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After a day spent at York University with participants at the Critical Link International conference, I wanted to share a few reflections on my experience.  First of all, the opening plenary session which featured a keynote and panel was interesting – partly for the content but partly for just the experience of seeing a large conference handled like this with participants from numerous languages, both spoken and signed.  For the opening, there were four teams of interpreters working.  ASL interpreters were in front as is typical for any CIT conference.  In addition, there were two booths set up in front – one housing a team working from English to Mandarin, another working into Spanish, and a third in the back working into French.
The other interesting point for me from the morning was to have a better understanding of the divide in spoken language interpreting between conference interpreting and community interpreting (also referred to as public service interpreting.)  The panel focused on the European context for conference interpreting which has a very organized history – and the interpreters who work in this setting are very distinct from community interpreters.  Unlike sign language interpreters in the US who may do some conference interpreting, but also works in the community.  But overall, the call was to learn from each other and to organize to work on improving working conditions for interpreters.
I spent the day attending workshops, which you can read about in my blog posts.
Last night, I was able to attend a reception hosted by George Brown College here in Toronto which is developing a proposal for the first Bachelor’s program in interpreting anywhere in Canada.  So, there were a number of people from around the United States and Canada who came to share reflections on what was being proposed.  It was exciting to be part of a process where people were coming together to support the development of the interpreting profession in the interest of better serving the community.
Look for more reflections to come, but for now, I’m working on reporting about what I have been attending.