Meet Our Colorado Translators: Rosabelle Rice

By Marion Rhodes
CTA Social Media Director

July 8, 2013

We at the Colorado Translators Association pride ourselves in a special sense of community among our fellow Colorado translators and interpreters. To further increase the camaraderie among our colleagues and to spotlight CTA members for the rest of the world, we are starting a new, regular feature on this blog called “Meet Our Colorado Translators,” where we will introduce our members with a brief interview. Today’s guest is Rosabelle Rice, a federally and medically certified interpreter, translator and trainer in the language combination English <> Spanish.

Rosabelle Rice
Rosabelle Rice

1. You work both as an interpreter and as a translator. What is your favorite aspect about your job?

It is so diverse! One day as an interpreter I can be conveying the meaning of kale in the Spanish language to the best of my ability, simultaneously and on the spot. The next few days I can be locked in a padded room translating legal documents related to the child welfare industry. Sanity breaks can involve, drum roll, putting the clean wet clothes in the dryer and picking weeds for Sunny Chow the Guinea Pig. At other times, I get dragged out of my office for a scintillating deposition regarding claims related to a fender bender. In short, never a dull momento.

2. Your CTA directory entry also lists German and Finnish as your languages. Are you quadrilingual?

I do have a very international family, but I actually have professional contacts who can do a good translation from Finnish into Spanish and colleagues who can work from German into Spanish. When you work from Spanish into English and English into Spanish, these are such common language pairs in the United States, it is fun to see who is actually paying attention to what you’ve listed as languages in your directory.

3. In addition to your own translating and interpreting work, you also provide training for interpreters. How did you come to be a teacher for fellow linguists?

Back in the early 2000s, I had the opportunity to help create the Interpreter Network of Colorado and develop the Bridging the Gap Interpreter Training Program for them. After my position was eliminated and I went back into private practice, I continued training interpreters under the BTG license for Banner Health for a couple of years. Since then, I have used my own industry experience and created a multilingual, basic-intermediate interpreter training program under the auspices of Cesco Linguistic Services.

4. What does this program entail?

I think what Cesco and I got right in these trainings is that they challenge and afford opportunities for interpreters to practice their interpreting skills with excellent materials and together with peers. We also have used technology to help new interpreters discover the wealth of self-training materials available on the Internet. The next Cesco-sponsored training begins on July 10th, and the topic will be medical-legal sight translations. It is basically about teaching interpreters their boundaries and when to call in the professionals to provide a real written translation.

5. Do you have any advice for newcomers in this business?

Have your heroes and for sure be patient with yourself. I always say I only began to feel competent enough to venture into the profession after completing my MA in Romance Languages, followed by passing the Federal Examination in Spanish back in 1995. I think being a constant student of your working languages is a must. At the CTA Conference in May 2013, I really appreciated how Corinne McKay listed reading in French as one of her must-do daily office activities, and maybe even for fun. I have really begun to read a lot of Spanish books on Systemic Constellation Work, a discipline I have become very interested in. Above all, go with the flow: Don’t sweat the small stuff – and as they say, it’s all small stuff.

Rosabelle and her family
Rosabelle and her family