CLI President Angela Sasso presents the opening plenary session


I was honoured with an invitation to present the opening plenary session at the 6th International Conference on PSIT/Community Interpreting and Translation at the Universidad de Alcalá in Alcalá de Henares Spain this past March. The conference ran from March 6th to March 8th and as usual involved excellent presentations, wonderful opportunities to network in the historic city of Alcalá de Henares – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a chance to share discussions on the topic we most love to discuss – public service interpreting and translation.

Invited by our wonderful and dedicated colleague Carmen Valero Garcés, Director of the MA in Intercultural Communication and Public Service Interpreting and Translation program and Professor of Interpreting and Translation at UAH to speak on a vision for public service interpreting and translation that pushes beyond the limits, I dedicated the plenary talk on the need for a new paradigm. It is imperative that community interpreters and translators gain authority over their domain – whether that domain is defined by the market place, or the institution or by governance. Our upcoming blog will feature the presentation that was given at the 6th PSIT Conference.

AuthorCritical Link International

Critical Link International is still advocating for better outcomes


The UN theme for International Women's Day this year is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.  Although community interpreting is a professional field where women already make up more than half of the workforce, the work is not done. Community interpreters fill a vital role in a society, ensuring that women who are not proficient in the official language can access public institutions, social services, healthcare, emergency response and legal services within their communities. Current issues in this profession affect both the women who work as interpreters and the women who depend on their services.

When interpreting is seen as simply possessing conversational ability in two languages, this opens the door for using unqualified interpreters who may not be fully fluent in the process of interpreting or aware of the ethical standards that an interpreter should follow. This can compromise patient safety, result in mistrials or wrongful convictions, as well as generally restrict foreign language speaking women’s access to services that their native language counterparts use.

Furthermore, when interpreting services are not adequately weighed in budget decisions and funds are not allocated for this essential service, agencies resort to using staff, family members or untrained interpreters who work for lower wages. Professional interpreters find themselves competing for lower paid positions or not being used at all. This undercuts both the well-being of women using interpreters, professional interpreters who are priced out of the job market and the untrained interpreters themselves who are working for substandard wages.

Critical Link International is active in the movement for a better model, relying on standards and professional training, that keeps wages for community interpreters at reasonable levels and protects the clients they serve. It encourages non-certified interpreters to seek further training and gain higher-paid professional employment instead of a race to the lowest common denominator.

AuthorCritical Link International

A Question of Communication: The Role of Public Service Interpreting in the Migrant Crisis 

Call for Papers: The European Legacy

The editors of The European Legacy have expressed their interest in publishing a Special Issue on A Question of Communication: The Role of Public Service Interpreting in the Migrant Crisis, guest edited by Dr. Michal Schuster, the University of the Free State, Republic of South Africa and Dr. Lluís Baixauli-Olmos, University of Louisville (USA). The Special Issue will be dedicated to the memory of Professor Miriam Shlesinger (1947-2012).


  • Current challenges of language accessibility in Europe
  • Language policy for accessibility and integration of migrants and asylum seekers
  • Interpreter training and education, particularly for emerging languages
  • Recruiting strategies/methods
  • Turning interpreters into cultural mediators
  • The use of new technologies in interpreting and translation in public services
  • Cooperation between different sectors: public, private, academic and non-governmental
  • If you would like to contribute an article (6000-8000 words) to the Special Issue, please send an abstract (150 words) to Dr. Michal Schuster, at, by January 10, 2017.

Submissions will be evaluated by the guest editors before being accepted for publication. Deadline for submission of papers: April 10, 2017.

For further information on the journal and for Guidelines for Authors, please contact the editorial office: or visit the website.

Edna Rosenthal, Editor
Michal Schuster, Guest Editor
Lluís Baixauli-Olmos, Guest Editor 

AuthorCritical Link International

An Open Letter to The Hon. John McCallum, P.C., M.P.


The Hon. John McCallum, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Dear Minister McCallum,

Protective Asylum for Endangered Afghan Host Nation Linguists

The undersigned, representing over 120,000 translators and interpreters in Canada and across the globe, are deeply concerned about the fate of our colleagues who served the Canadian forces in Afghanistan at great personal risk. A number of these linguists now find themselves left behind or stranded in European refugee camps fearing deportation to a homeland where they are targeted as traitors by insurgents. We urge you to recognize the dangers they face and the moral imperative to grant them asylum.

We trust you remember the harrowing story and treacherous journey of James Akam, who was granted asylum in Canada because you took a personal interest. The successful resettlement of Mr. Akam, however, should not remain an exception; there are others like him still waiting for protective visas, and they are equally deserving.

While we are grateful for Canada’s Special Immigration Measures program that was in effect until September 2011, many interpreters were unable to submit their applications by that deadline. Now, their only choice is to go through existing immigration channels, as suggested by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) spokesman Rémi Larivière. However, this represents a particular hardship for them because of the perils of openly traveling in their home country; a general lack of resources; the challenges of the application process, including proof of persecution, which is often difficult to procure; and myriad other obstacles.

In talking with Afghan interpreters in both Afghanistan and Europe, we learned that they have great difficulty navigating the Canadian visa process despite the automated online help center. As such, if the only option for interpreters is to apply under established programs, we consider it essential that a point person be designated at the IRCC to assist them with their applications. Alternatively, the Special Immigration Measures program could be revived for a brief period to fast-track your linguist allies, or a similar measure instituted.

Although we understand that your country is dealing with a major influx of refugees from Syria, we hope you will prioritize linguists who have put their lives on the line alongside Canadian soldiers. As an international community of language professionals, we respectfully ask you to implement a policy that expedites visas for all your left-behind interpreters. We thank you in advance.


Maya Hess, President, Red T
Linda Fitchett, Chair, Con ict Zone Group, International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) Henry Liu, President, International Federation of Translators and Interpreters (FIT)
Aurora Humarán, President, International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI) Angela Sasso, President, Critical Link International (CLI)
Debra Russell, President, World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI)
Elena Mozhaeva, Regional Secretary, AIIC Canada
Ashley Campbell, President, Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC)
Michel Parent, Chair, FIT North America
Golnaz Aliyarzadeh, President, Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC) Réal Paquette, Président, Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ)

Cc: Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister

AuthorCritical Link International

Beyond Limits in Public Service Interpreting and Translating (Community Interpreting & Translation)
6-8 March 2017


The University of Alcalá (UAH) (Madrid, Spain) through the FITISPos (Training and Research in Public Service Interpreting and Translation) Research Group, are pleased to announce 6th International Conference on Public Service Interpreting and Translating (PSIT6) which will be held from 6th to 8th of March 2017.

The main objective of this international conference is to continue the work of dialogue and exchange of experiences and projects carried out in previous conferences. The Beyond Limits in Public Service Interpreting and Translation theme aims to reflect on expanding the limits of public service translation and interpreting.

PSIT will be structured in two parts

  1. Seminars/workshops dedicated to practical aspects applied to Public Services Interpreting and Translation (PSIT).
  2. The actual conference. The conference will include plenary lectures, communications, posters and round tables.

We look forward to receiving contributions on the following areas, but not exclusively:

  • Analysis of progress on collaboration between PSIT and institutions and / or the work market.
  • Ethical conflicts in the practice, research and teaching of PSIT.
  • Innovation and technological advances applied to PSIT.
  • Localization, post-editing and automatic translation applied to PSIT.
  • Professionalization of PSIT in different fields (education, health, legal settings) and the role of the translator/interpreter in different institutions.
  • Public Services Interpreting and / or Mediation.
  • Teaching and learning of I&T in different areas (education, health, administrative and legal settings).

Important dates to remember

  • Reception of abstracts (400-500 words, not including references): by October 15th 2016. - Acceptance/rejections of contributions: by December 15th 2016.

Click here for further information. 

Directora del Master Universitario CI&TISP, miembro EU DGT EMT Universidad de Alcalá
Dept Filología Moderna
C/ Trinidad, 3

Telf +34 918855309 

AuthorCritical Link International

CLI moves into an exciting time as we celebrate the past 3 years and look forward to the next...


On June 30th, Critical Link International will be voting in their new Board of Directors for 2016 - 2019. As we are excited to bring together the next phase of motivated Directors, we would like to thank our amazing and dedicated team from 2013 - 2016. Over the past 3 years, we have been able to bring together a pool of talent and skill to move the vision of Critical Link International forward. Without their work, vision and dedication, we would not be where we are today. With a lot of gratitude, we would like to thank the following Directors:

  • Elizabeth Abraham, Vice President

  • Bonnie Heath, Past President

  • Pascal Rillof, European Representative

  • Christopher Stone, Communications Committee

As we bid farewell, we are also very excited to announce our slate for the following 3 years. We have returning Directors, who will help move forward initiatives and dialogue that we have been involved in and a few new fresh faces that will bring new ideas and partnerships to the organization.

We are proud to announce the 2016 slate for Board of Directors:

  • Angela Sasso

Angela Sasso brings over two decades of experience in community interpreting to her position as President of Critical Link International (CLI) and her work as Director of Shifting Pictures. As a member of CLI since 2008, and in her current position as President, Angela has advocated tirelessly to promote and strengthen the community interpreting profession and quality access to care for minority language speakers since 1989.

  • Kiran Malli

Kiran Malli, Director of the Provincial Language Service at PHSA, has worked in the area of multicultural access and cultural competency since 1990 and has been specializing in access to health care for limited English proficiency patients for many years. Kiran has been a member of the Critical Link International board since 2008 and was the Organizing Committee Chair for 2009 Critical Link Canada Conference Global Voices, Local Results.

  • Naoko Ono

With a background in teaching intercultural communication in medical field, Naoko Ono has a career as translator and interpreter, educator and researcher in medical field. She is currently working on a number of research projects on health communication and medical interpreting. Naoko has been a contributing member on the board for Critical Link International since 2014.

  • Michal Schuster

Michal Schuster is a researcher and trainer in the field of public service interpreting and cultural competence in Israel. Her fields of interests include language accessibility, language policy, linguistic landscape and academic service learning. She is a lecturer at Bar Ilan University (Israel) and also a research associate at the University of the Free State (Republic of South Africa). Michal has been on the board of Critical Link International since 2013 and a member of the Research and Development committee.

  • Maria Aguilar Solano

Maria Aguilar Solano, is a professor of interpreting at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. She has a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies and her area of expertise is related to community- based interpreting. Maria is actively involved in the community and provides training to local NGOs. Maria has been a contributing member on the Board for Critical Link International since 2014

  • Lluis Baixauli-Olmos

Lluís Baixauli-Olmos works as an Assistant Professor at University of Louisville, Kentucky. His research interests include: public service interpreting, cognition of interpreters, intercultural communication, professional ethics, moral philosophy, the sociology of professions. Luis has been an active board member with Critical Link International since 2013.

New Nominees for Board of Directors 

  • Maria Wattne

Maria Wattne is a long term member of Critical Link International with a strong commitment to community interpreting. Maria’s focus has been on the professionalization of Norwegian interpreters, and has been actively involved in advancing their professional interests. For the last 9 years, she has been the communications executive for Norway's largest union, and for the the past five years focused on web based media. Originally an interpreter and a qualified journalist, Maria is currently working at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, piloting a new, oral bilingual screening test for aspiring interpreters of Norwegian.

  • Paola Gentile

Paola Gentile, Ph.D., is a researcher in Interpreting Studies at the University of Trieste. Her Ph.D. research investigated the self-perceived professional status of conference and public service interpreters with two questionnaires which obtained 1693 responses worldwide. Her research interests include: sociology of the professions, the status of the interpreting profession and the professionalization of conference and public service interpreting, the interpreter’s social role, language rights and interpreting as a human right.

  • Esther M. Navarro-Hall

We look forward to the Annual General Meeting on June 30th, to introduce the slate and move their nomination forward. If you are interested in joining the Board of Directors or nominating a deserving member of the community, please do contact us at 

AuthorCritical Link International

For the first time in history, the global interpreting community can view a CLI Conference session


For the first time in the history of Critical Link, one of its conference sessions will be streamed live. The session chosen is the final panel discussion of the Critical Link 8 Conference (“Future- proofing interpreting and translating: The road ahead”), which will be chaired by Prof. Franz Pochhacker, of the University of Vienna.

CLI8 live streaming time

Between 15:45 and 17:15 (GMT+1) on Friday, 1st July, people from all over the world who did not have the chance to attend the conference will be able to go online and watch the session develop. What is more, they can also play an active role and inform the discussion by submitting questions in advance through an online questionnaire that will be disseminated to relevant organisations and individuals, and also by participating in a live chat as the panel addresses the issues that are raised.

The thrust behind this initiative was to afford interested parties who could not join us in Edinburgh the opportunity to delve into key concerns that may have been brought up in the course of the Critical Link 8 sessions and to open up new avenues for dialogue. We particularly welcome contributions from people whose countries do not yet have well-established translation and/or interpreting policies or practices, newcomers to the professions and early-career researchers.

Whether it is in person or virtually, we look forward to welcoming you in Edinburgh! Follow us on Twitter @CriticalLink8 with the hashtag #CritcalLink8 and Facebook at CriticalLink8.

Dr. Raquel de Petro Ricoy
Senior Lecturer
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS

AuthorCritical Link International
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President Angela Sasso gives a special thank you to our Board Members


It’s just around the corner! Before you know it, we will have all gathered for CLI8. Close to 400 attendees will be present in Edinburgh, Scotland for 4 days of stimulating presentations, conversation and learning. As President of Critical Link International, I want to thank the two Board members that have represented CLI on the CLI8 organizing committee – Elizabeth Abraham and Bonnie Heath. Both Elizabeth and Bonnie will be stepping down from the CLI Board of Directors this year after having dedicated their time and energy for years to the growth and evolution of CLI. Bonnie will be stepping down from her position as Past President and has been a critical member of the CLI Board since 2003, well before her being elected as President in 2010, and guided the shift from CL Canada to CL International. Thank you Bonnie. Elizabeth Abraham joined the CLI Board of Directors in 2010, at the cusp of the organization’s change and despite some personal challenges, has continued to work tirelessly for the organization. I thank you both and we will miss you.

Although Elizabeth and Bonnie were the official representatives to the CLI8 organizing committee, the work did not stop with them. I would like to thank Kiran Malli, our Treasurer, for picking up some substantial tasks such as guiding the process for Expressions of Interest and the Request for Proposals for Critical Link 9 (host will be announced at CLI8) overseeing the AGM and the Strategic Planning, in addition to her regular Treasurer duties. Thank you to all.

Be sure to find us at the Critical Link table and to join us at our Annual General Meeting to find out more about KLIC – the KnowledgeLinkIC – a global information hub for interpreting in the community. KLIC was developed to promote free exchange of International Council for the Development of Community Interpreting information and research, foster the growth of studies in the field, and increase the visibility of academic activities and contributions internationally. Thank you to Michal Schuster and Lluis Baixauli Olmos as the Research and Development Committee team members that brought KLIC to fruition.

In addition to those Board members mentioned here, I would also like to thank Maria Aguilar-Solano, Christopher Stone, Pascal Rillof and Naoko Ono for their ongoing work and support. While many of our current Board members will continue to stand, there are a few positions to fill at the upcoming AGM. To that end, Critical Link is seeking nominations for the Board of Directors and we are asking you, our membership, to nominate yourselves or a colleague. We have already received several submissions and the Executive Committee will be making a final decision before the CLI AGM on Thursday, June 30. Consider becoming a more active member of the CLI community.

As a final note, I hope that you have all had an opportunity to comb through the Conference Program and have started planning your conference strategy. There are so many exciting presentations that it is always an exciting experiment trying to fit it all in, and also save time for the networking. I would like to thank all of the members of the Herriot-Watt Organizing Committee, and in particular Christine W L Wilson, Chair of Critical Link 8 Organizing Committee, for their hard work and time towards coordinating yet another wonderful CLI experience.

...until we meet in Scotland 

AuthorCritical Link International