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Work Voices 5 - Carlos Garcia, Health Interpreter

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Transcript (English)

Transcript (Spanish)

Meet Carlos Garcia, from Nicaragua, who works as a certified health interpreter.

Carlos Garcia describes how he chose his career. While in hospital undergoing treatment, he helped translate for a fellow patient who did not speak English and couldn’t communicate with the doctors and hospital staff. He became what he calls an “over the curtain” interpreter. Through this experience, Carlos came to understand the importance of communication between a patient and health care professional, and how an understanding of medical terminology was a crucial in making this happen.


Carlos was trained at City College of San Francisco in the Health Care Interpreter Certificate program which is “designed to train bilingual and bicultural students to develop the awareness, knowledge and skills necessary for effective language interpretation in health care settings.” He is now a nationally certified medical interpreter and has worked in a freelance capacity in San Francisco since 2002.

Carlos talks in this interview about how ESL students can use their language proficiency to really make a difference.

Here is the fifth interview in our series.

Download Educators’ Activities Here

Work Voices modules will be tested in ESL classrooms and adapted, based on student and instructor feedback.

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