#85 Advocating for Interpreters in Afghanistan with Red T Spokesperson Rebecca Petras

September 03, 2021 Slator
#85 Advocating for Interpreters in Afghanistan with Red T Spokesperson Rebecca Petras
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Rebecca Petras, Spokesperson for non-profit Red T, joins SlatorPod to bring awareness to their advocacy for the protection of translators and interpreters in high-risk settings.

Rebecca shares details of her professional background in journalism and discusses how she began her journey in the language industry through the humanitarian sector. She talks about the current situation of interpreters in Afghanistan and explains how the rising danger for linguists over the past few months led to her becoming involved with Red T and its Founder Maya Hess.

Rebecca explores the role of linguists in conflict zones and explains who they typically work with. She discusses the lack of official status for interpreters (unlike, say, journalists) and highlights Red T’s efforts to ensure protection for these linguists by speaking at the UN, working to change policy, and issuing a conflict-zone field guide for linguists.

The Pod rounds off with Rebecca outlining Red T’s current initiatives and what the language industry can do to support this cause. In particular, she draws attention to Red T’s Open Letter Project, which involves sending letters of appeal to governments or intergovernmental agencies to implement change for these embattled linguists.

First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, starting off with the sudden growth of ‘scanlation,’ where fans post their own translations of webcomics without the consent of the copyright holder.

Florian then shares the news of TransPerfect’s debt refinancing with a new lower-interest term loan and revolving credit line amounting to USD 500m.

Meanwhile, Esther goes extraterrestrial as she talks about NASA awarding a translation contract worth up to USD 59m to TechTrans International. She also reviews Slator’s latest Language Industry Job Index, which continued to climb for the seventh month in a row.

Agenda and Intro
Growth of 'scanlation'
TransPerfect's USD 500m debt refinancing
NASA awards contract to TechTrans International
Slator LIJI jumps by another 10 points in September
Rebecca Petras joins the pod
How Rebecca got into the language industry and humanitarian space
Background of Red T and Rebecca's role
Current situation in Afghanistan and evacuation of interpreters
Who works with interpreters in conflict zones
The role of interpreters in conflict zones
Lack of official status for interpreters
Why people become conflict zone interpreters
Who recruits conflict zone interpreters
Other ongoing hotspots beyond Afghanistan
Perceived partiality of interpreters and its implications
Red T's current initiatives and how you can support them