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[ HAWAII AT WORK ]
Kit Yee "Candy" ChoiTitle: Language interpreter
Job: Helps people who can't speak English deal with local health and human services providers.
Q: How long have you been doing this?
A: Since 1990. I started working part time and I love it, so I built up my clientele. I have now about 500 clients. I really like it that I can use my language skills to help the new people, the immigrants, merge into American society and adapt into the culture.
Q: How do you charge?
A: I charge hourly, per case and per client. There's different rates for legal and medical. Legal is more intense -- you're like talking for 60 minutes in court or for a deposition. In medical, there's a lot of waiting time, so the charges are different.
Q: What was one of your most difficult jobs?
A: A rape case. It was a couple years ago. The police called me, once they'd picked up the client, and I had to rush to the hospital in five to 10 minutes.
Q: How do clients find you?
A: There was a law passed several years ago that says if any federal or state agency has a client that doesn't speak English, they are required to hire a translator. So the agencies call Bilingual Access Line (536-7234). I'm on call to all the emergency sites, like the hospital, the prison, all the federal agencies, Immigration, the FBI. And then I do translations on my own, too. Like when hospitals pass out flyers to the community, those need to be translated. I also do voice-overs for some commercials, like one I did recently in Chinese for Mercedes Benz.
Q: What channel was that on?
A: I don't know. I don't watch TV much. I don't have time to watch TV. (Laughter). I work long hours. I start at 6 o'clock and work late. We're on call 24 hours. But I love my job.
Q: Are you married?
A: No. I think if I was married, I'd be divorced because my work is so intense.
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