MATA Fourth International Conference for Translators and Interpreters

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Michal Schuster

Michal Schuster
Michal Schuster

Michal Schuster is a researcher and trainer in the field of public service interpreting and cultural competence. She holds a PhD in translation and interpreting studies from Bar Ilan University. Her fields of interests include language accessibility, language policy, linguistic landscape and academic service learning. She is a lecturer at Bar Ilan University (Israel), where she teaches a unique service-learning course on community interpreting, as well as translation theories and medical interpreting courses for sign language interpreting students. As a research associate at the University of the Free State (Republic of South Africa) she published several papers on linguistic landscape and service-learning.

Recently, Michal completed a large scale study on the cultural competence of public hospitals in Israel, in cooperation with the Smokler Center for health policy research at Myers- JDC-Brookdale institute.

Michal promotes the professionalization of public service interpreters through teaching, researching and lobbying. Currently, she is the leading trainer of medical and community interpreting courses in Israel, in both academic and not academic settings. She also trains care providers and consults organizations on culturally-appropriate care and service. She disseminates knowledge and skills through Leshonot (“languages”), a website and a Facebook group on public service interpreting and cultural competence. She is a board member of Critical Link International for the promotion of community interpreting. She is a founding member of Shared Language – the first cooperative of translators and language editors in Israel.

 Freelancing together: Can translators benefit from a cooperative model (Presentation)


Most translators are freelancers who work alone and provide services in a highly-competitive market. Can the cooperative model be the answer for this market’s unique challenges? If so, how can cooperate in a competitive market?
The new Israeli cooperative for language professionals (translators, interpreters, and editors) attempts to answer these questions. The cooperative “Common Language”, has launched its pilot about a year ago, and is now officially incorporated. We are a group of about 30 professionals, all freelancers, who try to find a new way to deal with the old challenges.
In the framework of the cooperative, we endeavour to find a common language and team-up, to bring forth an improvement in status and prestige, for the profession and for the professionals who make it. Inspired by various social solidarity-based projects, we have made a choice to walk down a new path, and we believe that the entire industry can profit from this decision. For the first time in Israel, we, the members of Common Language, have decided to set up a cooperative, incorporating professionals in the field of translation and editing.
In my presentation I will discuss our unique working procedures, to ensure the quality of services we provide, and maintain a business model.
Side by side with the great idea behind the cooperative, we still face many challenges, which I will share with you as well.
The cooperative model is indeed challenging, but also holds many benefits, and a potential to improve not only the position of its members, but that of the market as a whole.

Interpreting in health care services: best practices and working techniques (workshop)


Interpreters in health care settings are a vital component in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Their specialized and delicate task carries many challenges and complexities.

In this interactive workshop, we will examine the role(s) of the language mediator in provider-patient communication, discuss and exercise some practices for professional conduct, and create a framework for dealing with complex situations that are embedded in the interpreter’s work (e.g. – the patient tells you something important during the meeting, but asks you not to tell the doctor). The participants will get some necessary tools to make the best out of their role, and take informed decisions when dealing with sensitive situations.