Interpreter Ethics and Self-Advocacy and Legal Glossary Development or Spanglish in the Courtroom

  • 19 Mar 2016
  • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • United and Children´s Hospital (Conference Hall) John Nasseff Heart Center, 255 Smith Ave- St. Paul, MN


  • Public access + from 06 Feb 2016 through 17 Mar 2016 (at start of event)

Registration is closed

3 hours of continuing education credits

Nationally known presenter 

Ernesto Niño-Murcia

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Interpreter Ethics and Self-Advocacy: The Art of Saying 'No'

Legal False Cognates/Spanglish in the Courtroom 

Legal Glossary Development    (Languages other than Spanish) 


Ernest Niño-Murcia has presented at many national conferences. He is a freelance legal interpreter and translator based in Des Moines, Iowa. As a state and federally-certified court interpreter, he has interpreted legal proceedings and prepared translations, transcriptions and expert witness reports/testimony for clients in the private and public sectors. Ernest has also worked as a contract interpreter in Immigration Court and a quality assurance evaluator/trainer through Lionbridge. In addition to his work in the field, he has given talks and workshops to interpreters, judges and attorneys throughout the state, region and country. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Anthro-Linguistics and is a Jeopardy champion (2012).

Presenter for language neutral breakout session: 

Tara Gibbs is a former judicial educator for the Minnesota State Courts.  She has worked for the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) as a rating supervisor.  She has also worked on piloting and revising interpreting tests for languages of lesser diffusion with the NCSC.  Her first Master’s degree is in linguistics from the University of Minnesota.

                Saturday,  March 19th, 2016

Session 1: Interpreter Ethics and Self-

Advocacy: The Art of Saying 'No'

By virtue of working in an emerging field, court interpreters may at times find themselves working with parties who have fundamental misunderstandings about the interpreter’s role in an encounter. Irritating as these situations may be at times, they present a valuable opportunity to engage in dialogue and dispel potentially-dangerous misconceptions about our profession. This session is not so much about what to do in certain situations as it is about how to clearly and respectfully articulate our needs and limitations without alienating the consumers of our services. The presenter and participants will examine role-play scenarios to identify specific talking points for each as well as general guidelines for speaking out applicable to any situation.

Session 2, Option 1: Legal False Cognates/Spanglish in the Courtroom

When is a sentencia not a sentence and why is it inappropriate to interpret asalto as assault? U.S. Spanish or so-called “Spanglish” is a reality in the everyday practice of interpreters in the courts who must, at a minimum, have a passive understanding of these terms to be able to operate effectively. The stakes of potential misunderstanding are particularly high when it comes to interpretations of legal terms influenced by a similarity with English terms, which can sometimes have very different meanings. This workshop will present participants with a brief overview of the topic before allowing them the opportunity to grapple with these potentially tricky terms, all within the context of the need for accuracy and the ongoing evolution of language. Participants are encouraged to bring bilingual reference materials.

Session 2, Option 2: (Languages other than Spanish) Legal Glossary Development 

Participants will work through 8 to 16 legal terms in the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) legal interpreting glossaries.  Participants will work in small groups, comparing their interpretations for the terms, evaluating the nuanced differences in the linguistic and cultural meanings encompassed in the choice of terms, and discussing how different terminology choices may be viewed by NCSC certification test raters.


9:00-10:30: Session 1

10:30-11:00: Break

11:00-12:30: Two Options for Session 2

Post Session: presentation by

 Jeff Narabrook
Voter Outreach Director

Office of Minnesota Secretary of State

There will be two 90-minute sessions: one is language neutral, and the second session, participants will choose to attend a Spanish specific session or one designed for all languages.

The post session at 12:30 pm by Jeff Narabrook is for those interested in becoming election judges, or knowing more on the subject. There is a high demand for interpreters or bilingual election judges and UMTIA wishes to encourage its members to consider the possibility of becoming trained for this paid civic activity.

United and Children´s Hospital (Conference Hall)
Lower level, United Hospital’s John Nasseff Heart Center
255 Smith Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55102

Online registration (up to March 17th) click here
Pay by credit card or paypal
NEW Preregistered Members: $10.00
Preregistered Non-members: $25.00

Same day registration: 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
All (members and non-members) same day registration: $25.00
Pay by check or cash
If you do not register ahead of time, you must arrive BEFORE 8:45

3 hours of continuing education credits

3 Points ATA Continuing Education Credit


Anyone arriving after 9:00 a.m. or leaving before 12:30 p.m. will not receive a certificate of participation.


Click here for map and directions

Parking in the Gold Ramp is NOT free.

Attendance at this event presumes acceptance of the use of photographs of the event for UMTIA promotional material

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