13 August 2012

Casey, Spanish Language Interpreter

Last year I wrote a blog post about my brother-in-law that generated a comment about how interesting my family is.  I realized that it's so true!  My family is super interesting.  Each Monday I'll be interviewing a family member (or dear friend).  I hope you enjoy these Meet Me Monday posts.
Casey loving on our niece.

Today's interview is with my brother, Casey.

Where do you live?
Tahlequah, of Red Fern fame.

What are your hobbies or special interests? 
Wow, where to start? I love science, biology and physics are my favorites. I love science fiction, anyone who can dream and inspire others to make those dreams reality is awesome. I love art, I have been drawing my entire life, but didn’t discover a love of  oil painting until I was in my mid twenties. I love motorcycles, the minimalistic approach to speed and power calls to the physicist/engineer/mechanic/daredevil that lives in my head.  I love archery, I started  when I was twelve and can’t get enough. I love music, I have collected all kinds of music for twenty years. Sometimes I just lay on the floor for hours with headphones on and let the music take me where it will.   

What is your current profession? 
I am a self employed Spanish language medical interpreter. I provide contract interpreter and translation services to five county health departments. The Hispanic population in our area continues to grow at a faster pace than any other group. By providing communication between patients and healthcare providers I feel that I am able to do real and lasting good in my community. The best part is that it often extends beyond the workday. People ask me for help in stores, the post office, at church, and in the schools. It makes you feel good to randomly provide service to others.  

What made you choose that line of work? 
Spanish has been one of my best friends for the last 13 years. It has gotten me out of trouble, kept me employed and given me the chance to meet new people on an almost daily basis. I have worked jobs where I was not required to speak Spanish, but I can’t imagine doing it again. I think the main reason behind this is the love I have for the culture, language and people of Mexico City where I served my mission.

When people find out what you do, what question do they usually ask you? 
“How did you learn to speak Spanish?” People are always surprised to find out that I speak fluent Spanish, and they want to know how I did it.  Some think my parents must speak Spanish, or that I am a native speaker.  It always surprises them to hear that I lived in Mexico City for two years as an LDS missionary, and that I learned Spanish while I was there.  I feel good about my abilities when a native speaker can’t tell that I am a non-native speaker.

What question do you wish they would ask?  Or, what insider information would you give them? 
I wish they would ask why I chose to serve a mission, sometimes I tell them anyway. As for insider information I would tell them that any language requires practice to master, and more practice to maintain. It really is like a muscle, it must be used to grow strong, and used more to keep it strong.

If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same thing?  Why or why not? 
Yes and no. I would choose it again because I love it. I would not choose it again because of the instability and insecurity of it. The best interpreter is only useful while there is a demand, and unfortunately you have to convince others that there is a demand.  I wish I could work a full time job with benefits that would better care for my family, and still do this thing that I love. Maybe one of these days that will happen, but for right now I worry about tomorrow and the next day.

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