The Most Important Industries For Interpreters

As the world becomes increasingly more global and cultures and languages become intertwined, using interpreters becomes something of a necessity. Thanks to the Internet and international travel, the world has never seemed so small. While most people would be quick to name particular industries in which interpreters would be in high demand, there really is no clear response. Truth be told, there are many industries that are benefitting or could benefit from using interpreters.

First, choose a credible interpretation company
The most important thing to consider when looking an interpretation/translation company, choose one that can provide services in many languages, and will commit to providing you with the highest level of quality and accuracy. By selecting an experienced interpretation company, you are ensuring not only a successful interpretation/translation experience but a chance to heighten the presence of your organization.

Government
Government interpreters are increasingly important in today’s ever-changing world. Local government can benefit from interpreters by making sure non-English speaking or ASL using local citizens are able to utilize government services. National government benefits from interpreters when dealing with foreign governments or updating its multilingual citizens on current events or emergencies.

Healthcare/Medical Services
Interpreters and translators are consistently in high demand in the medical industry. It’s a fact of life that people get sick and need doctors, which could be a stressful experience if you are not an English speaker. A medical situation requires a clear and accurate translator, so as to convey the correct information to the patients.

Education
Having interpreters and translators on hand in schools is critical in ensuring that all students get a fair and equal education. Sitting through a lesson can be tough, but imagine doing so when you don’t speak the same language as your teacher or your class. Interpreters and translators are important assets of the education industry.

Business
As the world becomes more interconnected, it becomes more important that your business or company has an interpreter or translator on hand, in case you begin conducting business with an international branch. Interpreters and translators would be helpful during conference calls, or working with you to translate a document. Moreover, they could help your business secure international clients.

Literary
When people think of translators and interpreters, typically their mind goes to book translators. Book translations are incredibly important in helping to spread the ideas and beliefs of one culture to the rest of the world. In fact, many of the most beloved novels of our day have originated in a different language!

Legal
Ensuring that legal documents are translated correctly and understood is so important, as legal jargon is typically dense and difficult to understand, even in one’s native language. In addition to the complexity of the language is the fact that laws differ from country to country, which is necessary to know when traveling abroad. Related to this is the idea that, if someone breaks the law when abroad, they are entitled to a trial that they can understand.

Travel
Last but not least, the travel industry is extremely important for interpreters and translators. Not only can they assist with planning a trip abroad and understanding itineraries or booking reservations in a different language, but they can also help with interpreting or translating once you arrive.

Access 2 Interpreters Attends Seminar Nationwide Childrens Hospital

Interpreters and staff from Access 2 Interpreters attended a seminar hosted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital on Thursday evening, August 24, 2017. Among the Access attendees were CEO Yana Schottenstein, COO Christopher Stein, and over 160 Access interpreters.

The topics of the seminar were HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and interpretation assignments at the Child Advocacy Center. The HIPAA segment focused on protecting Personal Health Information (PHI), maintaining HIPAA compliance, and preventing violations and breaches. The section dedicated to the Child Advocacy Center provided interpreters and staff with valuable information regarding child abuse assignments. NCH offered advice and guidance on how to handle the sensitive interpretation sessions at the Child Advocacy Center.

“I was excited and proud to see our large group come together as one team united by one goal: to learn more about laws and situations that govern our profession and improve as individuals and as a team,” remarked Schottenstein. “The presenters were excellent, and the positive feedback I received after the event is a testament to the fact that the interpreters left the seminar empowered by additional knowledge.”

“I found the seminar very useful. It was important to have the information about assignments at the Child Advocacy Center reinforced for our interpreters. It is vital information,” added Access interpreter and trainer, Dr. Ali Al Safi.

“I want to thank the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Interpreter Services Department for their collaborative effort in working with our Access team and helping our interpreters continue growing as professionals,” Schottenstein concluded.


Endangered Languages

Language is one of the most important components of culture: members of a group need to be
able to understand each other, and the shared language is often a unifier of that group’s members.
Unfortunately, the irony of the globally connected world we live in, in which culture can now be
shared across the world in seconds, is a rapid extinction of the languages of many cultures. It is
estimated that a language goes extinct every two weeks, which nearly wipes out those cultures.
Here are some examples of endangered languages from across the globe.

Why languages go extinct

Several factors can cause a language to become endangered or extinct. Speakers might not be
passing the language down to the youth of that culture. Another source is speakers of the
language no longer viewing it as important to their sense of self, meaning they are less likely to
use it in everyday situations. Luckily, many cultures are making efforts to preserve their native
languages.

Sauk Fox-American Midwest

Sauk Fox is an Algonquian dialect that is currently down to less than 200 speakers. The decline
of this language goes back to colonial America, in which American settlement forced them
further west. There are remnants of the Sauk and Fox in the American Midwest and Oklahoma.
Unfortunately, all fluent speakers of Sauk Fox are above the age of 70, placing the language at a
high risk of becoming extinct.

To combat the potential loss of Sauk Fox forever, an apprenticeship program was created in
which the fluent speakers teach younger members of the tribe who teach other students.

Irish-Ireland

Irish is a Celtic language and was the inspiration of other Celtic languages such as Scottish and
Welsh as it spread to what is now Britain. The Irish had a rich literary history, and tablets have
been found with the Irish language translated into Latin from the 600s AD. This discovery makes
Irish the oldest written language north of the Alps.

The decline of the Irish language began in the 1500s after being conquered by England. The
conquest created the need to use English in affairs of state. Additionally, the Great Potato
Famine in the 1800s caused many speakers to emigrate. Today, Irish is rebounding now that it is
recognized as an official language of the Republic of Ireland.

Ainu-Japan

The Ainu are a Japanese minority from the northern island of Hokkaido. The Ainu language is
unrelated to Japanese, and its origins are still currently unknown. The language was stigmatized
by the Japanese, leading to the loss of many native speakers as well as an aging population. The
remaining fluent Ainu speakers are at least 80 years old. In the modern day, Ainu is taught in
several universities to preserve the language’s heritage.


Tackling Machine Translation

Not an actual translation machine Not an actual translation machine

People use Google for a lot of things. It’s hardwired into the DNA of my smartphone, and I’m pretty sure I’ve used a Google service in one way or another every day for the last decade or more. I can use it for everything from looking up sports scores to finding how many degrees Yul Brynner is from Kevin Bacon (2). Google is a super-useful tool, and like any tool, you’ve got to know when it’s the right tool. Especially when it comes to machine translation.

If you’re not familiar with the term, Machine Translation is basically using a computer program to translate, no people involved. This article gives an excellent overview of the process, and also, of its pitfalls. Unless you’re ready to risk giving the wrong impression about who you are and what you do as a business (Supreme Court Beef, anyone?), then you need to consider using human translators.

Don’t get me wrong, machine translation is useful, and is growing in accuracy. However, professional translators offer a bunch of benefits over relying only on a machine. Native speakers know the cultural nuances, the colloquialisms, and they know the specifics of a particular audience. They can specialize, and get very good at what they do.

At Access, we use software to aid in our translation process, including translation memories, and machine translations. We only use machine translation when appropriate, though. Every client has different needs, and no matter what, a professional translator will work with our translations to ensure they’re of the highest quality.

As time goes on, more and more of the work done in the field of translations will be automated. However, we’re a long way off from humans being replaced completely in translations. We’re going to use machine translation as a tool to help our translators, but it’s just that: a tool.

Sound good to you? If you’re a business who needs our help, check out our request form. And if you’re an experienced translator, we’d love to talk about working with you.


Poisson d’Avril

Do you think he's noticed? Do you think he’s noticed?

As we posted on our Facebook page, yesterday was the 127th anniversary of the opening of the Eiffel Tower. Today, as you probably know, is April Fool’s Day. In America, today is “celebrated” by pulling pranks and telling people creative lies; not always things that will to endear you to your friends and family. Continuing our French theme from yesterday, we support practicing the French tradition for April 1: Poisson d’Avril.

Literally translated as “April Fish,” today is celebrated in France by trying to stick a paper cutout of a fish to the backs of your friends. Kind of like a “kick me” sign, but without, y’know, the kicking. The person with the back-fish is then declared the Poisson d’Avril, and everyone gets a good laugh out of it.

So rather than risking the alienation of your friends, maybe try this instead? Also, at the article linked above, there are some good suggestions for fish-themed treats to go along with the day. See, April 1 doesn’t have to be all bad!

Cartoon from Toonpool.com


An Introduction

Hi there! My name’s Tracy, and I’m the manager of the Department of Translation Services for Access 2 Interpreters. We’re working to bring more content to the Access website, and I’ll be doing a lot of writing for that. This introduction is important to me, as we’ll be seeing a lot of each other in the days and weeks to come.

For this first post, I wanted to point you to an article I came across. Seven Benefits of Learning Another Language. Like a lot of kids who grew up in Midwestern American in the 80s and 90s, my only exposure to languages other than English came during high school. I grew up in a small town, and we had the option of taking either Spanish or French. I took French because that’s what my parents had taken, and that was about the end of my reasoning for that choice.

A lot of what the article talks about resonates with me, though. I retain a little (very little) of the French I studied in high school, and later, college. However, it has had a lasting impact on me. I learned more about English grammar from my French class than I ever would have imagined. Subjects, verbs, objects, they all meant more to me when presented in the context of a language other than English.

As well, that was the start of my learning to appreciate other cultures, and languages beyond English and French. I love to pick up little phrases in other languages (I can–perhaps unhelpfully–tell someone to be quiet and get to work in Polish, though in a rude way). As I’ve grown up and seen the world around me evolve from separate countries into an increasingly connected place, having the ability to see the validity and value of other cultures has become even more valuable.

In my role at Access, I work to ensure that all of our translations read as if they were written by a native speaker. The level of attention to detail that our translators put into their work is always kind of amazing to me. It continually renews and refreshes my commitment to learning more about the world, and about the cultures connected to the languages with which we work.

In future posts, I’m going to highlight topics that deal with translation, interpretation, and all of the social and cultural things connected to making sure people can understand one another. That’s the heart of what we do here at Access. If you want to find out more, check out our Translation and Interpretation pages. Until next time!

-Tracy


Leap Day Around the World

The Father of Leap Year, Roman dictator Julius Caesar added one day in 46 B.C.E. that would occur every four years, to make up for the gaps in time between the ancient Roman calendar’s lunar and solar calendars. Ever since Caesar’s decree, most of us today use this calendar system. As with any event that occurs just once every four years, many cultures around the world have come up with their own special ways to celebrate Leap Day.

Women propose first

According to legend, one day in Ireland, St. Brigid took issue with the fact that women had to wait for men to propose to them. St. Patrick allowed one day every four years for women to propose to their men first. This is said to balance out traditional marriage roles, much as Leap Day balances out the calendar.

Bachelors’ Day

Going “hand-in-hand” with the tradition above, Leap Day is commemorated in some European countries as Bachelors’ Day. According to tradition, if a man refuses a woman’s marriage proposal on a Leap Day, he must buy her 12 pairs of gloves. This is supposedly so a woman can conceal the fact that she doesn’t have a ring on her finger!

Solar Calendars

It isn’t just the Gregorian calendar that uses leap years! The modern Iranian calendar uses a 33-year cycle solar calendar with 8 leap days throughout. As the Iranian calendar begins each year on the vernal equinox as observed from Tehran and Kabul, this actually makes the Iranian calendar much more accurate than the Gregorian.

Anthony, New Mexico/Texas

The bordering twin cities of Anthony, NM and Anthony, TX (which are now incorporated into Anthony, TX) is considered the Leap Year Capital of the World. In 1988, local resident and ‘Leapling’ Mary-Ann Brown began a Leap Day celebration, complete with a Worldwide Leap Year Birthday Club. Since 1988, over 400 ‘Leaplings’ have been invited to the Birthday Club, and members from all over the world have flown out to Anthony to celebrate this special birthday holiday at the Leap Year Capital!


New rule on U.S. visa eligibility could prevent Afghan translators from refuge

In September 2015, the U.S. Congress voted and passed a rule change that would require interpreters seeking U.S. visas to give two years of service – increased from the original one year. For Afghan translators who have interpreted for the U.S. military and are applying for visas, this rule change could mean that they are no longer eligible to receive an American visa.

The rule change works retroactively, even for interpreters who submitted their visa application months – even years before the rule was passed. Advocates estimate that this retroactive change will affect over 3,000 Afghan veteran interpreters under threat from the Taliban.

Many of these interpreters volunteered with the U.S. military on dangerous missions, often unarmed and without any body armor. For these interpreters, a U.S. visa would protect them and their families. One veteran interpreter and visa applicant, who worked with the U.S. military for over seven years, received multiple letters of recommendation and certificates from military officials, dating his length of service for the U.S. military and praising his bravery and dedication.

Unfortunately, in 2014 the U.S. embassy in Kabul rejected his visa, citing “insufficient length of employment” and claiming that he failed to satisfy the retroactively applied two-year requirement.

Advocates for veteran interpreters say that the new rule change furthers complications in an already-inefficient system.

Attorneys are now working hard on these cases to give qualified and eligible Afghan interpreters the opportunity to seek refuge in the United States.


The History of ‘Thank You’ Around the World

January is not only the start of a new year, but it’s also recognized as National Thank You Month.

How did English speakers get the phrase thank you? According to Merriam-Webster, the first known use of “thanks” occurred before the 12th century, but people did not share gratitude in the same way back then.

The word “thank” stems from Latin word, “tongēre.” The root “tong-” means “think” and the original way of expressing gratitude to someone else was “I will remember what you have done for me.”

However, English is not the only language where “thank you” derives from Latin roots.

In Spanish, the word gracias means thank you and derives from the Latin phrase, “gratias agere”, which means to express thanks. In Italian, grazie is used to say “thank you” and it also derives from “gratias agere.”

Although there are similarities with English and Spanish, French has a different origin for its phrase of gratitude. Merci derives from the Latin word, “mercēs”, which translates to “wages,” “fee” and “price.” However, the modern use of merci comes from the Old French meaning of the word of “mercit” which means “reward,” “gift,” “kindness,” “grace” and “pity.” The Old French meaning of merci is where the English word, mercy, derives from.

In Japanese, ありがとう (Arigatou) is the phrase used to say “thanks.” It is derived from the word, arigatashi. Broken down, Aru means “to exist,” and katai means “difficult.” Japanese-speakers would use this phrase to mean “extremely uncommon” and “rare and precious.”

Even though the language of ‘thank you’ dates back hundreds of years ago, the concept of gratitude has always been a piece of human interaction. The fact that nearly every language today embodies the idea of thanking someone is incredible, and goes to show how human communication can survive across different cultures and times.

Today, take the time to say ‘thank you’ to somebody who you want to express gratitude to. Whether it’s in English, Mandarin or sign language, show your appreciation for those around you.


Celebrating Access 2 Interpreters’ 10 Year Anniversary!

This month, Access 2 Interpreters is celebrating our tenth corporate anniversary! We are so thankful to our devoted staff and our loyal clients who have supported us over the past decade. A lot has happened since Access 2 Interpreters opened our doors for business.

CEO and Founder of A2I, Yana Schottenstein, started this company ten years ago with a goal to fill the language gap in many companies’ daily operations. From providing face-to-face interpretation services to document translation, Access 2 Interpreters uses the professional lingual expertise of over 400 employees and contractors to serve the local central Ohio region.

Access 2 Interpreters offers tele-interpretation services in over 180 languages, face-to-face interpretation in over 70 languages locally, and written translation services all across the globe.

A2I also offers in-house and external education via our uniquely developed Access Academy. The Access Academy fills an important role in professionally training interpreters in the National Code of Ethics, as well as procedure and specialty training for interpreters working in professional fields such as healthcare or law. A2I’s training seminars help corporate clients acclimate to working with interpreters in the field or in the office, and allow our clients to use their interpreters effectively.

It is incredible that we have been able to grow this much as a business in just ten short years. Access 2 Interpreters moved into a larger, centrally located office on South High Street in downtown Columbus, with plenty of room for our expanded staff and services!

This business started with a vision of filling a community’s need, and now over 10 years later, we are a leading interpretation and translation company in Ohio, dismantling local and global language barriers.

Thank you so much to our employees and clients, and we are eager to continue working with all of you for an even brighter, more successful future!