Code of Conduct Series: Medical Interpreters

It’s known that certified interpreters are a highly valuable asset. Interpreters are entrusted with extremely private information. Depending on which field an interpreter’s in, the code of conduct regulations they abide by may slightly vary. We’ve covered several topics which include highlighting the fact that professional interpreters follow a strict code of conduct and ethics, but what exactly  is the code? Here are the basic code of ethics for certified medical interpreters:

Confidentiality: One of the most important attributes a medical interpreter will have is their ability to keep all information and doctor-patient discussions confidential.  Knowing that everything stated in the appointment won’t leave the room is added security, allowing you to speak freely and discuss private matters.

Understand their skill level: Interpreters go through rigorous testing, not only with language, but with the ability to interpret either simultaneously or consecutively.  It’s possible that some assignments may be above their skill level, and when that happens, they’re to allow a more experienced interpreter to take over.

Continuous education: Medical interpreters must keep themselves current on medical terminology, and continue education in their skill set.  Attending conferences, seminars and classes keep interpreters up to date with evolving languages.

Proper interpretations: The interpreter will choose which language and method of interpretation is best suited for the appointment. From there, they will interpret word for word everything that’s said, without leaving out any details, phrases, or words.

Won’t take on unassigned work: A certified medical interpreter is assigned to an appointment or meeting with the patient and healthcare provider. They will not take additional unassigned work on the side during or after the appointment. An interpreter will also not engage in taking money, bribes, or make the patient or client feel as if they owe them favors.

Neutrality: Certified medical interpreters will not interject opinions, facts, or express concern or bias towards the situation.  After appointments, they will not make themselves available to the patient to council or explain further details.  They will maintain their role as a professional, respecting both the patient and healthcare provider.

Patient advocacy: In the event that an interpreter will need to explain in further detail (due to cultural differences) certain health care practices during an appointment, they will assess whether the situation calls for it or not.  If the situation warrants it, a certified medical interpreter may elaborate for the sake of communication, exercising professional judgement.

Certified medical interpreters are professionally skilled and vital resources needed by the health care and medical industry. The importance of receiving and delivering accurate interpretations falls on the shoulders of the interpreter, making the above standard of code that much more important. If you’re looking for a professional interpreter, Telelanguage certified medical interpreters can be on-site within just 30 minutes after the original request is made. For faster, over the phone telephonic interpretations, our team of 2,000 interpreters are ready to speak in 200 languages 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Interpreter Don’ts: How to Avoid Interference for More Quality Interpretations Part II

In the first part of our “don’ts” blog, we covered the basic ways you can avoid obstruction during a meeting or appointment with a certified interpreter. As a follow up, here are a few more ways to make sure appointment with your face to face or telephonic interpreter runs smoothly:

The Interpreter is not a baby-sitter/escort:  A prompt and professional interpreter will generally arrive a few minutes early.  While waiting for the appointment to start, it’s not appropriate to expect your interpreter to direct or escort a client or patient to a room or meeting. Additionally, an interpreter should never be used to keep a client or patient company before appointments.

Try speaking in a different language:  Even if you think you know some basic phrases, mispronunciations of a language you’re not familiar with may result in delays. The interpreter will use their training and skills to professionally relay the interaction back to the client or patient, but you never want to create a situation where the interpreter themselves might not understand you.

Speak over the interpreter:   Speaking over the interpreter while they’re in the process of interpreting will create unnecessary setbacks, you’ll have to start the sentence over and repeat yourself.  When an interpreter is speaking to the patient or client, there shouldn’t be any others in the room engaged in conversations.  An interpreter’s job is to provide total understanding for the person that doesn’t speak the language, which means they have the right to know what’s being said in the room if others are present. This puts the interpreter in a demanding situation, not to mention the extra noise in the room is distracting.

Expect the interpreter to explain what you mean: An interpreter will not explain to the client what you meant to say, they will interpret what you’ve said word for word. Just like you wouldn’t ask for their opinion, you wouldn’t expect an interpreter to try to explain details of the subject matter. You also shouldn’t use the interpreter to deliver results to a patient, or take charge of a meeting.

Interpreters are a vital resource, and their ability to promote understanding and communication in any situation is important.  When you provide proper settings combined with good conduct, you’ll receive quality interpretations and the ability to fulfill your time to its maximum potential. If you’re looking for professional certified interpreters, Telelanguage offers around the clock service, every day of the year, including holidays. Connect to an interpreter in just seconds, and let Telelanguage show you why they’re the leading language service provider in the industry!

Interpreter Don’ts: How to Avoid Interference for More Quality Interpretations

A session or appointment with a face to face or telephonic interpreter needs to run as smoothly as possible to maximize efficiency.  You might not realize it, but an interpreter’s job is extremely demanding, and the way we interact with them has potential to cause or add stress, or even prolong the session. What can we do to avoid interference and deliberate disruptions, making sure everyone mutually benefits from time with a professional certified interpreter

Question the Interpreter: When hiring a professional certified interpreter,  you can rest assured they’ve received necessary language and technical skill education, as well as passed and obtained current certifications for your state. If you stop the session to inquire what they interpreted to the other party, the interpreter will have to answer you, then interpret to the others in the meeting or appointment what you asked. Stopping the session will only cause unnecessary delays, not to mention frustration to all involved.

Argue/use the interpreter to defend you: Sometimes we need an interpreter in a mediation type situation, where high tensions and emotions may flare up. While hiding emotions in some cases may be hard, it’s important to remember your interpreter is there to be a neutral presence, and shouldn’t be brought into the middle of the discussion.  Turning to the interpreter for advice, or trying to get them to side with you will only hold up the appointment when the interpreter or other people in the party have to stop and redirect the conversation.

Ask the interpreter go beyond the original assignment: There are instances when an interpreter and the client may have agreed on a locked amount of time. In some cases, the job for an interpreter is not over until satisfaction with a meeting or appointment has been met. Because of this, it’s important to be conscious of time, and to not spring extra work or try to squeeze in anything other than what was agreed on before the appointment or meeting.

Lack of prep tools for the interpreter:  In some situations, like  an emergency, there is no way to fully prepare your interpreter before they begin. If you have an appointment and are able, sending the interpreter prep information before they arrive can prevent spending time before the meeting or appointment to go over the material.

Taking steps to ensure  the interpreter’s role is acknowledged will make for a quality session. If you’re looking for a professional certified interpreter for your next meeting or appointment, allow Telelanguage to assist you. With over 20 years in the language service industry, we are backed up by a team of 2,000 certified interpreters knowledgeable in 200 languages.  We provide professionalism and expertise, as well as speedy connections and reliable service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now, for even faster connections to a live interpreter wherever you’re at worldwide, download our free app for iPhone here!

Why Choose a Certified vs. a Non Certified Interpreter?

When language barriers arise in pressing situations, you might think the easier option would to call on a friend or a family member to offer lingual assistance. While it may seem convenient, there are important reasons for choosing a professional certified interpreter to facilitate the meeting, appointment or conference. We’ve listed the four most important reasons below:

Professionalism – Regardless if you require a face to face or telephonic interpreter, the meeting, appointment, or session will be a consistent and flawless experience in professionalism. Over the course of our past blogs, we’ve built on the fact that certified interpreters are consciously aware that they’re held to the highest standards, which includes how they conduct themselves to you.

Confidentiality – Interpreters that have received certifications are held to a strict code of conduct, which includes confidentiality. With a certified interpreter, you will never walk away from a session feeling like critical information could be breached. Alternatively, a doctor may not wish to disclose parts of a diagnosis to a family member or a friend that has come along to help due to privacy issues. A certified interpreter offers security that your information will not leave the room.

Knowledge of complex vocabulary – A major advantage a certified interpreter has over a friend or family member is the ability to interpret complex vocabulary. A certified interpreter will also have engaged in rigorous testing of their skills and knowledge in the language of their specialized field. A medical or court interpreter will be tasked with memorizing and understanding the definitions of terms in addition to their understanding of the language.  A family member or friend might unintentionally alter information in the process of trying to interpret back to you. Understanding of the content could potentially be lost, or you may receive a highly inaccurate interpretation.

Trustworthy interpretations – A certified interpreter has been trained to handle complex sentences, or interpret different conversations that could be happening simultaneously. The certified interpreter will also remain neutral during the meeting or appointment, and never offer personal opinions. They also understand that you are at liberty to be able to know the full context of the information that’s being interpreted to you, in its true form without anything being left out. A family member might hold back if they feel it might be something offensive, or not feel comfortable relaying portions of information.

When hiring a professional certified interpreter, all of the above requirements will be applied to your session. If you’re looking for a reputable company with qualified and skilled interpreters that have met all certification specifications, you can depend on Telelanguage. Having been in business for over 20 years, Telelanguage’s 2,000 interpreters are ready to speak in 200 languages.  Expect fast connections, face-to-face arrivals within 30 minutes of when the appointment was made, and the expertise that can only come from a certified interpreter. Now for even faster connections, download our free app for iPhone and reach a live interpreter in just seconds!


Face to Face Interpreters: How to Make a Good First Impression

As an interpreter, you’re called to interact with the general public on a daily basis. The first impression you make could be the difference of whether you’re remembered or re-hired. Regardless of being freelance, or working for an interpreter service provider , the first impression is a representation of yourself. You’ve most likely already received information about the client or meeting, now here’s some helpful tips to make your first impression with the client a lasting one:

Preparation:  If you’ve already received information regarding the meeting or appointment, it’s a good idea to read through the material to gather as much information as possible.  Arriving with this knowledge assures the client you have taken the time to understand why you’re there, and in stressful situations, this may help put them at ease.

First Impressions: Even if you have a specific dress code from the agency you work for, professionalism will always be a requirement.  Unless otherwise specified, always show up in nothing less than business attire. Dressing like the professional you are indicates to clients that you take being their interpreter very seriously.

“I am your interpreter:” With face-to-face meetings, take the initiative and introduce yourself as the client and provider’s interpreter.  If this is a returning assignment with the same provider, let the new client know that you’ll be present for the entire meeting or appointment.  Advise the client that the conversation is confidential.  Let them know they will need to speak to the person they’re communicating with, and you will interpret what they are saying in first person.  If they start to speak to you directly in the beginning, gently guide them to voice themselves to the other party.

Remember: you do not need an elaborate way to introduce yourself.  The confidence in your abilities as an interpreter will shine through the entire session.   If you or your business are looking for a professional and reputable interpreting service, Telelanguage offers 2000 interpreters ready to speak in 200 languages. Now, for even faster service, download Telelanguage’s app for iPhone, and connect to a live interpreter in just seconds!

Telelanguage at the 80th Annual APCO Conference and Expo

The Association of Public-Safety Communications held its 80th annual Conference and Expo August 3-6th in New Orleans, LA. APCO International is not only the largest global organization lending support to public safety communication professionals, but it’s also the oldest. APCO promotes strength in public safety communication across global industries, ensuring they’re providing the highest levels of public safety communication resources in the world.

Telelanguage joined the APCO Conference and Expo with a booth demonstrating how interpreter services are a beneficial asset to the public safety communications community, and will help expedite different situations should language barriers arise. With a live telephonic or face to face interpreter, both you and the person you’re trying to communicate will gain full understanding of one another in critical moments. In the matter of public safety communication, relying on Telelanguage for fast connections and expert service will guarantee that no matter what the situation may be, accuracy with our superior trained interpreters can be trusted.

To find out more about why Telelanguage is the leading provider of telephonic interpretation service, simply visit our website, or call us at: 888-983-5352.  For your convenience, we’ve created an app for iPhone, which will connect you to a live interpreter in just seconds. With a team of over 2000 certified interpreter ready to speak in 200 languages, Telelanguage is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

How to Prepare For Your Interpreter’s Arrival

If you’re in a global business that requires frequent meetings and conferences with associates and clients, it’s possible you’ve had to contact a reliable interpreter service provider for assistance.   We’ve given you 6 helpful tips for working with an interpreter, but it’s also important to know how to prepare before an interpreter arrives.

Review the content – If you’re going into a conference or a meeting where your clients or audience may not speak your language, review the context of the material you’re going to cover, see if you’ve included regional dialect or idioms that may not be as easily interpreted. Adjusting the verbiage and being conscious of what will be interpreted to the non-language speaking audience will simplify the process for the interpreter.

Inform the interpreter – Fill the interpreter in on the content of the meeting. If you have the opportunity, email the agenda, notes, speech, or content the day before. Are you using visuals? Make the interpreter aware of your presentation, explaining the visual tools you’ll be using. This gives the interpreter direction, and allows them to better prepare.

Meet the interpreter – It’s always a good idea to meet and touch base with the interpreter before the meeting or conference. The pre-meeting is a good time to notify them of any last minute changes, if any. Discuss and answer questions the interpreter may have regarding the material. If there’s terminology that shouldn’t be changed to keep the integrity of the content, let them know.

Last minute tips: Keep your pacing at a normal speed, avoid speaking in too many sentences at once. Remember to pause after each thought to allow for the interpreter to do their job. Speak directly to your audience, even if they do not speak your language. Feedback or questions from clients or an audience will be directed towards you, so remember to answer the person back directly. The interpreter is to be a neutral presence, and is not take your place leading the meeting or conference, nor are they to answer questions for you.

If you’ve prepared for a meeting or conference, then your next step is to contact a professional interpreter service to schedule an on-site interpretation service. With over 22 years in the language industry, Telelanguage offers over 2,000 interpreters and 200 languages. Scheduling an appointment is a simple, seamless process. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

What Does a Conference Interpreter Do?

If you’ve attended an international or professional seminar, summit, or conference, you may have noticed an interpreter’s presence.  Conference interpreting is a specialized skill which allows communication between the speaker and a group of audience members. Conference interpreters are tasked with listening to the context of what the speaker is saying, and relaying it back accurately in the target language, while preserving the integrity of the message. There are different types of conference interpreting, and different skill sets are needed depending on each one.

There are typically two styles interpreters will use to  deliver the speaker’s message back to an audience: simultaneous and consecutive.  Consecutive means an interpreter listens to the speaker for a few sentences, and then will wait until the speaker pauses to begin relaying information back in the target language.These interpreters are sometimes located off to the side of a group that does not speak the language, and will quietly convey the content when the speaker breaks between sentences.  Simultaneous interpretations happen in real time. As the speaker is talking, the interpreter is relaying the content to an audience at the same time. Traditionally, these types of interpretations call for the interpreter to be in a booth speaking into a microphone with the audience members wearing headphones.

When choosing an interpreter, professionalism, experience, and skill will play a major role in your decision.  At Telelanguage, we pride ourselves with providing over 2,000 professional interpreters ready to speak in over 200 languages, 365 days a year. On the spot interpreters are able to arrive approximately 30 minutes from the original request, and for even faster service, our app for iPhone  will connect you telephonically to an interpreter in just seconds.

Interpreters: Stay Sharp With These Tips

The mastery of languages is the driving force behind a career as an interpreter. Just like any profession, you’re going to want to keep excelling and stay ahead of the curve. Many people choosing to work in this field may have already been able to speak more than one language.  A good interpreter will engage in further education or language sharpening exercises. Here are some tips for interpreters to keep their skills sharp:

Continuous training and education: Interpreters never cease to learn.  There are seminars and trainings interpreters can elect to attend to maintain and further their expertise with ethical standards, compliance, and protocols.  Some seminars may be specialized, targeting specific areas of interpreting careers that offer insight to scenarios that may be encountered on the job.

Stay culturally aware:  Along with language proficiency, an interpreter relies heavily on their cultural knowledge when relaying the context of the conversation. Languages are constantly evolving, which makes it important for an interpreter to be to be kept current with vocabulary and regional idioms.  Keeping up with social media, watching television programs, and reading magazines in the target languages is a good way to keep a sense of ongoing cultural awareness.

Practice, practice, practice: Practice interpreting by using both your language and the target language and translate conversations back and forth as often as possible. Try to consistently think in both languages.  If you’re able, visiting the country of the origin of the language will further immerse you in conversation and culture. Understanding and having an intense grasp of your languages will prompt quick yet accurate interpretations.

Interpreters have an extremely demanding job, and keeping their language skills “in shape” helps not only themselves, but the people they are working with.  For qualified interpreters that have worked hard to hone in and maintain their skills, look to Telelanguage for all of your interpreting service needs. We offer over 2000 interpreters able to speak in 200 languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For even faster connections, download our free app for iPhone, connect to a live interpreter within seconds!

The Importance of Medical and Health Care Interpreters

Across the nation, health care interpreters are in extreme demand. Most medical and health care practices provide patients with the invaluable service from a certified medical or healthcare interpreter.  Certified interpreters are present for admittance, consultations, exams, and patient to health care provider appointments. Just as the interpreter is providing understanding to the patient, they are also relaying back pertinent information, like the patient’s current condition, and questions for the doctor.  Not only do these interpreters turn over the information at a fast rate, they also must practice being calm during stressful and emotionally charged emergency situations.

An interpreter’s job doesn’t stop at the medical or health care facility.  Oftentimes, the interpreter may be needed at a patient’s home, rehabilitation center, hospital, medical or healthcare facility.  In some cases, the interpreter will assist the doctor with patient follow ups, or helping the patient fill out paperwork after appointments or exams.

A interpreter in a medical or healthcare facility must have passed and obtained the state mandated certification.  Certified medical interpreters never cease in their learning and training as the certifications must be updated every few years. The certification process further qualifies that the interpreter is fit for servicing the medical and health care field, and is recognized by the state that they have met and surpassed all requirements.

Unfortunately, some health care providers do not offer interpreters due to state or private funding constraints. When that happens, it’s important to make sure you’ve found a reliable interpreter to accompany you or a family member to appointments.  If you’re in need of a certified healthcare or medical interpreter, Telelanguage offers on the spot interpreters that are able to be present within 30 minutes. Have an urgent or emergency situation and need an interpreter’s assistance within seconds? Download our free app for iPhone here, and reach any of our 2000 interpreters ready to speak in over 200 languages.