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6 Tips To Learning A New Language

6 Tips To Learning A New Language

When learning a new language, it is important to remember that it doesn’t exist on its own: every language has many aspects that can be used to understand it and the culture it comes from. But after you learn the basics, it can be hard to know where to go. This is especially true for people who are so used to only seeing the world through one cultural framework. With the help of Access 2 Interpreters, here are six methods that can help you embrace a different culture by learning a new language.

Embrace the Language’s Popular Culture

An easy way to understand a culture’s values and gain exposure to a new language is to immerse oneself in its pop culture. This is as simple as watching movies and television shows from the country whose language you are studying, listening to music from that country, and reading books or magazines in the new language. These are great and simple ways to gain exposure to a new language.

Listen To The Language Being Spoken

Besides just helping you gain exposure, watching movies and TV from that country also lets you hear native speakers of that language. Every language sounds different, and it is important to see how words and letters are pronounced in order to speak correctly in that language. This brings us to subtitles: it’s tempting when watching a movie or show in another language to read along with subtitles in your own. Instead of using subtitles in your native language, set them to the language you are trying to learn to help learn pronunciation.

Label Everything

As for learning vocabulary words, this as easy as posting sticky-notes around your house on everyday items with its translation into the new language. This is perfect for learning everyday words such as door, telephone, and computer.

Talk To Yourself

Don’t feel like you have to always have a partner to practice with. It might be strange at first, but talking out loud to yourself is a great way to practice and hear yourself speaking the new language. These self-dialogues can be anything from just narrating what you’re doing, or having an imaginary conversation with someone. Speaking practice is incredibly important in helping you learn to communicate effectively in that language when you do speak it to someone else, or even a native speaker.

Use Technology

There are many online resources from mobile applications to websites, which can help you develop language skills. But it can also be as simple as changing the settings on your phone and computer. As stated earlier, exposure is key to learning a new language, so setting your phone or computer to that language is great because these are items that many people extensively use every day.

Make Mistakes

Yes, you read that correctly, mistakes are an important and necessary part of learning any new skill. This is not different for a new language, so don’t fret if you can’t remember a vocabulary word or use an incorrect tense because it’s perfectly normal. Remember that you are learning this language for the first time, so you won’t be automatically fluent.

Halloween Around the World


Trick-or-treat is one of several American traditions that have been adopted for this holiday in addition to dressing up, going to costume parties, and watching scary movies. Halloween isn’t only an American holiday though, in fact many other cultures around the world have their own ways of celebrating the last day of October.


In Mexico, the last day of October is known as Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. According to tradition, this is the day when the souls of the deceased return to Earth and visit their previous homes. It is customary for families to set up altars to their relatives that have passed that feature pictures of the relative, and sweets. The families will often visit the grave sites as well in order to decorate and care for them.


In China, Halloween is referred to as the Teng Chieh Festival, meaning the Feast for the Hungry Ghosts. Much like Day of the Dead, this festival is said to be a time when the souls of the dead return to visit their families. The families will often leave offerings consisting of food and water set before a picture of the deceased. It is also traditional to place lamps on paper boats and set them afloat to make way for the souls to return to Heaven.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, families also welcome back the souls of their relatives by setting chairs out at the table for them. However, some families may need a lot of them because it is tradition to set one chair for each relative, both there in person and in spirit. Like Day of the Dead, it is common to visit the graves of relatives during this time of year.


Ireland is often considered to be the birthplace of America’s rendition of Halloween. Irish children often go door to door to collect candy, often return to play light-hearted pranks on the houses: like ringing the doorbell and running away. The Irish also have parties to celebrate the holiday, along with bonfires. Fortune telling is a big part of Halloween in Ireland as well, and it is common to have one’s fortune told along with eating Barmbrack. Barmbrack is a traditional fruit cake baked with coins, buttons, or other fortune-telling objects.

CEO of A2I Interviewed by ABC 6

Yana Schottenstein, the CEO of Access 2 Interpreters, was recently interviewed by ABC 6!

The founder of the Columbus based translation and interpretation company talked about hiring new interpreters in Central Ohio and how her company is helping to remove the language barrier.

You can watch the video interview below!

“We are always looking for interpreters, for people who speak two or more languages,” Schottenstein said. “The top languages we’re looking for right now are Somali, Spanish Arabic  and Nepali. The Nepali community is growing so there is a demand for interpreters who speak this language.”

We’re very proud of our services because we help people get equal access to legal, medical and social services. We also help businesses to communicate with each other.”

If you speak multiple languages and live in Central Ohio, get in contact with Access 2 Interpreters today!

History of Phone Interpretation for the Deaf


It is not a mystery to anyone that communication technology is always evolving. However, it is important to remember the history of communication, so as not to take for granted the technology of today.

In the same way many people might remember phones with cords or dial-up internet, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals look back at the teletypewriter as the first technology that opened up the world of communication technology to their community.

The Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) was developed in 1964 by Robert Weitbrecht, a deaf physicist, and James C. Marsters, a dentist and private airplane pilot who became deaf as an infant due to scarlet fever.

Also known as a teletypewriter, the TDD is a device that translates sounds that come over the phone line into text. Someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would place the phone on the teletypewriter and the device would emit sound tones for what they typed and printed the conversation in text form.

Prior to the teletypewriter, there was no way for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing to communicate unless they were face-to-face with another person. The Deaf community was not able to call a friend to see if it was okay to stop by, or speak over the phone to loved ones who lived in another state.Instead they just had to hope their friends were there when they arrived, or communicate slowly by mail to those far away.

As technology evolved so did the options and widespread use of TDD devices. Many models moved from print options to digital displays. The teletypewriter models grew smaller and more affordable. A greater affordability helped teletypewriters grow mainstream within the Dead and Hard-of-Hearing community.

With the widespread growth of the internet during the 1990s, the Deaf community’s ability to communicate with other people also grew significantly. E-mail and instant messaging would forever change the landscape of communication technology for hearing and non-hearing individuals.

Today, teletypewriters are considered legacy devices due to the internet, but for some people who don’t have access to any kind of data connection, Teletypewriters are still the only method to communicate over long distances.

A2I Interpreter Workshop Press Release


Access 2 Interpreters
492 S High St #200
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 221-1414

Interpreter Workshop Embarks on Columbus with Prominent Speakers and Guests

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2016

For more information contact:
Company: The Media Captain
Phone: (614) 564-9313

Columbus, Ohio – Access 2 Interpreters, a leading translation and interpretation company in Central Ohio, is hosting an interpreter workshop in Columbus at the Embassy Suites, near the airport, on Wednesday, July 27th.

The unique event to Columbus will have around 200 interpreters in attendance, who will learn about the interpreter profession, interpreter roles and the Interpreter Code Of Ethics. The goal of the workshop is to continue educating local interpreters and bringing quality of service to a higher level.

Prominent speakers at the event include:

  • Robin Dziebel, MATI – Manager, Language Services, OhioHealth
  • Jennifer Reese, Psy.D. – Psychologist and Clinical Training Coordinator, NCH
  • Cami Winkelspecht, Ph.D. – Psychologist and Clinical Educator Behavioral Health, NCH
  • Yana Schottenstein, CEO, Access 2 Interpreters, LLC
  • Valerie Huang – Interpreter Services Program Manager, NCH

“This interpreter workshop is an extremely unique event for Columbus,” stated Yana Schottenstein, CEO of Access 2 Interpreters. “We have the most well respected leaders within the translation and interpretation industry sharing their wealth of knowledge on this subject manner. The evening will have a great social atmosphere.”

Arrival and sign-in for the evening’s festivities begins at 4:30 PM. The first presenter will take the stage at 5:00 PM. All interpreters in attendance will be treated to dinner, a prize raffle and open forum discussions on important industry related topics.

The night will conclude at 10 PM, after interpreters in attendance leave with a wealth of knowledge along with new connections within the industry.

The workshop will take place at the Embassy Suites, on Cassady Road in the New Albany Ballroom. The address is 2886 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219. For more information, please email

About Access 2 Interpreters, LLC:
Access 2 Interpreters, LLC is dedicated to providing professional interpretation and translation services throughout Ohio and across the U.S. A2I maintains a separate education department called Access Academy, which offers different training courses for interpreters and translators. Interpreters and translators are trained in HIPAA regulations, confidentiality, and the Interpreter Code of Ethics, as well as Medical, Legal, and Social Services terminology.

2016 Access 2 Interpreters, LLC Interpreter Workshop


Access 2 Interpreters, LLC is excited about our upcoming Interpreter Workshop on Wednesday, July 27. As always, we are happy to promote interpreter education and bring quality of service to a higher level. Learn about the agenda of the workshop including the names and positions of the presenters. The workshop will be held at the Embassy Suites on Cassady at the 670 entrance. We are fortunate to receive help from OhioHealth and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

2016 Access 2 Interpreters, LLC Interpreter Workshop Agenda

Embassy Suites – New Albany Ballroom
2886 Airport Drive
Columbus, OH 43219

4:30 PM – Arrival and Sign In
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Session 1: Interpreting at OhioHealth 

Presenter: Robin Dziebel, MATI – Manager, Language Services, OhioHealth

  1. OhioHealth Policies
  2. Performance Expectations
  3. Code of Conduct
  4. Compliance with The Joint Commission requirements

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM – Dinner Break

 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM – Session 2: Deconstructing the Language of Behavioral Health: Tips for Effective Interpreting

 Presenters: Jennifer Reese, Psy.D. – Psychologist and Clinical Training Coordinator, NCH
Cami Winkelspecht, Ph.D. – Psychologist and Clinical Educator Behavioral Health, NCH              

Training Goals

  1. Working knowledge of BH diagnoses/symptoms/treatment
  2. Working knowledge of NCH BH treatment terms/treatment process
  3. Common language for typical behavioral health diagnoses
  4. Common language for typical behavioral health treatments

8:30 PM – 10:00 PM – Session 3: Code of Ethics, Interpreting Techniques, and Performance

             Presenters: Yana Schottenstein, CEO, Access 2 Interpreters, LLC
Valerie Huang – Interpreter Services Program Manager, NCH

  1. Pillars of the Code of Ethics
  2. Case Studies
  3. Questions, comments, concerns

9:45 PM – Raffle – 2 FitBits – ChargeHR model will be raffled

10:00 PM – Departure and Sign Out

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

An Introduction

Tracy_aviHi 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 America 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!


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.