CyraCom Interpreter Spotlight: Lilia, Spanish Interpreter
Interpreter Spotlight is a new series that will introduce some of our qualified, professional interpreters who work in CyraCom US contact centers. We hope you enjoy getting to know some of the extraordinary people who interpret on the other end of the phone for your patients and providers.
Today we’re meeting Lilia, a Spanish interpreter who has been working with CyraCom for five years.
Good morning, Lilia. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
“I was born in Sonora, Mexico and I’ve lived in the US for a long time. My parents worked for the military, so I lived on naval bases in Honolulu, Hawaii and Norfolk, Virginia. Before CyraCom, I never did any official interpreting work, but I translated written works when I worked for a school.”
What made you interested in interpreting, and what do you like about it?
“I wanted to use both of my languages and help people communicate. It feels good knowing you did a good job or resolved an issue for a person in need; that’s the most rewarding thing about this job. Both clients and patients recognize how important it is and they often tell us that, ‘If it hadn’t been for you, we would not have been able to do this.’ My mom is bilingual, but if she were like others who speak Spanish only, I would have liked there to be an interpreter like me to help her at the doctor’s office.”
Tell us about one of your favorite interpreting experiences – any good stories?
“I especially enjoy the phone calls that have to do with babies. For example, one time I was interpreting for a new mom who thought she needed to have her baby tested for Down syndrome and other abnormalities. Before that phone call, no one had bothered to explain these kinds of things to her, so she had no idea it was mandatory to have the testing done. The provider took the time to explain all the options available to her, and I could hear the mom’s relief because she could understand they were standard tests. It’s inspiring when we see our clients take the extra step for their patients.”
At CyraCom, we have all of our employee interpreters take our 120-hour interpreting training course. What did you think about the training?
“The training was hard. It’s a lot of pressure because there are no second chances; you will pass or you will not pass. But after the training, you do really feel prepared for anything.”
You’ve been working for CyraCom for five years. What do you think about CyraCom as a company and as your employer?
“It allows so many people of different backgrounds to speak in our native languages. It’s easy for the coworkers to relate, get to know each other, and learn more about other cultures and languages. Supervisors have always helped me and we have a strong, supportive team. Overall, it’s a nice, relaxed atmosphere.”
In addition to being a bilingual interpreter, you are also a bicultural interpreter. Can you share with us something interesting about your culture and language?
“Spanish is easy to understand if you enunciate correctly. Clients in the Spanish queue often can understand the language and answer before I can interpret it back into English! As for culture, I find Mexican people to be warmhearted, happy, and proud to be Mexican.
Let’s end with something fun. What are your hobbies?
“I volunteer with the Lion’s Club. We help people who are blind or have poor eyesight. I also love traveling. Italy is the best place I’ve ever been.”