Sunday, March 28, 2010

My interactions with TSF

I tried to volunteer as an interpreter for Doctors Without Borders before the companion organization existed. Translators Without Borders, known by its French acronym, TSF, has been looking for people for a couple of months now. I first heard about them after the Haitian earthquake.

I wrote to them and asked for the test. I explained my strengths and what I could do. I thought I would take their Spanish test and be ready to help during the next disaster in the Spanish speaking world. They wrote back and asked me to comment on the process, as it was in the beta stages.

The link came for the Spanish test, but only French tests were available. After a few days of vacillating, I went to the library, got some dictionaries and went for it. Two weeks of nothing went by. Finally, I got a response on the screening platform that said basically, "Thank you, and we will call if we need you."

I wrote to them 3 times for clarification asking if I was now a member, but I never heard from them again. After the Chilean quake, I took one of their Spanish tests. I suppose they rate everyone's exam, then rank them, keeping everybody available in case something happens that necessitates going all the way to the bottom of the list.

The test taking will continue. It's a good way to stay in practice. Also, the opportunity may arise to help out. As translators and interpreters, we are supposed to serve others and help them communicate. I had hoped for the additional bonus of being able to list membership on my resume.

Now, there are even Dutch tests. I looked over beginnings of these texts. I'm not there yet, but I might try a Dutch to English test when I'm done with the book.

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