The Role of Legal Interpreters

With the recent news of one state making court and legal interpreters mandatory and free of charge, other states have risen to the occasion, creating a call for interpreters in the courtroom. Since a 2011 ruling, it’s mandatory that an interpreter is present when requested.

Here are some things to consider to make the experience for both you and your interpreter easier in an already stressful situation.

Is the legal interpreter qualified? Before you decide to work with a legal interpreter, do they have the prerequisites that would make them adequate for the job? Make sure they are certified, and are proficient in your language as well as the target language. Even if you are fluent in English, courtroom and legal jargon can be incredibly intimidating. Imagine trying to express your thoughts and receive information containing legal terms and not understanding their definitions. While each state may have different requirements, all legal interpreters go through a battery of vigorous tests which include and comprehension of vocabulary and definitions of legal terms.

Cultural sensitivity – As always, cultural sensitivity will be a definitive factor while working with an interpreter. It goes without saying that obtaining accurate information is essential. Having an interpreter that knows how to translate a string of sentences that may contain regional slang is vital, especially with a pending legal situation. If descriptions of events need to be recounted, the interpreter will be able to take that information and deliver an accurate response.

Be a neutral presence – Whatever the legal case may be, the interpreter must be neutral to the situation, and provide translations that are void of personal opinions. A professional will function as an avenue of communication between yourself and the person you need to deliver information to, and nothing more. The interpreter should also never provide advice in regards to statements made, or any of the content pertaining to the case. Make sure that you are speaking to the individual, and avoid speaking directly to the interpreter. The interpreter should never become part of the conversation.

Adheres to professional code of conduct – Due to the extreme sensitivity of information, an interpreter will never disclose the confidential material they have received. Interpreters are held by strict guidelines and code of conduct that will be adhered to whether in the court of law, or in a law office.

When choosing an interpreter for legal needs, it’s important that they are not only qualified, but also possess the highest ethical standards and comply with all state mandated codes of conduct. If you are seeking a professional legal interpreter, we offer several different on-location services, and can be on site within 30 minutes. We have 2,000 professional interpreters knowledgeable in over 200 languages, available 365 days a year. Contact us to learn more!

6 Tips for Working with a Live Interpreter

When faced with a situation that involves dependency on a professional on the spot interpreter, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the session is beneficial to both parties. A skilled interpreter listens, comprehends, and delivers a conversation to the recipient in their language, and vice versa. For this reason, it’s important that the interpreter you’re working with is fluent in both your language and the language of the person you need to communicate with.

Here are a few tips that’ll make your first time with a professional interpreter a smooth one:

Make sure the interpreter is qualified – As mentioned above, understanding of the languages is one of the most important qualities an interpreter must possess. In addition to proficiency in languages, make sure your interpreter is up to date on their certifications. If you’re in need of an interpreter for business or in the medical field, it’s crucial that they’re well versed in terminology or vocabulary that allows them to effectively receive and deliver vital information.

Allow for enough time – Because there’s a potential for a conversation through an interpreter to take twice as long, plan out a sufficient amount of time for the entire process. This will eliminate the need to rush, and will result in good quality that’s critical when working with an interpreter.

Speak clearly – Even though an interpreter may be trained to listen and comprehend what is said at a quick pace, it’s still important to speak clearly and slowly. If you are unclear, the interpreter will have to stop you to repeat what you say, delaying the translation process. Remember to pause after a thought is complete. If you’re in a group, make sure only one person speaks at a time.

Choose your words wisely – Professional interpreters are knowledgeable of social cues, idioms and other cultural phrases. However: Depending on the type of translation you need, such as in a business setting, you’ll want to make sure you are using phrases that speak to the professionalism of the company you’re representing. With that being said, try your best to avoid complex sentences that contain heavy amounts of slang. Use simple yet concise wording that will easily be translatable, making the process smooth and productive.

Listen to responses before speaking again – While an interpreter is delivering a translation to you, be careful to not interrupt. Listen to the entire string of sentences before responding. This will allow for the person you’re trying to communicate with to express their thought through the interpreter, and will prevent backtracking or re-explaining.

Don’t rely on the interpreter to respond for you – Even when the simplest questions are asked, don’t rely on the interpreter to assume your answer, or answer for you on your behalf. An interpreter is a neutral presence, and isn’t meant to be involved in the conversation other than the purpose of providing communication and understanding.

Some individuals may lean on family members or friends for communicating, but what happens when it’s imperative to relay medical, legal, or business information? It’s important that you are working with a professional interpreter, as it’ll be the best way to avoid errors and misunderstandings. Whether for business, medical, or travel, Telelanguage offers 200 professional interpreters in over 2,000 languages, and are available 365 days a year. We offer both telephonic and on-location interpreters for any industry, contact us to learn more!

Three Useful Ways to Use Our iPhone App at Home

In the age of technology, there’s a phrase we’ve heard all too often: “There’s an app for that.” Although said humorously in situations where you actually wished you had an app for it, there is one that exists that is practical for key times you need immediate assistance with communication.

A brand new app for iPhone, which is useful to worldwide travelers, is also extremely helpful in everyday life. Check out how having an interpreter in your pocket is useful while in your homeland:

In metropolitan cities where amazing melting pots of businesses have been established, you might find that some parts of town are heavily populated with language speakers that are not your own. Ordering at restaurants or speaking to people in shops can be made into a unique experience when you are able to communicate with them. When you’re able to understand the language, you might also be surprised to learn more about your community, and the people that live there.

For those of us that have families overseas, having them come to town is a joyous occasion. For some, work or education obligations may cause periods of time where those family members are not close by. When we have to leave our loved ones in a city they aren’t familiar with, an [hyperlink]app that puts an interpreter[/hyperlink], in their hands will ease the stress of worrying if they’re able to communicate without you. Do you have family visiting you from a foreign country, and you’re not familiar with their language? Take this opportunity to be able to speak to them, and connect to them in a way you’ve never been able to before.

We might have family members that live with us whose native language differs from yours, so an interpreter that is certified and knowledgeable of medical terminology is a tremendous asset should that family member fall ill. What’s important is making sure the correct information is being relayed from the patient to the doctor, which makes an app that quickly connects you to a live interpreter so important. In a matter of mere seconds, you can rest easy that you’re getting the proper information, and the medical staff will be able to accurately tend to your loved one.

Having a live telephonic language interpreter that you can reach in a matter of seconds is useful for any situation, whether traveling abroad, or right where you live. Our iPhone app is available for free right here. Download it now, and challenge yourself to get more involved in your own community!

Live Interpreter iPhone App is Essential for Worldwide Travelers

Traveling to foreign countries is exciting, and immersing ourselves in the culture is something that’s rewarding, and for some, a once in a lifetime opportunity. After arriving in a different country, the first thing you’ll come into contact with is the language. Communication in a foreign country is vital, and understanding the language will enhance your experience.  Here’s ways live interpreters will help you on your next trip:

In the airport – Airports have the potential to be stressful, regardless if you’re familiar with the country or not. Immediately disembarking from the airplane will put you in front of directional signage that you may not understand. Making your way to baggage claim, exchanging currency, and locating the taxi terminal are all situations where a live interpreter would lend their understanding of the language to direct you through the airport, eliminating stress.

Asking for or relaying directions – After long flights, we expect to get to our hotel or living accommodations almost immediately after arrival. We also want to get to the destinations that will make our vacation a memorable one without getting lost. Being able to relay to a taxi driver exactly where to go will deliver you in an efficient time frame, and having a live interpreter helping with the navigation also ensures you’re arriving at the correct destination.

Making purchases – In some foreign countries, food or merchandise will be purchased at places where your spoken language is not translated on the menu or next to pricing in retail stores.  Some countries are famous for outdoor markets and food stands, completely immersing you in a language.  This can make ordering a challenge. If you have allergies, or simply want to know what’s in the delicacy you’re about to eat, you’ll have the confidence knowing what’s in the dish.

Communicating with the locals – The best part about visiting a foreign country is coming into contact with and enjoying the company of the local community. Having the extra advantage of being able to communicate in their language will allow you to experience their way of life and their culture.  A live interpreter is able to perform consecutive translations, listening to several complete sentences and delivering a culturally confident response that both you and the person you’re speaking to will understand.

Traveling with an accompanying live interpreter by your side is a luxury most feel is inaccessible.  We have a breakthrough solution to eliminate language barriers with a brand new iPhone app that connects anyone, anywhere to a live interpreter within seconds.

What sets Telelanguage’s app apart from the other translation apps  is expertise with not only language, but culture. Most apps rely on computer generated responses, resulting in misunderstood translations. With knowledge in 200 spoken languages, Telelanguage’s live interpreters are available 365 days of the year. This means wherever you go, you’ll always have a live telephonic interpreter ready to speak for you.

See how our iPhone app helped this traveler, and then download it  for free here.

Interpretation Problems in the Current World – Machine versus Individual Interpretation

The language industry is looking at the advancements in automated interpretation and wondering “will human translators be rendered obsolete in the future?” We all must admit that whether it’s the free Google Translate or more robust translation tools, machine translations are a wonder of modern technology. However, I submit for your consideration that these tools will actually drive more demand for live human to human interpretation in, at least, the short term. How can this be? The cost free or low cost availability of language translation tools will unleash pent up commerce that was traditionally only affordable to large corporations. Now a young fashion designer in Brazil or a small game maker in China can create marketing targeted at North America or European markets without a large financial outlay. If the sovereign trade regulators can get the mix right, we all will benefit.
England gives us a case study in human over machine translation. Attention has been drawn to high levels of economic migration to the UK over the past few years with a genuine influx of for language service needs which prompted the report. It would be much easier and cost effective for a company or municipality to depend exclusively on machine translation, but there’s an excellent reason why this doesn’t occur. The very fact remains that, oftentimes, device interpretation fails because of its failure to consider contextual problems and social subtleties. That said, it certainly can work in simple communications but we start to see new problems arise as people mix internationally. Cultural customs and idioms force third party explanation and, as commerce continue to expand; proper understanding of the messaging has a clear, measurable impact either way.
The steady growth of the internet has demonstrated the need for clarity in language interpreting. As emerging markets add new voices to web commerce an evolution occurs in views, methods, and ideas impacting the very texture and taste of the net. Recently, China has overtaken the United States in its quantity of web users with a reported 253 million users. Considering there are less websites available in Chinese than in English this truth is made even more relevant. As the internet market brings buyer and seller closer the language and cultural barriers will be the last hurdles remaining. A quick Google search of misinterpretations reveals some unfortunate but hilarious translation blunders. As we can see in situations like these, machine translations are virtually worthless other than a chuckle. Even the most sophisticated algorithms cannot keep up with the evolution in language cultural sensitivity which in the case of English is not axiomatic. There simply must be a human intervention clarifying these interactions or your brand will be forever damaged in a new market. The risk is simply too great not to use real people to insure proper communication.
In the UK, several government projects have now been put in place to identify integration among current and growing towns. Literature, municipality content and street signage have all been edited and republished in languages apart from English and this was done with people. Likewise the world community is continually changing when it comes to complexity and size; It maybe not inconceivable to think about the possibility that as more and more small companies begin to understand how useful and profitable it is to provide multilingual information and therefore interpretation companies will continue to prosper. The mistakes of machine only translations are self evident and therefore we continue to need human eyes to ensure a true meaning is communicated.

The Growth of Interpreting Services

With the economy looking to emerging markets for growth, interpreter services are more relevant than ever. On its own translation software as it is not always 100% accurate and ultimately context is the consideration when evaluating the relevance of the communication. Even the most simple mistakes in business translation could end up costing an institution it’s reputation; this is where a certified interpreter will provide a dependable communication that can help get a clear, trusted message across.

Corporate  websites can be translated using services such as Google Translator embedded directly into the site but it is important to keep in mind that these translations are rarely 100% accurate. With a language interpreter you can work to completely translate your website or web materials into a variety of different languages that will translate effectively with out fear of offending.

In the world of Health Care there is a real need for more research on the affect limited English proficiency has on treatment quality for the twenty-one million Americans who need interpreting service as patients. The value of a trained professional medical interpreters and bilingual health care providers cannot underscore the positive affect that results non-English speaking patients’ satisfaction, quality of care, and outcomes come from utilizing a certified interpreter. Overwhelming evidence suggests that optimal communication, patient satisfaction, and outcomes and the fewest interpreter errors occur when non-English speaking patients have quick access to trained professional interpreters or bilingual providers. The hiring of these certified interpreters is quite inexpensive when compared to the risk involved in prescribing treatment based on inaccurate communication.  Whether it is face to face interpreting or working with an over the phone interpreter is quite easy to access these services.

Perhaps a direct hire for a Spanish interpreter in your office would make since on some level and if so it  is very important that you get an interpreter that holds an interpreter certification. Include that prerequisite in the recruitment advertising. This will show that they have mastered both the native language as well as the language or languages that are needed properly translated. Never risk your business or translation services to an uncertified interpreter, and if you are considering interpretation services consider going through trusted established translation agency with a reputable record so that you get the finest quality translator.



Interesting reads, especially if language interpretation is on your mind

This week there have been no shortage of entertaining, intriguing and intellectually stimulating reads for interpreters as well as business who utilize or are considering utilizing interpreter services. They detail just how important language is to the business community — and how the inability to effectively communicate negatively impacts business relationships.

Here’s a rundown of two good reads.

  1.  9 Little Translation Mistakes That Caused Big Problems

The title says it all. What seems like a simple mistake can cause major problems. One example — the use of the Spanish word “intoxicado” as a translation for the English word “intoxicated.”

  1. Speaking a foreign language is crucial for UK graduates, says Telefonica Digital

Though the article discusses graduates in the UK, it can be applied globally and speaks to the direction of business worldwide.

Enjoy the reading!

At Telelanguage, we pride ourselves in providing expert over-the-phone interpreter services to our clients. For additional information, please visit our website.

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Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Choose Telelanguage For Your Interpretation Needs!

Telelanguage is the Best in the Translation Business!!! If you’re company, agency, or organization is not working with us now, SWITCH!

Telelanguage is a leading telephonic interpretation provider that specializes in providing foreign language translation services to Healthcare organizations, State and Federal Agencies, Insurance and Legal Services, Police, Emergency Response Teams, Call Centers and Help Desks. Our trained interpreters provide on-demand translation services that mediate crisis and save lives – we’re always ready to help!

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Select Telelanguage:

  • We have medically trained interpreters on staff who are familiar with industry specific terminology and procedures. Our services are also HIPPA compliant.
  • Our interpreters are responsive and strictly comply to confidentiality requirements.
  • Dedicated trained interpreters who will respond to your needs LIVE 24/7
  • Low cost, flexible rate plans, and volume discounts available

Ready to switch?

Why certain industries need to provide interpreter services

We’re an interpreter services company. We have a little insight into the industries out that either use our services regularly or are in need of expanded use of interpreter services. With that in mind, we decided to put together of list of these industries and why it’s so important that they make interpreter services available. It’s not all inclusive — but it’s a start.

1. Medical — This is a given. People face life and death situations when it comes to their health, so they need to be able to communicate their needs, questions, and concerns with those providing services.

2. Emergency — Anyone can be impacted by an emergency at any given time. First responders have no clue what they are going to come across when they come into the fold. Given the diverse society we live in, it’s not too far-fetched that an individual might speak a different language. Access to interpreter services is crucial in such situations.

3. Legal – When it comes to legal issues, there is a lot on the line. From the initial conversation with an attorney to trial, it’s important that all parties be able to understand everything that is said. As such, interpreter services in the legal realm are imperative.

4. Customer Service (across industries) — When you have a problem, you want to be able to get the problem resolved. And if a company provides you with a number to call, you also want to be able to communicate with the person on the other end of the phone. Companies never know what language their end users may speak, so it’s important to be prepared to provide services to individuals whose language doesn’t match that of the representative on the other end of the phone.

Stay tuned. We’ll continue this list with four more industries soon. Are we on track so far?

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Man Over Machine: The Argument For Human Interpreters

With new advances in technology popping up everyday, companies have begun to wonder why they shouldn’t take advantage of those resources. Compact? Clever? Why not? However, we hold fast to the reality that nothing can compare to the human touch.

The benefit of human translation:

Pronunciation Complications – The meaning of a word can vary based on how it’s pronounced.  Can a program account for that? Thankfully, a human can analyze a statement holistically and adjust what was said or ask questions to uncover the speaker’s true meaning.

Humor – When jokes are said in your own language they can be difficult to understand – imagine what would happen if you left that job to a system. A system that is unfamiliar with intimate details of your culture, city, or anything else that can’t be read in a book.

Culture – A translator acts as a liaison between two cultures. They should be able to identify various dialects and present a clear picture of a culture through translation. It’s not only language issues, but also cultural contexts between people. This requires a more widespread understanding than what one’s words can provide.  The meaning of culture is quite difficult to understand, therefore translation of cultures is certainly limited, which is why a professional, human translator is needed.

Perhaps the most frightening reality is that no one will know if a misinterpretation occurred with a machine. In the event a human makes an error, they can step back, assess the situation, and make amends. In the end, no translation system can replace the truly accurate, highly nuanced job that a trained human translator performs.