Viewing posts categorised under: Interpretation
States Improving Language Access for Limited English Speaking Individuals

States Improving Language Access for Limited English Speaking Individuals

by Translation Guy on November 15, 2016
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Slowly but surely, the United States is expanding language access for limited English proficient individuals. In some cases it's required by law and sometimes it just makes good customer service sense. It may be time for your organization to take a look at how best to provide language services to those who could benefit. Here's the latest.  

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The Undiscovered Country: Interpreting for the Dying

The Undiscovered Country: Interpreting for the Dying

by Translation Guy on September 14, 2016
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Speaking of death, in my own short-lived cancer-prone clan, I’ve buried enough of those I love to consider myself something of a hands-on expert on exit conversations. Thank God and knock on wood I’ve never been the one to have to break the bad news – end-of-life conversations of any kind are hard enough.  

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How Translation Improves Health Literacy and Reduces Health Care Costs

How Translation Improves Health Literacy and Reduces Health Care Costs

by Translation Guy on March 16, 2016
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Health literacy is #1. People with low health literacy have a higher risk of death, more emergency room visits, more hospitalizations, more diabetes-related problems, a higher incidence of cancer and are more likely to take medicines incorrectly. According to the American Medical Association, “poor health literacy is a stronger predictor of a person’s health than age, income, employment status, education level and race.”  

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Does Your Clinic Comply with the Affordable Care Act’s Language Requirements?

Does Your Clinic Comply with the Affordable Care Act’s Language Requirements?

by Translation Guy on February 24, 2016
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No matter how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, its provisions affect nearly everyone involved in the business of providing and receiving health care. This includes clinics and hospitals and the way they administer health care to patients who don’t speak English very well.  

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What You Need to Know About Language Access in US Health Care

What You Need to Know About Language Access in US Health Care

by Translation Guy on February 17, 2016
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“English Only” isn’t the way to go. Studies show that limited English proficient patients in the United States receive better and more cost-effective care when hospitals provide health care access in foreign languages. But that’s not the only reason for hospitals and health care providers to provide foreign-language services. In fact, in the United States, it’s often illegal not to.  

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Afghan Interpreters Are Still in Danger!

Afghan Interpreters Are Still in Danger!

by Translation Guy on December 9, 2014
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So, how does the United States reward those who help its military? The Congressional program offering visas for Afghan interpreters is putting stated good will to the test.  

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The Miracle of Simultaneous Interpretation

The Miracle of Simultaneous Interpretation

by Translation Guy on November 20, 2014
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Computers are now so ingrained in the fabric of our lives that we often take them for granted. How complex and wonderful they are! So too with simultaneous interpretation. It is something that is done every day around the world, but when you stop to think about it and marvel at it, it is hard not to find a new appreciation for the art and science of simultaneous interpretation, and the brains behind it.  

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Afghan Interpreters Left Behind

Afghan Interpreters Left Behind

by Translation Guy on July 31, 2014
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There’s no doubt that the United States put itself and its people in a difficult position when it opted to send the military into Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the military personnel stationed there know they have a job to do and they have surely tried to carry out their missions as best as they can. Although how can they do what they need to do without being able to communicate with the locals there? The answer is: Probably not very well.  

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Celebrating Translation…With Chocolate?

Celebrating Translation…With Chocolate?

by Translation Guy on July 1, 2014
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There is an enterprising chocolate shop a block away from my house. Every time I walk by it seems to be announcing a different celebration on their sidewalk sandwich board: “Happy Mother’s Day!” “Happy Teachers Day!” “Happy Entrepreneurs Day!” “Happy XYZ!” I didn’t know there were so many things to celebrate with a basket of chocolate. We’re quite a ways off from September 30, but that day I hope to find “Happy International Translation Day!” colorfully scrawled in chalk. In addition to celebrating mothers, teachers, entrepreneurs and others, translators are in need of celebration too. Their job is to bridge continents and bring people together; they are an important part of our globalized society. And when we celebrate translators, by extension we celebrate language, communication and the written word. That’s definitely something to celebrate! International Translation Day is promoted by the International Federation of Translators (or FIT from its acronym in French) and is recognized by UNESCO. September 30 was chosen as the annual date since it is the feast day of Saint Jerome, the patron saint of translators, but International Translation Day is most certainly not a religious holiday. In 2014, the theme of International Translation Day will be Language Rights. This refers to the role that translators, interpreters and other language professionals can, do and should play to help those who find themselves in a country whose language is not their own. That could mean a tourist who is charged with a crime, an asylum seeker who needs social services, a person working abroad who has a dispute with his employer or any number of situations where language (and culture) can present challenges – and consequences – if someone does not understand what is going on and how to protect himself. Of course, I’ll have to check in with the chocolate shop on September 19 too. International Talk Like a Pirate Day might require some rum truffles.

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States Need to Step Up for Interpretation Services

States Need to Step Up for Interpretation Services

by Translation Guy on June 17, 2014
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Santa Fe, New Mexico is well known as a center of art and culture, as well as a multicultural city of Spanish heritage. Tourists flock to the city for its historical architecture around the Plaza, its outdoor activities and to visit art galleries and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. However, Santa Fe, the state capital of New Mexico, is experiencing a growing problem. The courts are having trouble paying for language interpretation services, according to a recent New York Times article. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires courts to provide non-English speakers with interpreters in both civil and criminal cases. While these costs do add up, interpretation also helps contain costs related to reversals and appeals because the parties didn’t understand what was going on. More than one-third of those who live in New Mexico speak a language other than English at home. Unsurprisingly, approximately 20% of Santa Fe’s court cases require the use of interpretation services. The most requested languages for court interpretation in Santa Fe are Spanish and Navajo, but services in other languages are required as well. While a percentage of the people who require court interpretation services do speak at least some English, the truth is that they can more easily express themselves and their versions of the facts with the aid of interpretation services. In addition to the benefits of having people more fully cooperate with court proceedings, this allows non-native English speakers more equal treatment under the law, as well as the ability to express themselves more freely than if they were trying to understand and speak about the proceedings in a language they didn’t fully understand. Unfortunately though, the demand for interpretation services is growing and costs are rising. New Mexico, and other states in the same predicament, say it’s difficult to come up with money. They increasingly find themselves pleading with the state over funding. We can’t balance budgets at the expense of justice though.  The states need to step up and allocate more funds to meet the obligations to the people in their jurisdiction.

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