Arizai Castillo

Arizai CastilloM.A. Spanish 2021 | B.A. Spanish 2018 | A.A. Liberal Arts 2013 | Medical Interpreting Certificate 2016 | Court Interpreting Certificate 2014 | Basic Translation Principles Certificate 2014

Client Support Specialist (Translator/Interpreter) for mental health clinics

How did your studies in language and culture prepare you for your current job?

My studies in language and culture allowed me to have a better understanding of the broad Spanish lexicon spoken amongst the different Spanish speaking countries. I currently work as a Spanish translator/interpreter for mental health cases. I collaborate with people of different Latin American backgrounds and cultures. After seeing the broad variety of expressions used by our clients, I realized that it is important to expand one’s knowledge in different areas of language, especially in the cultural aspect and the jargon of each Latin American nation. Every word I used must be thoroughly thought of since the wrong word or expression may convey the wrong message for either side: the client or the psychologist, psychiatrist, nurse practitioners, therapists, and more. I must say that my studies in Latin American literature help me expand my vocabulary. They helped analyze and understand backgrounds other than the Mexican culture. The literary world exposed me to the socio-political conflicts of this continent which helped me to learn how to cope with sensitive subjects such as human violence and injustices. I am thankful for this exposure because I feel I have the necessary tools to deal with difficult subjects.

Do you have any advice for students considering language and culture study?

If you love reading and expanding your mind, if you like learning about the diversity/amalgam of the broad cultures of our continents, you should study language and culture. If you are planning to use language as a career, it is important for you to study literature since it will ample your knowledge and understanding of socio-political situations of the past, present and future.

It is important for you to read daily and always keep an open mind. Literature is a world with many roads. Explore them with enthusiasm and they will help you to become a critical reader. Enhanced your assign work with documentaries, video clips, and articles to ample your knowledge in both literature and culture.

Never forget to ask for help to your professors! They are an important key for your success. Whether you’re working on your BA or MA, they are an essential part of your college experience. Our beloved professors want to see us succeed and they have many tools you can use to your advantage. Ask them questions to clarify your doubts! There is no more foolish question than the one that is not asked.

For those starting an MA program: Always read and catch ahead with your readings during your vacations. One can only absorb so much information during a semester, and even though your vacations are a moment for you to take a break, you cannot completely ignore your readings. Not every class you take will cover all the material that you need to know for your MA. Therefore, it is important for you to be responsible and pay close attention to your MA list of readings, so you do not miss information.