Important Reminders, Recommendations and Best Practices

for Language Professionals

This page contains a list of common reminders about policies and procedures, professional ethics, best industry practices and recommendations, and other resources and important information for MasterWord Language Professionals.

To read more about each topic, click on the subject line to expand it.

Please be sure to add this page to your Favorites or Bookmarks bar, as we regularly update this resource page with new content. Additionally, we invite you to contact us if you would like to share an interesting resource, recommendation(s), or other related information with your colleagues.

For Interpreters

Important Reminders: Guidelines for In-Person Interpreting Assignments

Each interpreting encounter is different, but there are some general guidelines that you should follow for each in-person interpreting assignment.

If you are a spoken language or ASL interpreter providing services for or on behalf of MasterWord, please remember:

  • You are a representative of the company. Your appearance, actions, and quality of work reflect upon us, so please act accordingly.
  • If you have not yet received your ID badge in the mail, please be sure to print a temporary ID tag emailed to you and take it with you to your assignment. A badge is required for every assignment.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early to each assignment so you have enough time to park and sign in.
  • Report to the check-in location that is listed on your Job Confirmation and check-out with that contact person upon completion of your assignment.
  • Upon arrival to your assignment location, please identify yourself as a (Spanish, Vietnamese, ASL, etc.) interpreter providing services on behalf of MasterWord.
  • Interpret exactly what is being said. Do not add, omit, or change the meaning of the message, and please do not give any advice.
  • If you are running late to any assignment, please call MasterWord at 281-589-0810 immediately.
  • If you realize that you will not be able to make it to any job, please call our office immediately to notify us. Please do not, under any circumstances, send anyone else to interpret in your place.
  • Do not give your personal contact information to the doctor/nurse/case worker or the consumer/patient. If the client would like to request your services again, please give him/her a MasterWord business card with your name on it, so he/she can request you for the next appointment.
  • Do not have personal conversations with the doctor/nurse/patient or any parties involved.
  • Please do not give anyone a ride in your personal vehicle.  If you are requested to do this by a client or consumer, please call MasterWord immediately at 281-589-0810, option 1, so we can inform that client or consumer about the proper protocol.
  • Dress professionally to every assignment (no jeans, no sandals, no t-shirts, etc.). Business casual is an appropriate attire for most of in-person interpreting assignments. However, when interpreting in a healthcare setting, please follow these guidelines:
    • Female Interpreters: If your assignment is at the hospital or another healthcare setting, please note that you will be required to wear a formal button down shirt/blouse, dark (black or navy blue, please) blazer, and dark slacks or a business style skirt. Please wear dress shoes that are comfortable with a heel no more than 2″.
    • Male Interpreters: If you are asked to interpret at a hospital or another healthcare setting, please note that you will be required to wear a formal button down shirt, a dark suit jacket (black or navy blue, please), and dark dress pants/slacks. Please wear dress shoes that are comfortable. A neck tie is encouraged, but not required.

Professional Ethics: Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice for Spoken Language Interpreters

A code of ethics is necessary for any profession to maintain standards for the individuals within that profession to adhere to.

While there is not yet a unified Code of Ethics for the profession of a spoken language interpreter, there are several professional organizations, primarily national healthcare/medical interpreter associations, that have their recommended guidelines and codes of ethical conduct. They do not contradict, but rather compliment each other, as they are all based on the same or similar tenets of confidentiality, impartiality, professionalism, continuous professional development, and interpreter role within and outside the interpreting encounter. Therefore we encourage you to familiarize yourself with each of the following professional codes of ethics:

Though the above codes of ethics and standards of practice have been designed primarily with health care interpreters in mind, they are applicable in any other setting or type of encounter. Additionally, you may wish to visit your state certifying agency’s (if available) and/or your state professional association’s websites for professional and ethical guidelines for interpreting in other settings, such as community interpreting, judicial/court interpreting, conference interpreting, etc.

To learn more about how to navigate the ethical landscape and avoid common pitfalls, visit our Online Training page for Interpreter Ethics courses.

Professional Ethics: Code of Professional Conduct for ASL Interpreters

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) uphold high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct for interpreters.

Embodied in this Code of Professional Conduct (formerly known as the Code of Ethics) are seven tenets setting forth guiding principles, followed by illustrative behaviors.

Tenets
1. Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
2. Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation.
3. Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
4. Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
5. Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
6. Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
7. Interpreters engage in professional development.

For complete text, visit NAD-RID CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT.

Useful Resources: Reference Materials for Community Interpreters

Dictionaries

English-French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Arabic online dictionary: http://WordReference.com

Real Academia Española: www.rae.es

Certification

American Translators Association: http://www.atanet.org/certification/index.php

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf: http://www.rid.org/

Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI), Texas: click here

Useful Resources: Reference Materials for Health Care Interpreters

Glossaries

IMIA’s Pain Description Glossaries: http://www.imiaweb.org/basic/glossaries.asp

Health Insurance Glossary: http://www.healthinsurance.org/glossary/

Online medical terminology course: www.dmu.edu/medterms/

Online medical dictionary: http://www.medilexicon.com/medicaldictionary.php

https://www.medicinenet.com/medterms-medical-dictionary/article.htm

ASL Vocational Rehabilitation Glossary (NCIEC): http://www.interpretereducation.org/aspiring-interpreter/mentorship/mentoring-toolkit/vocational-rehabilitation-glossary/

Certification

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters: http://www.cchicertification.org/

National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters: http://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org/

Reference material

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2013 Language Access Plan: click here

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care: https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/pdfs/EnhancedNationalCLASStandards.pdf

Improving Patient Safety Systems for Patients With Limited English Proficiency: http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/lepguide/lepguide.pdf

Insurance: http://www.staysmartstayhealthy.com/

Medicare and Medicaid

Useful Resources: Reference Materials for Legal/Court Interpreters

Glossaries

Legal Glossaries, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento (Various languages): http://www.saccourt.ca.gov/general/legal-glossaries/legal-glossaries.aspx

Legal Glossary, United States Court: http://www.uscourts.gov/Common/Glossary.aspx

English-Spanish online legal dictionary: http://www.wordreference.com/enesl/

ASL Legal Terminology: http://www.interpretereducation.org/specialization/legal/terminology/ 

Certification

United States Courts, Federal Court Interpreters: http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/UnderstandingtheFederalCourts/DistrictCourts/CourtInterpreters.aspx

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation: http://www.txcourts.gov/jbcc/licensed-court-interpreters.aspx

Reference Material

28 USC § 1827 – Interpreters in Courts of the US: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/1827

Texas LCI Exam Resources – Texas Municipal Courts Education Center

http://www.tmcec.com/programs/court-interpreters/licensed_court_interpreters_exam/

For Translators

Professional Ethics: American Translators Association Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

All translators working for or on behalf of MasterWord are expected to abide by the professional code of ethics as defined by the American Translators Association.

The American Translators Association’s (ATA) code of ethics defines the group’s purpose; its ideals and values; the standards of professionalism it expects; and the real world ethical dilemmas its members may face. Visit https://www.atanet.org/governance/code_of_ethics.php for complete details.

Further, the ATA Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Commentary provides in-depth explanation and examples that reflect experiences common among professional translators. It envisions a framework where members can contribute examples of the code in practice to enable a deeper understanding of the effects of translators’ behaviors on themselves, each other, and the industry as a whole. For more information, go to https://www.atanet.org/governance/code_of_ethics_commentary.pdf

Useful Resources: Spanish-English Medical Terminology

 Here are some useful medical terminology resources for our Spanish healthcare translators:

Useful Resources: Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM)

MasterWord bases its quality assurance processes for document translation on the Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM) standards to measure an objective score of the translated document(s).

MQM provides a framework for describing and defining quality metrics used to assess the quality of translated texts and to identify specific issues in those texts. This framework consists of the following items:

  • A vocabulary for categorizing quality issues
  • A scoring mechanism to arrive at quality scores based on either counts of errors or actual error annotations
  • Markup
  • A set of guidelines for selecting issues based on the ASTM F2575:2014 specification

For full details, please visit: http://www.qt21.eu/mqm-definition/definition-2015-12-30.html

Best Practices: Qualities of an Ideal Translator

Translators require several specialized skills; however, even the most qualified translators should consider developing additional qualities that go beyond the knowledge of specialized terminology and accuracy of translated texts.

Ever wonder what makes translation agencies and localization project managers choose one translator over another who is equally qualified? MasterWord’s experienced Translation Project Managers list the top five characteristics that set “go-to” translators apart from their colleagues.

Attention to detail

“Projects are normally reviewed by an editor and a proofreader after the initial translation, and we often find that even the most skilled translators will miss numbers, proper names, and other details. However, a translator who is meticulously detail-oriented, sets herself apart.”

Pride in your work

“The quality of a translation and our relationship with the translator is always better when the translator considers his work his craft.”

Punctuality

“As a project coordinator, I can be managing the translation of hundreds of thousands of words simultaneously, which makes prompt delivery of translations very important to me.”

Consistency

“It really helps me build a relationship of trust with translators when their quality and service are consistent and dependable.”

Availability

“As project coordinators we are always faced with urgent translation requests that are required at a moment’s notice around the clock. Knowing that someone is available helps alleviate some of the pressure.”

 

Adapted from: THE IDEAL TRANSLATOR: AN AGENCY PERSPECTIVE

Useful Resources: Reference Materials for Community Translators

Dictionaries

English-French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Arabic online dictionary: http://WordReference.com

Real Academia Española: www.rae.es

Certification

American Translators Association: http://www.atanet.org/certification/index.php

Useful Resources: Reference Materials for Health Care Translators

Glossaries

IMIA’s Pain Description Glossaries: http://www.imiaweb.org/basic/glossaries.asp

Health Insurance Glossary: http://www.healthinsurance.org/glossary/

Online medical terminology course: www.dmu.edu/medterms/

Online medical dictionary: http://www.medilexicon.com/medicaldictionary.php

https://www.medicinenet.com/medterms-medical-dictionary/article.htm

Reference material

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2013 Language Access Plan: click here

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care: https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/pdfs/EnhancedNationalCLASStandards.pdf

Improving Patient Safety Systems for Patients With Limited English Proficiency: http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/lepguide/lepguide.pdf

Insurance: http://www.staysmartstayhealthy.com/

Medicare and Medicaid

Useful Resources: Glossaries for Legal Translators

Legal Glossaries, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento (Various languages): http://www.saccourt.ca.gov/general/legal-glossaries/legal-glossaries.aspx

Legal Glossary, United States Court: http://www.uscourts.gov/Common/Glossary.aspx

English-Spanish online legal dictionary: http://www.wordreference.com/enesl/

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