Local News

Sisters help get pandemic information out to NC's Hispanic community

Posted June 26, 2020 7:58 p.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2020 8:16 p.m. EDT

— When Gov. Roy Cooper takes to the podium to address the latest coronavirus numbers, those whose primary language isn't English may have a hard time understanding the information.

So, sisters Jackie and Yasmin Metivier are there to communicate what Spanish speakers need to know.

On a regular day, they said they come in an hour before the afternoon briefing to go over notes.

"If we’re lucky, we get the remarks maybe 15 to 20 minutes after we arrive. Sometimes, we get them last minute,” said Jackie Metivier, an interpreter with Bilingual Communications Inc.

The sisters have been interpreting for 20 years, They said one of their biggest challenges is speed.

“As we’re hearing the English through headsets, we have to do it simultaneously,” Jackie Metivier said.

That is when working with someone who knows you comes in handy, they said. Not only do they finish each other's sentences in real life, they do it at work, too.

“It’s great to work with someone who knows how I think and knows when I’m going to mess up," Yasmin Metivier said. "She's always there to help me."

The sisters, natives of Mexico, have come a long way in their work. Yasmin Metivier recalls situations more than 20 years ago when interpreters weren't common.

“We had nothing in Spanish," she said. "We had a hurricane, and there were no TV stations and radio stations. Nobody knew what to do."

Using their language skills to help people is far beyond their wildest dreams, they said. Not only do they get to serve the community during the pandemic, they said, they get to meet people from all walks of life.

“I’m so lucky to be here because we’re helping immigrants with what we do, and it’s such a privilege and a big responsibility,” Yasmin Metivier said.


Jackie y Yasmin Metivier son hermanas y traductoras.

Cada vez que usted ve el Gobernador Cooper hablando, Jackie y Yasmin estan detras de la camara, traduciendo lo que dice el gobernador.

Tienen 20 años de experiencia, dicen que es un orgullo trabajar y servir a su comunidad.

Dicen que la parte que es mas dificil es la rapidez con la que tienen que traducir lo que el gobernador va diciendo.

Las dos hermanas son nacidas en Mexico y recuerdan cuando interpretar no hera comun.

Ellas quieren seguir haciendo esto por mucho tiempo.

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