Two activities that are dear to my heart are coming up: the annual educational conference of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters (NAJIT), where I serve as board member and treasurer, and the Summer Institute of Jurilinguistics of the McGill University School of Law.
1. NAJIT's 38th Annual Conference will start next week, May 19th to the 21st, at the Hilton McLean Tyson's Corner in McLean, Virginia. This year's conference is set to be NAJIT’S biggest event EVER; with an expected turnout of 350 attendees. As always, it will include pre-conference workshops on specialized topics on Friday and concurrent sessions on a wide array on topics on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday noon, the luncheon and annual membership meeting will feature Henry Liu, President of the Fédération Internationale des traducteurs, as keynote speaker. Also, a first, there will be an Advocacy day on Monday, May 21. Organized by the Advocacy Committee, Advocacy Day is an opportunity for interpreters and translators to lobby their Representative , Senators, or their aides at their offices in the U.S. Capitol. A set of guidelines titled Interpreting 101 for Translators and Interpreters was developed by the Advocacy Committee. I will be blogging about this document soon.
Finally, the great turnout for the NAJIT conferences in 2016 and 2017 can be attributed to the relevant presentations, many of which are eligible for Continuing Education Units admissible in over 25 states.
2. Organized by the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, the Summer Institute of Jurilinguistics will be held on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Desaultels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Montreal. The theme of this 11th edition of the Institute is Law(s), Language(s) & Society(ies) / Droit(s), langue(s) et société(s).
Jurilinguistics is the study of the interaction between linguistics and law. The law could not exist without language, and this relationship is an extraordinarily rich of field of study. I am looking forward to seeing my friend and mentor, Jean-Claude Gémar, who has championed jurilinguistics in Canada. As stated on the site of the Translation Bureau, jurilingusitics has evolved since its inception in the early 1980s from legislation and translation to now include lexicography and terminology, the drafting of all types of legal texts, and their revision and interpretation. In other words, it includes professionals in a wider array of fields. This year, the program includes sessions on translation and linguistic identity in multilingual legal settings, effectiveness of court interpreters, accessibility of the law, and bilingual interpretation in Canadian law.
Registration is required and the fee is 55CAD. At first neither registration nor a fee were required to attend. Later, registration was required and more recently a modest fee was added as the Institute evolved. The Institute has submitted an application to be accredited as a continuing education activity by the Barreau du Québec and the Chambre des notaires.
It is exciting to see that both activities represent an opportunity for professionals to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field and earn continuing education credit while doing it. In the United States, more and more states are requiring interpreters to earn continuing education credit to keep their accreditation. Interpreting is finally reaching the ranks of other mature fields that require professionals to maintain and improve their competency to protect the public.