25 Jul


Today I luckily snagged an assignment in downtown Cleveland, an hour north from our berg. I climbed in dizzying circles to the top of the parking lot tower then strode long city blocks to arrive a wee bit late for the assignment. Apologies accepted and then the real work began.


In an ideal world in an administrative hearing, each party waits patiently for the interpreter to render the words and then continue. Not so today. I decided to interpret simultaneously to both sides in a soft voice in the Spanish speaker’s ear and more pronounced one for the opposing party. The session clipped along nicely and halfway through I asked “Are you OK with this method?” Both parties were and so we continued.


Let me share a few words that came up today. At one point I asked for a moment to check a term online. The party kindly offered to rephrase that helped enormously. Out of an almost five-hour session, one pause wasn’t too much of an interference.

relief: remedio

approach n.: aproximación

gut feeling (I have a – -. [instinctive impression]) corazonada, sensación, presentimiento

reprimand (disciplinary action): boche, regaño, reprimienda

handy, that comes in – (prove useful): serle útiles (a alguien); venir bien

stool (chair): taburete

convey (information, idea): expresar

caucus v.: reunirse en consejo


Afterward I met up with my colleague Catherine Piña at the Cleveland Municipal Court. Mind you, she suggested I climb the Cleveland Trolley right outside the door instead of a trek down long city blocks to arrive at her office. Not this town fellow. I managed to find the building after asking for help only three times. We met to discuss the next CCIO event in Cleveland and share ideas to build the interpreting community in Ohio. At her insistence I agreed to take the free trolley ride back to the parking lot. Catherine patiently walked me to the stop and asked Robert, the driver, where he was headed. She made sure John didn’t spent the entire afternoon trapped on public transport.  I pulled the cord at the right time at my stop and lighted from a delightful trek through heavy traffic. For free. Here’s a picture from the back seat of the trolley.


By now you might say, what is the big deal? Perhaps for you it isn’t, but for me the adventure north included new terms, a greater respect for big cities and a view of Cleveland  from a trolley window instead of my Ford Focus. Here’s to the next adventure from the guy in the middle. Tell me about your latest adventure out-of-town.


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