Celebrating International Translation Day 2018 On May 24, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (Resolution 71/288, https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/71/288) declaring September 30 to be International Translation Day. “International Translation Day is meant as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role…
For regular readers of our blogs and newsletters, you know we often highlight the legal regulations that organizations should be aware of when it comes to providing translators and interpreters for clients/customers. Various federal and state laws are in place to make sure that businesses—especially those receiving government funding—meet basic requirements for providing translation services and interpreter services to people who don’t speak English well or at all (commonly referred to as LEP, or Limited English Proficiency).
Recent cases in Massachusetts underscore our point perfectly.
Willy Brandt, the former West German Chancellor, once famously said: “If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen sie Deutsch sprechen (then you must speak German).”
The quote underscores a point we continue to emphasize more broadly to businesses and organizations today: the most effective way to communicate with clients, consumers and your own employees is in their own language.
Two of the most critical parts of any translation project are accuracy and confidentiality. You want your content communicated the right way and you want it protected in the process. For medical translations, the confidentiality part takes on extra significance since it may contain sensitive patient records protected by federal…
Generally, most people don’t know the difference between “translation” and “interpreting.” To them the words are interchangeable and mean the same thing: converting words from one language to another. But to those within the language services industry, there is an important distinction between the two terms, and if you’re thinking about communicating your message into foreign languages, you should know the difference too.
Here’s a quick review of how interpreting differs from translation and some of the terminology you’ll hear associated with each function.
Medical jargon is complex and confusing enough that many patients often leave their doctor’s office wondering, “What did she just say?”
Imagine the added anxiety if the patient doesn’t speak English.
Census figures show that the number of people who speak a language other than English in the United States has reached an all-time high of about 62 million—that means one in five U.S. residents now speaks a foreign language at home.
These changing demographics have placed an additional burden on hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, mental health agencies and related public health organizations. As the number of non-English speakers seeking health care in the United States has grown, so has the need for medical interpreters and translators. State and federal laws as well as new industry standards are also driving up the demand for more health care language support services.
The role of interpreter has changed much over the years. Gone are the days when an interpreter just had to know how to verbally translate words from one language into another. In addition to language skills, professional interpreters undergo extensive training to refine their skills, and they must adhere to mandatory requirements that vary by client, such as background checks, drug tests and even immunization for those within the healthcare industry. Additionally, interpreters must follow a strict code of ethics and are expected to be well-versed—if not experts—in the specific fields for which they are working.
In the language services field, translators and interpreters play similar but different roles. Translators deal primarily with the written word while interpreters work with the spoken word. Both are integral to bringing people of different languages and cultures together, but more recently the interpreting function has gained increasing traction. The trend is one you should pay attention to.
To compete in the global marketplace, a growing number of businesses and organizations are adding “multilingual communication” to their strategic business plans. That’s the first step to Going Global. But picking the right translation and interpreting provider can be tricky. Today’s rich mix of professional agencies, independent freelancers and technology devices can make the selection process as overwhelming as it is confusing. So to help you chose the right translation provider, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
Am I Getting High Quality Translators & Interpreters?
To make sure your message is communicated correctly, look for a reliable, full-service agency with experienced translators and interpreters—they should be professionally trained, have knowledge of your particular industry or subject matter, and be native speakers of your target language. For very specialized subjects in areas like science, medicine and law, it is crucial to use translators and interpreters who know the field as well as they know the language. Use machine translations only for quick, informal messaging. While technology can play a role in the initial development of a translation project, only human translators can ensure the kind of quality and accuracy you want in a first-class finished product.
The United States’ proud identity as the “land of opportunity” has been a clarion call for immigrants since our country’s founding.
While playing a large role in building the nation from “sea to shining sea,” immigrants also helped weave diverse customs into the cultural fabric of America—from food to fashion, from religion to politics, from music to literature, and more. But the most distinguishing trait people brought from their far-flung corners of the globe is…language.