Meet The Team: English and Spanish face to face interpreter Tania Rodriguez

Every month, we introduce you to one of The Language Shop (tls) team. This month, meet Tania Rodriguez, a face to face interpreter working in English and Spanish.

Tell us about the role you do for tls

I translate the spoken conversation from one language to another, in sectors such as healthcare and welfare. I find it exciting because in this way interpreters are breaking this language barrier, making the client/patient safer, confident and informed.

What’s been your favourite project at tls?

I could say that I cannot choose just one project because the work that TLS does is absolutely stunning. My favourite part on this job is mental health bookings as the patient can be themselves, talking in their own language

without missing any details. This is really crucial and makes a positive impact on the therapies.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was to combine my studies of Community Interpreter with a full-time job and at the same time rehearsing for a play in a drama group!

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?

I think I would carry on my studies to work as an acting coach or a drama teacher, but it is hard to think about not doing my current job, as I could say interpreting is my passion.

Tell us something interesting about you.

Two of my main skills are my active listening and capacity to retain information and reproduce long paragraphs or long statements etc. In the past I did not find this very useful, but in this role I can deliver good work due these skills and find it really rewarding. And I feel I can help the community by delivering an accurate translation.

If you could meet someone, living or dead, who would it be and why

There are so many personalities that I admire and I could learn from. I could say Mike Leigh, because he is my favourite director. He implemented a new acting technique, promoting improvisation and being natural, with hard work and creativity.

What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?

Carry on working for The Language Shop interpreting, as well as helping other interpreters develop, and to deliver good work, maybe as an assessor if that is possible.


If you would like to be profiled, or know someone else who would, please get in touch by emailing

July 2023 dates for your diary

Calendar snapshots

10th – Martyrdom of the Báb

Martyrdom of the Báb remembers the execution of Sayyed ʻAlí Muḥammad Shírází, aka the Báb and one of the founders of the Bahai religion. In 1850, he was charged with apostasy by the Persian Empire and imprisoned along with his followers. He was killed by a firing squad.

14th – International Non Binary People’s Day

Since its launch in 2012, this day raises awareness of the specific issues facing non binary people. The date was chosen as it falls exactly halfway between International Women’s Day in March and International Men’s Day in November.

19th – Islamic New Year

The Islamic calendar month of Muharram is the first of the year and it renews in 2023 in the Gregorian month of July, though this changes every year. Muslims do not generally hold big celebrations on this day, however in some Muslim-majority countries it is a national holiday.

This month’s dates at a glance


3 – Feast of The Saint Thomas the Apostle, Christian

3 – Asalha Puja (Dharma Day), Buddhist

5 – Birthday of Guru Hargobind, Sikh

10 – Martyrdom of The Báb, Baha’i

15 – Saint Vladimir the Great Day, Orthodox Christian

19 – Islamic New Year, Islam

22 – Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, Christian

23 – Birthday of Guru Har Krishan, Sikh

23 – Birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie, Rastafari

24 – Pioneer Day, Mormon Christian

25 – Saint James the Great’s Day, Christian

27 – Tish’a B’av, Judaism

28 – Ashura, Islam

 Awareness and events

14 – International Non-Binary People’s Day

18 – Nelson Mandela International Day

28 – World Hepatitis Day

Rare Language Fact File: Archi

Native to: Southern Dagestan, Russia

Number of native speakers:  970

Spoken by:  The Archi people

Learn some: Greeting in Archi is straightforward: warchami is a general way to say hello to anyone, no matter the time of day.

Interesting facts:

  • Archi is so grammatically complex, there are more than 1.5 million possible forms from each verb root (eg in English, there are fewer than ten)!
  • It also has 26 vowel sounds and between 74 and 82 consonants, including a consonant sound that is not heard in any other language on Earth.
  • The Archi live approximately 2,000km above sea level, in the mountains. Their way of life – shepherding and weaving – has persevered and so has their language, despite efforts to force them to use Russian and larger neighbouring languages. They practise a blend of Sunni Islam and more ancient ‘folk’ forms of the religion.

The Language Shop provides support in any language you may need, including many of the rarer ones. Please speak to your account manager about your requirements.


Focus on: Tish’a B’av, 27 July

What:  This day marks the conclusion of an annual period of mourning and fasting, known as the Three Weeks. Tish’a B’av falls on the 9th day of the month of Av.

Why:   The 9th of Av marks the destruction of two Holy Temples, the first by the Babylonians in 425 BC, and the second by the Romans in 69 AD. According to scripture, this second date marks the Jews being driven out into the desert and the beginning of their centuries in exile. For this reason, the Three Weeks and Tish’a B’av are the saddest festivals of the Jewish calendar.

How:   During the Three Weeks mourning period, Jews are instructed not to listen to music, buy new clothes, marry or cut their hair. From the first day of Av, observant Jews will not wear freshly washed clothes, eat meat or drink wine. On the evening before Tish’a B’av, people attend Synagogue to hear readings from the Book of Lamentations. The mourning intensifies; until the festival is over, many will abstain from washing, using perfumes or creams, greeting each other, wearing leather shoes or having marital relations. A meal of bread and a boiled egg dipped in ashes is taken alone, sitting on a low stool. The mourning extends until midday on the 10th of Av.

We always love to hear from customers about their own celebrations. Please get in touch if you have observed any of July’s festivals and would like to share stories or photos with us!


Meet The Team: Jenai Campbell from the TLS Examinations Team

Every month, we introduce you to one of our team. This month, meet Jenai Campbell from the TLS Examinations Team.

Tell us about the role you do for TLS

I am a Service Coordinator for the Examinations Team at TLS, which entails quite a range of varied tasks, but I am principally involved in the Paper Setting assignments. On a day-to-day basis, I am usually creating and reviewing materials to be used in the remote exams, liaising with external freelancers who also assist with Paper Setting, or supporting the rest of the Examinations Team in miscellaneous duties.

What's been your favourite project at TLS?

I began working at TLS in November 2022, around the same time that the Paper Setting project, in which a new bank of materials is being created using a new format for the remote exams, was just beginning. Therefore, I have been able to witness and participate in the growth of this project along with the rest of the team and the new recruits along the way. Seeing the accumulation of materials and the improvements over time in the work submitted by freelancers that you have helped to support is extremely rewarding, and a motivating reminder of how my contributions manifest into results for the team.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I would say my biggest challenge so far was feeling confident in myself when I first had to start giving feedback about work that was submitted for use in the Paper Setting project. Despite knowing that it was constructive feedback, it took me a little while to have the confidence in myself to know that I was giving the correct advice and supporting the external team members correctly.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?

When asked as a child what my dream job would be, I used to say that I wanted to be a stunt double! Now, I would say that I would like to be a literary translator (slightly less risky). Having studied French and Spanish at university, and completed a master's in translation, I found that my love for languages and for reading were neatly combined in translating literature.

Tell us something interesting about you.

I restarted gymnastics last year, joining an adult gymnastics club. I previously did gymnastics between the ages of 4 and 8 years old, training 5 days a week for up to 4 hours per session, but stopped when my older sisters got injured because I didn't want to train without them! I took up pole fitness when I was at university and loved it but wanted to have another go at gymnastics when I moved back to London, so now I have fallen in love with the sport and training all over again (without the pressure of competing!).

If you could meet someone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet Malorie Blackman. I loved reading her books growing up, I feel like she was a significant part of my childhood and as I've grown up and watched her interviews, or been to talks that she has delivered, I've come to learn what an inspiration she is.

What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?

Professionally, I would like to continue learning and developing my skills within the Examinations Team, particularly when it comes to the delivery side of the business. Personally, I would like to continue with swimming lessons which I began this year as a New Year's resolution, to conquer my fear of water!

If you would like to be profiled, or know someone else who would, please get in touch by emailing

Service under the Spotlight: Scheduled Video Interpreting

Each month, we get you better acquainted with a TLS service; when and why you might need it, how to book it and how to make the most of the booking.

You may be new to the world of booking language support, or perhaps you book the same service each time because you don’t know what else is out there, or perhaps you have never considered that something different might work for you – this is for you!

It is for you if:

you need the flexibility of having the conversation with your service user in any location, eg working from home, or you and your service user are not geographically close.

It is not for you if:

you need to build trust or rapport with your service user and interpreter – in sensitive situations, eg a mental health appointment, it is usually better to talk in person.

When it works best:

scheduled video interpreting is best for relatively uncomplicated and uncontroversial conversations with people who are comfortable using screens to communicate.

Tips to get the most from your booking:

  • Use our dedicated booking portal, to find and book your interpreter. This makes everything easy and quick. Once you know how to use it, you will be able to book a remote interpreter anywhere you have access to a computer.
  • Make sure you’re familiar with the technology you’ll be using in the booking – how to share your screen, how to mute yourself, how to make sure there’s nothing confidential on show.
  • Set parameters at the start of the booking. Most of us know how to behave in face to face situations, but remote meetings are still something of an unknown. Tell everyone how to interrupt politely, how to take turns, when to mute themselves.

If you would like to know more, call our bookings team for guidance and support on 0808 175 1230.

National Patient Participation Week 2023: Language services for the NHS

5-9 June 2023 is National Patient Participation Week and, as a language services provider to the NHS, we wanted to highlight the vital role our interpreters and translators play in empowering patients who don’t speak English fluently/confidently.

As NHS England says:

“Evidence tells us that supporting patients to be actively involved in their own care, treatment and support can improve outcomes and experience for them, and potentially yield efficiency savings for the system through more personalised commissioning and supporting people to stay well and manage their own conditions better.”

NHS England has made a commitment to become much better at involving patients (and their carers) by:

  • giving them the power to manage their own health and make informed decisions about their care and treatment;
  • and supporting them to improve their health and give them the best opportunity to lead the life that they want.

When it comes to making informed decisions and taking control of their own health, patients need to be able to fully understand the information and advice they are being given and this is where we come in for non-native speakers.

The Language Shop (tls) is the exclusive provider of fully managed language services (including spoken language, BSL interpreting and translation both remotely and face-to-face) to several NHS Trusts. As a social enterprise, we have social values around patient care and access at our core and our years of experience in the public sector means we also understand the pressures NHS staff are under. That’s why we ensure that, when an interpreter is needed, both staff and patients have instant access to the right people with the right skills and languages via things like our innovative on-ward tablet-based interpreter booking system.

We also build patient feedback mechanisms and multi-media patient communication into our NHS contract work to maximise their involvement not just in their care but also in their language support.

Want to find out more about our work with NHS Trusts? Get in touch.

June 2023 dates for your diary

Language and cultural calendar snapshots

4th – Pentecost

Pentecost celebrates the Holy Spirit appearing to Christ’s Apostles and other followers while they were celebrating the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot. Celebrants pray all night and feast the following day – overindulgence is encouraged!

22nd  – UK Windrush Day

Marking the 75th anniversary since the famous ship’s arrival to UK shores, this day honours the contribution of Caribbean migrants to this country, and raises awareness of the scandal where so many have in recent years been illegally deported and stripped of their rights in this country.

24th – Litha

Litha is the Pagan and Wicca name for the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Those celebrating believe that faeries cross over to our realm and offer blessings. It is also a time to rejoice in the abundance of early summer. Traditionally, fires were lit to encourage the sun in its journey and to welcome the second half of the year.


This month’s dates at a glance



4 –      Pentecost, Orthodox Christian

Trinity Sunday, Christian

8 –      The Feast of Corpus Christi, Catholic Christian

12 –    The Apostles’ Fast, Orthodox Christian

16 –    Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Catholic Christian

Martyrdom Of Guru Arjan Dev, Sikh

24 –    Litha, Wicca and Pagan

Nativity Of Saint John the Baptist, Christian

27 -1 Jul – Hajj, Islam

28 – Waqf Al Arafa, Islam

29 – Feast of Saints Peter And Paul, Christian

29 -2 Jul – Eid Al-Adha, Islam

 Awareness and events

4 –      International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

10 –    Global Wellness Day

11 –    Race Unity Day

12 –    World Day Against Child Labour

12-18 – Men’s Health Week

15 –    World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

18 –    Autistic Pride Day

Father’s Day

19-25 – Refugee Week

20 –    World Refugee Day

21 –    Summer Solstice

22 –    UK Windrush Day

26-30 – School Diversity Week

Rare Language Fact File: Taushiro

Native to: The Peruvian Amazon

Number of native speakers: Thousands once spoke his language, now he's the only one.

Spoken by: The Taushiro tribe

Learn some: There is only one speaker of Taushiro left, but if you were to meet him, you could greet him with ‘uñuntero’, which is how you announce your friendly arrival.

Interesting facts:

  • The story of the Taushiro is tragic but familiar. The tribe resisted invasion and attempts to enslave them by various foreign and Peruvian interests, by moving deeper into the jungle, hiding and protecting their settlements with traps. By the end of the 20th century, almost no one from outside the tribe had seen them or heard their language, but they were unable to hold out against disease and encroachment on their jungle by outsiders, and there remains only one Taushiro.
  • In 2017, it was made official: there was a solitary speaker of Taushiro, who had nursed his brother as he lay dying from malaria, knowing that he was losing the last person with whom he would every speak his native tongue again. The speaker’s name is Amadeo García García and he is now in his 70s. You can watch an interview with him here.
  • Taushiro has a very simple numbering system, which only goes up to ten. Speakers would indicate numbers by holding up their fingers and saying the corresponding word: 1. Washikanto; 2. Ashini; 3. Washiunweantu; 4. Nekenene; and 5. Ukontawa. For numbers higher than ten, they would simply say ‘ashintu’ and point to their toes.

The Language Shop provides support in any language you may need, including many of the rarer ones. Please speak to your account manager about your requirements.

Celebrations Around the World: Hajj

When: 27 June-1 July 2023.

What: Hajj is a pilgrimage made by Muslims during the sacred and twelfth month of Dhul Hijjah.

Why: Making the pilgrimage is a requirement of all Muslims who are able, physically, economically and otherwise, at least once in their lives. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and is undertaken to bring pilgrims closer to Allah.

How: Approximately 2-3m Muslims gather each year for Hajj, though numbers have been limited by the Saudi Arabian authorities during the post-Covid era. Hajj has 18 steps for worshippers to follow and lasts over five to six days, with pilgrims walking between 5 and 15km every day around Mecca in Saudi Arabia. While it is a requirement only to make the pilgrimage once, Muslims are permitted to repeat the experience, provided it is done with the sole aim of coming closer to Allah.

We always love to hear from customers about their own celebrations. Please get in touch if you have observed any of June’s festivals and would like to share stories or photos with us!