute).
Esther M. Navarro-Hall, praised for her contributions to the translation and interpreting professions, died November 2 in New Mexico. She had been an ATA member since 1993.
Esther was an alumna and longtime adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where she taught conference, court, and community interpreting. Esther was considered a pioneer in the use of new technology for consecutive-simultaneous interpreting. She created the Sim-Consec™ (Simultaneous-Consecutive) method, an innovative combination of the two interpreting modes delivered using various digital technologies. She provided training in this method to interpreters around the world.
Esther also worked as a freelance interpreter, trainer, and consultant for more than 30 years, including interpreting for the U.S. Department of State. She was an ATA-certified English>Spanish translator and a federally certified court interpreter and a state-certified court and medical interpreter (California). She gave back to her professional community in many ways, including serving as chair of the board of directors for the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. She was also a frequent presenter at ATA’s Annual Conference.
Esther’s colleagues praised her contributions to the field, calling her a talented interpreter, a dedicated trainer, a devoted advocate for the interpreting profession, and a caring humanitarian. When her native Mexico was hit with the strongest earthquake in a century in 2017, Esther quickly organized a response. Her “Interpreter Brigade” focused on coordinating assistance and bringing aid to people in non-Spanish speaking areas. “As interpreters and translators, we are a vital link in the communication chain that is so essential to all aid efforts,” she said at the time. She also said that she felt very fortunate in her life and that it gave her “great joy” to give back to those who could benefit from her help. When fires devastated Northern California last winter, she didn’t wait for the call, but packed her car with supplies and offered her assistance where needed along with her husband of 28 years, David Hall.
“I knew Esther first as a student and then as a valued colleague,” says Holly Mikkelson, a fellow professor at the Monterey Institute. “I had unceasing admiration for her brilliance, her warm heart, and her devotion to excellence in interpreting and in teaching.”