Collegiality Counts


Years ago when studying for my Masters in Translation, a professor advised “You need to have friends and colleagues to contact when in a pinch.” Those words rang true today when I couldn’t reach an internet connection on the trusty iPhone. I needed a term stat. A mother mentioned in the waiting room that her son ”No atina el sonido.” What? I had seen ”atinar” before but couldn’t understand the context. Let’s consult Linguee Alas, no internet connection on my phone. Blasted cement walls.


I tried the hospital’s Wifi. No dice. I tried a second hospital Wifi. Nope. Soon Miss Medical Assistant would call us to the room. Whom could I contact and how? Luckily text messaging worked. I wrote my dear friend Adriana with the query. She responded in seconds … ”He can’t hear … ’atinar’ is to be able to do something.” Now, that makes sense. By this time Miss Assistant brought us to a room and asked “What brings you to the doctor today?”, ”He can’t hear” rolled off my tongue like butter. Thanks, Adriana. A side note – later on that day two colleagues responded with suggestions. Don’t underestimate the power of collegiality. I hope to help others in their time of need. Have you had situations where your colleagues helped out double-quick? Thanks for writing.

Published by The Interpreter Fellow

I am an Ohio State Certified Court Interpreter and Certified Healthcare Interpreter in Spanish. MA Translation from The Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State University. Currently I serve Akron Children's Hospital Pediatrics and local courts.

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Liam O'Dell

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