About the Berkeley Language Institute


The Berkeley Language Institute (BLI) was founded in 2006 by Francine Kuipers, with the assistance of Angela Zawadzki with the mission to provide professional language training and assessment services to improve cross cultural information flow for the well being of humanity.

The Berkeley Language Institute (BLI) is focused on delivering quality results through experienced linguists and professional customer service. The Berkeley Language Institute offers evaluation and training in translation, interpreting, transcription, linguistic and cultural competency, as well as language classes.

The workshops are held in the context of continuing education for professional linguists, and for bilingual individuals who wish to enter the translation and interpretation fields.

The Founders of The Berkeley Language Institute

Francine Kuipers received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology at the University of Paris VIII and a Master's Degree in Psychology at the University of Paris VII - Jussieu. She is a linguist who understands the essential role language proficiency plays in intercultural communication.

She founded Linguatheque of Los Angeles, a language school and translation company. She launched Accent on Languages and Access Language Services in Berkeley in 1992 and has been the Director since their inception.

Ms. Kuipers was the Principal of the French American School in Los Angeles. She taught at the University of Peru, in Russia, and at various schools across the United States. She serves as a language consultant to school districts and numerous companies and organizations. Ms. Kuipers has been producing language tapes since 1986, and conducting translation workshops since 1995.

Angela Zawadzki, PhD. has over 20 years of experience as an English-Spanish Federal and California State certified interpreter, skilled in simultaneous, consecutive and sight interpreting. She is also an English-Italian interpreter in the legal and private sectors.

She has worked both in the United States and abroad in a variety of settings such as State and Federal courts, attorney-client interviews, depositions, administrative hearings, technical and business conferences, training seminars, press conferences, bilateral/multilateral negotiation talks, film festivals, among others.

In addition, she is an experienced language and literature instructor in Spanish, French, and Italian, as well as a trainer of legal, community, and educational interpreters and bilingual personnel. She also designs and teaches workshops for Spanish interpreters planning to take the California State interpreter exam. Angela earned her graduate degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Angela was born in Colombia, and has lived in Colombia, the Netherlands, France, and Italy.


Francine Kuipers, Principal and Trainer
Please review Francine's bio in the section "Founders of BLI".

Angela Zawadzki, PhD. English-Spanish Federal and California State certified interpreter
Please review Angela's bio in the section "Founders of BLI".

Judit Marin, MA, Linguistic Consultant and Trainer, is a freelance Spanish interpreter, translator, trainer, and seminar leader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Marin holds a M.A. in Hispanic Language and Civilization from U.C. Santa Barbara and a B.A. degree in Catalan Philology from the University of Barcelona.

Ms. Marin is an ATA certified (English>Spanish) translator and a California Certified Medical Interpreter. She has been a trainer for the medical interpreting program at Asian Health Services and Merritt College since 2005 and provides curriculum development and consulting services. Ms. Marin is also an instructor for the "Living in America Program" offered by the County courts.

Nora Goodfriend-Koven MPH has been dedicated to issues of equity and health for over 3 decades. Presently she is a freelance Spanish interpreter and a trainer of interpreters.
A former fulltime and currently adjunct professor at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) in the Health Education Department, Ms. Goodfriend-Koven was the lead instructor coordinator of the HealthCare Interpreter Certificate Program, where she currently teaches an occasional short-term course.

She also taught "Trauma Response and Recovery" and continues to provide workshops on the interface of interpreting and mental health issues. Prior to her work at CCSF Nora worked for the San Francisco Public Health Department where she provided community-based prevention programs to the Latino and Spanish speaking community. She did similar trainings in Belarus and Ukraine for survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion. Nora is a lead author of Healing Voices, a 1-week training for experienced interpreters who interpret in extreme circumstances of torture and trauma survival.

Nora has also consulted internationally on the topics of HIV/AIDS prevention (Guatemala, Bolivia and Peru) and disaster mental health (Belarus, Ukraine). She is on the board of directors of the California Healthcare Interpreting Association and Walden Center and School, an arts-based primary non-profit educational institution.

She is a certified Administrative Hearing Interpreter in the state of California for Spanish/English interpretation. Ms. Goodfriend-Koven received her BA in Latin American Studies and Anthropology from UCSC, and her MPH in Health Education from SJSU. She resides in the East Bay and in West Marin.

Marci Valdivieso is an entrepreneur, producer, interpreter and translator who has worked in Latin America and Europe within the software and electronics manufacturing corporate world for more than two decades. She has held a management role in conferences, seminars, proposal production and production teams and is currently a partner at Berkeley Language Institute.

Ms. Valdivieso has interpreting clients in the medical, scientific and legal fields and works in consecutive and simultaneous modes. She has also, translated a collection of poetry by Vijali Hamilton and a novel by Edie Hartshorne from English to Spanish. She has also translated Wings of the Butterfly, a set of essays by Maria Suarez and most recently Capá prieto a published work by Yvonne Denis Rosario, a Puerto-Rican author from Spanish to English, available on Amazon.

Having focused on Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley and because she is committed to promoting Latin American culture and interweaving the boundaries of hybrid culture in the United States, Marci continues her journey as a cultural worker with a musical band, radio program ChileFornia and production of musical events large and small.

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