World of Translation Blog

Language Interpreter Services Involve Much More Than Language

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 29, 2015 1:23:40 PM

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Proficiency in two languages is an essential skill for any language interpreter. That skill alone, however, is not always enough. Language interpreter services often entail special technical understanding and knowledge of the field in question – like legal or medical language, for instance. In addition to those sorts of essential secondary skills, language interpreters must often possess a knack for diplomacy and the rhetoric of foreign relations. A recent article in Taiwan’s Want China Times explains that personality, demeanor, and appropriate style are critically important traits for interpreters working in international relations, especially those negotiating the business of statecraft.

In the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Translation and Interpretation, which maintains a staff of 80 translators and interpreters, personnel are selected for their performance on standard language tests and overall academic performance, as well as their familiarity with foreign customs, international relations, and overall interpersonal skill.

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Topics: language interpreter services

Accurate Language Translation Means Using ‘Real’ Language

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 29, 2015 12:59:26 PM

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Last August, the New York Times documented a phenomenon in Haiti that occurs throughout the world – the simultaneous existence and use of a “formal” language and an actual living everyday language that diverges significantly from its ancestor.

Students in Haiti are taught most subjects in French, a language little understood by most primary grade Haitian children. As Times reporter Michel DeGraf relates, despite the fact that Haitian children typically do not speak the official French they are taught, “if [their] memorized lesson is not recited with perfect pronunciation and grammar, [they] may be ridiculed or punished.”

In an experimental school on La Gonâve island, students are taught in Haitian Creole and, according to DeGraf, “when the teacher announces the end of class, they ask, ‘may we come back later for more?’”

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Topics: accurate language translation

Over the Phone Interpretation: It’s Only Logical

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 28, 2015 2:30:31 PM

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Did you know that there are nearly 40 different languages that are widely spoken in the United States? That’s right, about 13% of all Americans speak a language other than English at home. That adds up to almost 40 million people! Your business probably employs at least a few of those people, but can they communicate effectively via telephone in other languages?

Your business might employ staff to handle your interpretation needs if you routinely interact with non-English speakers, but it doesn’t make sense to employ interpreters if you only encounter foreign language speakers on occasion. In that case, over-the-phone interpretation may be right for you.

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Topics: over-the-phone interpretation

Telephone Interpreting Companies Address a Real and Growing Need

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 27, 2015 10:31:38 AM

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Telephone interpreting companies are becoming a vital part of modern business communication. Many professionals now routinely work with non-English-speaking clients and colleagues. By utilizing telephone interpreting companies, professionals looking to elevate their communication in a language other than English can easily and affordably do so.

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Topics: telephone interpreting companies

Phone Interpretation is a Time- and Cost-Saving Solution

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 26, 2015 10:23:12 AM

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You have probably experienced the frustration of sending multiple emails back and forth with a colleague, only to realize your message isn’t getting across. Emails are a convenient way to convey a simple message across long distances or across the office, but they’re not so good for conveying complicated information.

If your colleague is local, you might simply pick up the phone and resolve any miscommunication, but add the complication of a non-English-speaking colleague, and communication becomes even more complicated. Or does it?

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Topics: phone interpretation

Document Translation Services for Newly Diverse Communities

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 23, 2015 10:35:00 AM

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On a recent trip to Amarillo, Texas, I noted a newly opened Thai and sushi restaurant on a street corner in the heart of town. Amarillo’s not the sort of place one would historically have found a whole passel of sushi restaurants, nor any restaurant that didn’t include on its menu a chicken-fried steak combo. I love Amarillo. I love sushi. Discovering the latter in the middle of the former was a banner moment in my life.

It came as a surprise to me that Texas has led the nation in refugee resettlement for each of the past four years, with newly arrived Texans coming chiefly from Myanmar and other countries in Southeast Asia, but substantial numbers also coming from Iraq as well as sub-Saharan Africa.

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Topics: document translation services

Legal Interpreting Services Put Interpreters in the Middle

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 22, 2015 1:46:36 PM

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At trials, depositions, and all other occasions, legal interpreters are always caught in the middle. Their role has been described as a “tunnel of communication” between parties to contracts, between lawyers and clients, between judges and defendants, and in all other legal relations.

The law, as an instrument of justice and fairness, the codified principles upon which society is built and by which it operates, assumes equal access to its terms and conditions. Law presupposes rational discourse and relations between parties. That’s a noble concept, one more or less realized depending on place and history. But for the idea of the law to even get off the ground, the people it governs must be able to communicate.

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Topics: legal interpreting services

Evaluating Interpreting Companies Part 2: Service

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 21, 2015 3:27:42 PM

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In my last post, I listed four tips for choosing between interpreting companies based upon their quality assurance. The quality of an interpretation is certainly the first and foremost credential any company has to offer and it is probably the right first basis for your selection.

But interpreting companies are service companies. They don’t sell you a product; they provide you with a specialized service in response to your specific needs. For that reason, the second basis for selecting an interpreting company should be its client service. Your interpreting service should be user-friendly, broad enough to handle unforeseen needs, and responsive enough to address your requests promptly.

Here are a few more tips for choosing between interpreting companies. They'll help you select the best service from a wide range of competitors.

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Topics: interpreting companies

Evaluating Interpreting Companies Part 1: Quality

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 20, 2015 11:49:37 AM

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Medical and legal practices account for a large and growing share of the overall demand for interpreting services in the language service industry. If your practice uses outsourced interpreters, you may have had some good and some not-so-good experiences with interpreting companies. The challenge for any practice is to ensure that their interpreting company communicates clearly and accurately with clients and patients. So how can you tell the good interpreting ones from all the rest?

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Topics: interpreting companies

Talking to Cuba with Over-the-Phone Translation Services

Posted by Tony Phillips on Jan 19, 2015 9:43:20 AM

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With the restoration of official relations between the United States and Cuba, full trade relations between the two countries are now inevitable. The opening of US-Cuban trade is, on the one hand, closing a narrow span of ocean. But, on the other hand, it is also closing a chasm more than half a century wide, a gap that separates the countries by era and ideology, as well as language.

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Topics: over-the-phone translation

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