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Erja Tenhonen-Lightfoot

Erja Aulikki Tenhonen-Lightfoot
Born 8.12.1960, Tohmajärvi

Näyttötutkintomestari (Course for those working with competence-based qualifications) 2011, Hame University of Applied Sciences
Conference interpreter 1997, University of Turku
Licentiate (applied linguistics) 1993, University of Vaasa
Master of Arts (translation and interpreting) 1988, University of Joensuu

University teacher of interpretation 2011–, University of Helsinki
Part-time teacher of interpreting and translation 1997–2011, University of Helsinki
Chief examiner of competence-based qualifications for community interpreters 2010–, Amiedu/ Tampere Adult Education Centre
Lecturer of interpretation 2003–06, University of Helsinki/ Palmenia
Coordinator of the project Passiivisuomi 1995–96, University of Helsinki/ Vantaa Institute for Continuing Education
Project researcher in applied linguistics 1990–92, Academy of Finland/ University of Vaasa

Entrepreneur 2002–, Sanas interpreting services
Freelance legal interpreter in district courts and courts of appeal 2002–
Entrepreneur and coordinating interpreter 1998–2002, Cross Border Communications Oy
Freelance conference interpreter in every organ of the EU

Photo: Johanna Hirvonen
Written by Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by Matthew Billington

My dream

The sword of a Doctor of Philosophy. Erja Tenhonen-Lightfoot dreams of finishing her dissertation.

"I love my teaching duties; they are really enjoyable and rewarding. It's a joy to see how my students learn correct working habits, understand the importance of professional ethics and prosper in their working life. I absolutely want to continue teaching."

"I would also like to make some progress on my doctoral dissertation, which examines how interpretability is realised in Helsinki District Court. Interpretability means that the assignment can be completed proficiently and appropriately, but it also requires good collaboration between the client and the interpreter. There are many reasons why this cooperation is often less than optimal. For instance, those who hire interpreters don't necessarily understand how important it is for the interpreter to receive all the material in advance. Through my own research I would like to promote the realisation and improvement of interpretability in our society."

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