The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021 - 14

Katharine
Allen

How Did
Your Work
Change
in 2020?

Bishop,
California
In 2020,
remote interpreting saved
our livelihood while
eroding a decade of gains in
working conditions.
Before the pandemic,
most remote interpreting
in the U.S. existed in health
care, emergency services,
and the financial world and
was dominated by overthe-phone (OPI) and video
remote (VRI) consecutive
interpreting. Remote
simultaneous interpreting
(RSI) was a budding area
on the conference side of
our profession. Start-up
platforms were slowly
gaining inroads, designed
to preserve good sound and
provide virtual booths for
team interpreting.
In two short weeks in
March, onsite interpreting
shut down all over the world.
Multilingual communication
moved online. The result?
Existing OPI, VRI, and RSI
platforms, after an initial
dip, experienced huge

One thing
2020 certainly
demonstrated is
the resilience and
adaptability of
translators and
interpreters.

I

surges in demand. Remote
t was quite a year. Given
the many challenges 2020
presented, members of

The ATA Chronicle Editorial
Board reached out to their
colleagues (both interpreters
and translators) and
invited them to answer the
following question: How did
your work change in 2020?
The stories they share here
speak of professional and
personal struggle-as well
as some bright spots-while

14

unprecedented global health
and economic crisis. Despite
the chaos 2020 brought, the
year provided opportunities
to connect, learn, adapt, and
grow as professionals. We
hope the following will serve
as a reminder of the strength
to be found in the translator
and interpreter community.
Many thanks to The ATA
Chronicle Editorial Board for
coordinating this article:

work offset some of the
losses interpreters suffered,
but the learning curve has
been steep. The surge has
degraded working conditions,
especially for RSI where the
explosion of meetings over
web conferencing platforms
not designed for interpreting
has forced interpreters into
endless patchwork hacks that
strain sound, cognition, and
brain function. But like it or
not, remote interpreting is

navigating the " new normal "

Jost Zetzsche (chair), Paula

of a global pandemic. A

Arturo, Lois Feuerle, Ben

common theme throughout

Karl, Barbara Inge Karsch,

pandemic, now is the time to

is resiliency in the face of an

and Ted Wozniak.

be loud, squeaky wheels to

The ATA Chronicle | Januar y/February 2021

here to stay.
As we come out of the

www.atanet.org


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The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021

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