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Open Position -

Spanish Linguist (Interpreter/Translator)-PRN As Needed

Position Summary:

This position is an as needed, independent contractor linguist position collaborating with the Early Support and Early Learning Programs at WCEL. It requires owning own insured vehicle, driver’s license in good standing, and in person participation in home visits and playgroups and travel throughout Whatcom County.

Pay Range: $26.81-$40.21


Strong Linguistic Skills

  • Understands variety of regional accents and linguistic styles and registers

  • Selects appropriate mode of interpretation for each situation

  • Interprets with highest degree of accuracy and completeness in consecutive, simultaneous and sight translation modes

  • Self-corrects, understands own linguistic limitations, seeks clarification, and accepts correction

  • Picks up cues from encounter participants regarding level of understanding and/or need for clarification

  • Strong writing skills and understanding of translation process

Strong Cultural Awareness Competencies

  • Understands language as an expression of culture, recognizes the underlying assumptions of each party about early intervention, the encounter, the diagnosis etc.; uses this understanding to empower patients and providers to better understand each other.

  • Only intervenes as intercultural mediator when communication is compromised by culture-bound messages.

  • Avoids generalizations and stereotyping.

  • Uses culturally appropriate behavior and can choose appropriate time to clarify or interject by respecting the goals of the encounter.

  • Is aware of own personal values, beliefs, and cultural characteristics which may be a source of conflict or discomfort in certain situations, is able to acknowledge these and/or to withdraw from encounters when these may interfere with successful interpretation.

  • Understands and upholds the organizational values of accessibility, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Strong Interpreting Skills

  • Communication to preserve accuracy and completeness, and to assess and address potential areas of discomfort for parent (age, gender of interpreter, no previous experience with interpreters)

  • Encourages and fosters direct communication between practitioner/coordinator and caregiver/parent

  • Maintains professional distance and integrity

  • Diffuses conflict between parties by remaining calm and impartial

  • Clarifies instructions, follow up steps in a diplomatic, effective manner

Ethical Competency

  • Understands and abides by HIPAA and WCEL's policies on confidentiality, informed consent, non-discrimination and by interpreter’s code of ethics and standards of practice (NCIHC, CHIA, IMIA)

Interpersonal and Customer Service Skills

  • Projects positive attitude about WCEL, and offers services to ensure positive experience

  • Works as a team with colleagues and practitioners

  • Understands the importance of and has excellent customer service skills, to include business telephone etiquette

Education and Knowledge

  • Fluency in English and Spanish (Mixtec preferred as well), both oral and written, with a minimum of Advanced Mid proficiency level according to ACTFL -

  • Ability to accurately work in consecutive mode and sight translate into and from working language(s).

  • 4-6 years of experience in a healthcare setting as a medical interpreter with strong medical vocabulary (including vocabulary of medical specialties)

  • Associate Degree or a combination of education and experience

  • Proof of medical interpreter training - minimum of 40 hours (college level interpreting training preferred)

  • NBCMI, CHI, or DSHS certified or recognized medical interpreter certification credential

  • High level of customer service and a positive approach

  • Familiarity and ability to work with diversity of cultural/socioeconomic backgrounds

  • General knowledge of cultural backgrounds of families that receive services in our programs

  • Good interpersonal, organizational, and time-management skills

  • Knowledge of computer systems and software such as Microsoft Office, Teams

Other Requirements

  • Professional Liability Insurance

  • Vehicle in working condition, driver’s license, and auto liability insurance

  • Consent to Background Check and Fingerprinting

  • Vaccination is required (COVID, Influenza, and others)

Working Conditions

  • This position requires entry to families/caregiver's homes and travel. The subject matter related to these sessions requires maturity, composure, & sound judgment. These same principles apply to virtual visits.

  • Accurate, complete interpretation as per Health Care Interpreter Standards of Practice.

  • Consecutive interpretation is used during home visits. Very rarely, simultaneous interpreter might be requested. Refrain from side conversations with the child, caregivers, or staff.

  • As per Health Care Interpreter Code of Ethics, remember the following:

  • Do not share personal opinions related to the session or the child.

  • Uphold the principle of transparency by informing the provider and/or family/caregiver whenever clarification or repetition is necessary and obtained from either party.

  • Maintain confidentiality: The information discussed during an interpreting session (pre-session, visit, debrief) cannot be discussed outside the appointment.

Please send resume and cover letter to

Please send your resume and cover letter describing your interest in our mission and how your work or life experience had prepared you for this role.

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