Zoila Bernal, the daughter of a newspaper journalist and the youngest of 11 brothers and sisters, grew up in Chiclayo, Peru where she at an early age cultivated the love of language.
Communication is one of Zoila’s core strengths. While growing up, she learned the power of the spoken word, which everyone should be heard and how critical it is that everyone is understood. She began her study of English at the age of 15.
After graduating from Ricardo Palma University in psychology in Lima Peru, she moved to Providence in November 2005.
She began work as a therapist doing social work advocating for Spanish families who had very limited English skills.
Here, Zoila developed a passion for helping communities in need becoming an advocate for families needing services while perfecting her English language skills and her understanding of American culture.
In 2006 Zoila graduated from the Rhode Island Latina Leadership Institute who’s mission is to engage, encourage and empower Latinas in Rhode Island to become community leaders through educational training and development with an emphasis on civic and community engagement.
From there she volunteered for the Central Falls School System and later the Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College where she particularly enjoyed interpreting for the parents of students.
One faithful day Zoila was asked to step in to do some interpreting to cover for an interpreter who had to cancel at the last minute. Zoila discovered she had a passion for interpreting and decided then she wanted to do it professionally.
In 2011 she began working for an interpreting agency part time. Zoila quickly established herself in the practice building a base of clients who would specifically ask for her because they appreciated her skills and excellent service.
Zoila loved interpreting but knew there were ways to do it better.
It takes technical skill and experience to become a good interpreter but there’s much more than just that. In Zoila’s view, a good interpreter needs to go beyond an adequate translation and address the Validation Twins.
The first twin is to validate the client which Zoila learned as a therapist. Often someone needing the services of an interpreter is very stressed: in a foreign country; not knowing the language or the culture; finding oneself in a hospital, law office, courtroom or government agency setting; or not understanding the process or the people is overwhelming.
Zoila is someone understands the human side of a stressful situation, can empathize with the client and give respect and dignity to the individual who may not belong to the mainstream.
The second twin is to validate the understanding of all the parties in the room. Good communication is difficult. Communication across languages and cultures is even more challenging.
From the time Zoila was a little girl she knew that everyone needs to have the same level of understanding. Zoila makes the effort and takes the to explain so that everyone comprehends the messages. When you need someone you can count on to tell the whole story completely and accurately; someone who can clearly account for a situation and what’s happening; and someone who can explain in a way that everyone understands, Zoila is that someone.
Sharing a holistic vision of interpretation services, Zoila joined with her friend, Shirley Moore to launch Be Moore Interpreting.
Be Moore Interpreting is raising the bar of the interpreting practice by not only bring all the services you would expect from a first class interpreting service but also delivering a level of customer empathy and service not often seen in the business.