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 a love for language.
Communication is one of Zoila’s core strengths. While growing up, she learned the power of the spoken word, every person must be heard and how critical it is to be understood. She began her study of English at the age of 15.
After graduating from Ricardo Palma University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in Lima Peru, she moved to Providence in November 2005. She began work as a therapist doing social work and advocating for Spanish families with limited English skills.
Here, Zoila developed a passion for helping communities in need; she became 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 whose 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. Zoila has volunteered for Central Falls Public Schools and Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College as an interpreter. After being asked to step as an interpreter for a person who had to cancel at the last minute. Zoila discovered she had a passion for interpreting and decided 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. And although she loved interpreting, she knew there were ways to do it better.
Interpreting takes technical skill and experience, 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.
Zoila learned through her education; the first twin is to validate the client. Often someone needing the services of an interpreter is very stressed: in a foreign country; not knowing the language or the culture; finding themselves in a hospital, law office, courtroom or government agency setting; not understanding the process or the people and feeling overwhelmed.
The second twin is to validate the understanding of all the parties in the room. Good communication is difficult. Zoila acknowledges that communication across languages and cultures is even more challenging, but she rises to the occasion every time.
Zoila makes an effort and takes time 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 account for a situation and what’s happening; and someone who can explain in a way that everyone understands, you should call on Zoila.
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.