One more Saturday of class until I complete the medical interpreter course. The students in the course include many international students as well as Americans who have studied abroad and became proficient in the languages of their travels.
I am studying to be a Vietnamese interpreter, and I’m struggling most with medical terminology, in part because I cannot read Vietnamese. The course provided me with an English-Vietnamese medical glossary, which I am reviewing with my mother’s help, but quite honestly it is as if I don’t know the language at all! I will have to make flashcards for myself — back to grade school study strategies.
My struggles bridging the language and cultural gap make the article below especially poignant. It reminds me that my challenges are nothing compared to the folks who have left their homes, their traditions, their families, their careers, their native tongues, their entire world to come to the United States because ultimately they believe, after all their struggles, they will achieve a better life here.