In May of this year, I had been preparing to take the Iowa court interpreting examination. It is a challenging exam, where you must score 70% or higher on each of the 3 sections in order to pass and become a certified court interpreter in Iowa. The three sections were sight translation, simultaneous interpreting and consecutive interpreting. Two-hundred dollars and some registration paperwork later, on May 15, I took the exam, and honestly thought I had not done so well, but I was glad I had at least tried, “just to see what would happen”, ready to re-take it in the fall.

Come June 4, check me out…

An exciting day!
No longer a ‘hack’!

Infinite thanks to my husband Mike, who fronted half of the exam’s cost and say I could pay him back never, my mentor Ernest, my colleague and study buddy Rachel, my mom and my brothers. GRACIAS TOTALES!

I owe it to myself and to those who believe in me to get serious about this career path.

Published by vcmarcano

Vanessa C. Marcano-Kelly is a native of Caracas, Venezuela. She is a certified court interpreter in Iowa and a translator. She is a member of the Iowa Interpreters and Translators' Association and the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters, with significant experience in community interpreting, translation, and journalism in English and Spanish. Vanessa has interpreted in community meetings with the Polk County Sheriff, the US Department of Labor, former US Congressman Tom Latham, and at the Food Sovereignty Prize 2014 in Des Moines. She graduated with honors with a BA in Global Studies and French from South Dakota State University, and received a judiciary interpretation and translation specialization certificate from Des Moines Area Community College. She works as a court interpreter in the Des Moines metro, and as a translator for Principal Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company. She has written for several publications, including the Venezuelan magazine Estetica y Salud, and has a passion for linguistics/languages, photography, community involvement, healthier living and travel. Vanessa runs a bilingual, bicultural household with her husband, Michael. Her immediate family lives in Venezuela, Lithuania and the US.

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