Transform Your Voice: Vocal Production and Accent Reduction for Interpreters

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VOICE thumbnail.jpg

Transform Your Voice: Vocal Production and Accent Reduction for Interpreters


Date: Date to be confirmed, Spring 2020

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Location: Ecker Business Training Center
                  6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
                  Columbia, MD 21046

Audience: Bilingual staff and contract interpreters in healthcare, education, social services, legal settings and community services. Court interpreters welcomed. Prior interpreting experience and interpreter training required.

Registration Deadline: To be confirmed

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Strengthen your vocal sound, improve your performance and lengthen your interpreting career with this hands-on, “voice-on” workshop! Delivered by Dr. Juanita Ulloa, a classically trained international Operachi singer, Professor of Voice and a Spanish Court Certified Interpreter, this program helps interpreters of all languages treasure and train their voice.

Vocal Production

As professional interpreters our brains work in tandem with our bodies – in particular, with the voice box and certain muscles that assist with air support and release. We train for linguistic intellectual dexterity, but need to match it with some understanding of vocal production in order to stay vocally healthy. Learning about vocal production goes a long way towards improving vocal understanding and subsequent sound production. This section will explain, demonstrate and answer the following questions:

  • Where does my voice come from?

  • What exactly is breath support?

  • How much air do I need?

  • How does my diaphragm play into all this?

  • Where is the vocal motor?

  • Where is the resonator?

  • How do I go faster in simultaneous without running out of air?

  • What is the proper way to soften my voice in the interpreting encounter?

Participants will explore their vocal production individually, in pairs and as a class with fun, yet useful interactive activities. They will also learn daily vocal warm-ups for successful long-term vocal care.

Accent Reduction

Let’s face it; everyone has an accent. But as interpreters we need to be understood by everyone in the room. Accent reduction improves our image as professional interpreters and helps us to provide better service to our clients. In this section, we’ll dive deeply into:

  • Vowels versus consonants

  • Voiced consonants versus unvoiced consonants

Although the presentation will feature examples of tricky pronunciations in English, the techniques and activities are invaluable for both non-native and native English speakers. Extensive use of self-reflection and peer feedback (including audio and video recording!) will provide participants with the tools for continued improvement after the workshop.

This program includes a certificate and is approved by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters for 4.75 CCHI CE hours, by the International Medical Interpreters Association for 0.45 IMIA CEUs, by the Washington State Dept. of Social and Health Services for 5.5 DSHS CECs, by the Maryland Court Interpreter Program for 5.5 CE credits, by the Pennsylvania Interpreter Certification Program (ICP) for 5.5 CEUs, by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf for 0.55 RID CEUs, by the American Translators Association for 5 ATA CEPs and by the Ontario Council on Community Interpreting for 5.5 OCCI PDUs. Other CEUs pending.

About the presenter:

Dr. Juanita Ulloa is a classically trained international Operachi singer, Professor of Voice and a Spanish Court Certified Interpreter in Texas and California. She has transformed voices for 30 years, fostering a studio that ranges from beginners to national competition winners, finalists, judges, lawyers, and TV personalities. Her doctorate is from the University of Northern Colorado in Vocal Performance; her MA and BA Music degrees are from Yale University and UC Berkeley. Learn more about Dr. Ulloa.