Category Archives: General

Multilingual Realities Overlooked in Business Travel Emergencies

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We live in a time of great change, where we seem to be in an ever expanding digital world, where increasingly everything is connected, instantaneous and involves interaction through digital platforms. There is an explosion of information like we have never seen before in the history of mankind. Based on studies on digital data volumes conducted by IDC and EMC Corporation the following facts emerge: From 2013 to 2020, the digital universe will grow by a factor of 10 – from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion. It more than doubles every two years. Experts suggest that this data deluge is...
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Cost & Time Saving Translation Technology

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The world is trending toward automation, and insurance document translation is no exception. If your insurance company outsources its claims and other documents translation, it is important that you ask about the technologies that your translation partner is using. If they are using outdated software, it is likely that the quality is inconsistent, the turnaround time is slower, and the overall cost of your translations is higher than it would be if your translation service was using more sophisticated technology. Reuters recently examined how Zurich Insurance, Europe's fifth-largest insurer, has used artificial intelligence to save 40,000 work hours and speed...
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8 Ways Insurance Companies Can Save Money and Speed up Turnaround on Claim Document Translation

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Many international insurance providers are surprised at how expensive and time consuming the process of translation is. Getting large volumes of claim documents in the language required for processing can indeed be a tedious process—especially when you don’t have a trusted language partner to rely on. Reliability, professionalism, and the reputation of your translation partner are crucial because even a small oversight in translation may result in a claim being approved when it should have been disputed or the other way around. There are a few things that insurance providers can do on their end to reduce costs and streamline...
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Language Access and Medical Schools

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Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH, Vonessa Phillips Costa, and Priyank Jain, MD have contributed a valuable commentary to the American Medical Association's Journal of Ethics regarding the use of medical interpreters. In it, they present a case in which a medical student encounters an LEP patient on a rotation with resident physicians. The student speaks the patient's preferred language and intervenes, explaining to the uncomfortable patient that she is part of a teaching session, and is then scolded by the resident physicians for conversing with the patient in a language they cannot understand. The student worries that this may have a...
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How can I start my career as a freelance healthcare interpreter?

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My career path to becoming a healthcare interpreter was by no means straightforward. At that time, there was no established path; it seemed almost as if those who were working as professional healthcare interpreters had started their careers by accident. In a way, I also became a healthcare interpreter by accident. In spite of the various local and national interpreter organizations and the availability of national certification for healthcare interpreters, the path has been largely undefined…Until now! The CATIE Center at St. Catherine University developed a Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice (pictured below) for American Sign Language interpreters that all interpreters...
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Our Solution to Your Biggest Challenges in #LanguageAccess

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At the center of the health care interpreting encounter is the deaf or non-English speaking patient (consumer). Also involved are the interpreter, the healthcare provider/staff, the patient's family, the hospital administrators, interpreter trainers and certification organizations, and legal and government officials. With such a diverse group of stakeholders, how can we all overcome our biggest challenges and provide equitable healthcare? We posed the following questions in a survey. Here's what we learned: 1. What role do you play in the equation? 2. How would you describe your biggest challenge? Healthcare provider/staff not understanding the importance of trained/certified interpreters being part of...
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Don’t Interpret That! How to address a family member’s request to limit information during an encounter

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At our April 5 Interpreter Wellness Lunch and Learn, an interesting question was asked: What do you do when after the provider has delivered (most likely bad) news,  a family member who understands English interrupts the flow of communication and tells you, the interpreter, “Don’t tell them that”? Dr. VanDuivendyk’s answer is simple! “What you’ve got to do is make sure that family knows, in a very loving way, that your role there is to interpret the conversation between the health care professional and the patient or family. So that releases you. But that sure kicks up a lot of…

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Pineapples and Interpreting? 4 Elements of a Great Introduction

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Pineapples have long been a symbol of hospitality and friendship in the Americas. Displaying a pineapple on your table, or incorporating the fruit into decorative elements like carved furniture or linens sent a message to guests of a warm welcome. In fact, it is said that if you were a house guest and the carved wooden pineapples adorning your bedposts suddenly disappeared, it meant that you had overstayed your welcome and was time for you to get packing! As interpreters, how can we in essence bring a pineapple to our interpreting assignments? That is to say, what can we do…

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