Program Spotlight: Community Interpreter Services

Lutheran Social Services’ Community Interpreter Services program provides well-trained interpreters for different appointments or meetings in the 5 state region. Interpreters are fluent in more than 35 different languages and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Today, we highlight the unsung heroes of the interpreter services: the call center.
Janice Kornmann grew up in a Estelline, SD and describes herself as a small-town girl. She eventually went to Nettleton College, here in Sioux Falls, before joining the banking world for 30 years. Four years ago she joined the staff in the Community Interpreter Services at LSS.


What made you choose LSS?
I wanted a different career. I was in banking for so long that I just needed a change of pace. Working for Community Interpreter Services gave that to me.
What does your job entail?
Mostly it is handling phone calls and scheduling interpreters for different appointments. We will get calls from doctors, schools, attorneys, and other organizations in the area requesting interpreters for appointments or meetings. I also work closely with the many interpreters on their schedules. Interpreting is a part-time, on-call position, so I have to really know who is available at any given time.
What is your favorite part of working here?
I love learning more about the different cultures of the interpreters. It’s like traveling the world without leaving!

Jan Kornmann and her husband Richard.

What is the hardest?
Culture is one of my favorites but it can also be difficult. Navigating multiple cultures can be challenging in that I never fully know everything and how someone may respond.
If you could tell anyone one thing about your job here, what would it be?
It’s been a wonderful experience so far for a small town middle class girl in South Dakota to learn. I never really understood our diversity until now. How lucky am I to have experienced this job!


If you are in need of interpreter services, please contact the Community Interpreter Services at 605-731-2000.

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