Tougher Rules for Court Interpreters

When dealing with critical information, such as evidence or witness testimony, a certified interpreter’s job becomes vital in the courtroom.  For more than a decade, Sebastian Lantos has been pushing for stricter guidelines in the Oklahoma judicial system. Currently, the state Supreme Court is considering these changes. Lantos, who is on the Oklahoma Board of Courtroom Interpreters, strongly believes that unqualified interpreters pose risks in the courtroom. Recently, he shared his thoughts with us:

Telelanguage: What positive changes do you anticipate happening should the ruling favor the new stricter guidelines you proposed?

Sebastian Lantos: I was only one of those who proposed it. I am sure that many Courts saw the need and proposed it as well. I believe the issue was to convince legislators to assign funds and implement the program. The judicial system is complex and by nature controversial. Any change that help the due process is welcome for the benefit of the people involved, especially immigrants who may be the majority of those needing quality interpreting. In the judicial process for a witness to be able to express what happened or a defendant to be able to explain a situation, is a cornerstone of our culture and creates respect and faith in our way of living.

Telelanguage: Strongest piece of advice/encouragement you can give someone going into a career in court interpreting regarding certifications and following the code of ethics?

Sebastian Lantos: All ethical canons are important, however, throughout the years some stand out as especially important to me:

  • Be professional, do not play the junior police officer or try to explain what has not been said to the defendant. Be impartial. Don’t “make friends”, just do a professional job.

  • If you hear a poor interpreting that is material to the process, you make a mistake yourself, or need clarification about something: speak up following the protocol for those situations.

  • Pay attention to the registry, specially the low registry: keep studying idioms, expressions and even foul language that can make a more precise interpretation of what is said.

Interpreters in the judicial system must acquire the correct certifications in order to deliver accurate interpretations, as well as have a deep understanding of language and cultural knowledge.  When looking for an interpreter who has received proper certifications, choose one from a qualified interpreter language service provider. Interpreters at Telelanguage are certified and are able to speak in 200 languages. Contact one of our 2,000 live telephonic interpreters here at 888-983-5352 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sebastian Lantos is a current board member of the Oklahoma Board of Interpreters. To find out more about Sebastian, please follow this link: Lantos Consulting

Top 4 Challenges Interpreters Face

It’s no secret that an interpreter’s job isn’t a simple one. While being able to connect people together through language is rewarding, there’s some challenges interpreters may face while on the job. Besides making sure they’re constantly keeping their language skills up to par while dealing with workload, we’ve listed 4 major challenges a professional certified interpreter may encounter at any given time:

Challenge 1: Inability to hear the speaker
When doing a face to face or conference interpreting, a speaker’s audio equipment might fail, or someone may say something softly that the interpreter might not have heard. In certain situations, an interpreter is allowed to ask for the speaker for clarification, but while doing consecutive or simultaneous interpretations, it’s important that the interpreter is able to distinctly hear the entirety of what was said. Interpreters can’t interpret what they can’t hear.

Challenge 2: Cultural Knowledge
Interpreters have a responsibility to not only understand and be able to fluently speak the target language, they must also have a deep-rooted sense of cultural awareness, regional slang and idioms. Social evolution provides new new words and phrases on a continuous basis, which means an interpreter is tasked with being able to deliver any given word or phrase accurately into the target language.

Challenge 3: No Pre-Prep Materials
Interpreters will spend a day (or two) before a meeting or conference going over materials that’ll be discussed or presented by a speaker. Last minute assignments and appointments can make a normal situation stressful when an interpreter hasn’t been properly briefed. Prep materials allow the interpreter to go over terminology, familiarize with the topic’s content, and provide time for extra research if needed. Without prep time or materials, an interpreter will go into the meeting or conference with confidence that their skills and experience will be their main asset while interpreting.

Challenge 4: Interpreting Jokes, Humor, and Sarcasm
It’s widely known that jokes and humorous sayings common to one language may lose its meaning when received in another. In some cases, an interpreter will have an opportunity to obtain prep materials or briefings that’ll allow them to thoroughly go over what the speaker intends to cover. Success of the interpretations also depends on whether the interpreter has understood the purpose behind the joke or humorous line of dialogue. Humor, jokes and sarcasm become a challenge when used liberally throughout a conversation, and the interpreter must accurately interpret the joke or line of humor while keeping the integrity of the message in tact.

The above challenges may initially prove to be difficult, however a professional interpreter will be able to utilize their years of training to overcome them. When looking for professional, certified interpreters that are able to rely on their skills and experience to combat challenging situations, choose a qualified interpreter language service. Telelanguage offers 2,000 certified interpreters that are able to rise above all challenges, and are ready to speak in 200 languages.  Connecting to a Telelanguage interpreter is fast and easy, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. If you’re looking for a certified telephonic interpreter today, contact us at 888-983-5352.

Telelanguage at ASHRM 2014 Conference & Exhibition

The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) was established in 1980, and boasts over 6,000 members who all share the same vision: safe healthcare practices through the utilization of enterprise risk management. ASHRM focuses on recognizing unsafe measures in different medical industries, and addressing them through education, publications, and continuous interactions with top healthcare organizations and government agencies. In order to effectively promote quality and safe practices to patients, ASHRM hosts an Annual Conference and Exhibition, inviting innovative solutions across dynamic industries to come together to continue to develop safe measures for patients.  This year’s ASHRM Conference and Exhibition was located in Anaheim, California from October 26th-29th.

Risks in the medical industry vary, but when it comes to patients and healthcare professionals, that risk is magnified when neither party is able to communicate. A patient that speaks little or no English couldn’t convey how they’re feeling, and a doctor wouldn’t be able to address the patient with an accurate prognosis. One key solution for language barriers in the medical industry is to schedule a certified medical interpreter to accompany the patient for exams, appointments, or meetings. Certified medical interpreters eliminate miscommunication by offering accurate interpretations between the medical professional and the patient.

Safety and risk-free environments are as important to us as it is to you, which is why Telelanguage proudly participated at ASHRM Conference and Exhibition this year. We invited all who stopped by our booth to take a look at how vital certified medical interpreters are to ensure healthcare safety with communication among patients and doctors.

Telelanguage’s booth at ASHRM 2014 Conference and Exhibition!

Teleanguage's booth at ASHRM 2014 Conference and Exhibition

Teleanguage’s booth at ASHRM 2014 Conference and Exhibition drew in many wanting to discover the bridge between certified medical interpreters and health care professionals.

If you’re in need of a certified medical interpreter, either telephonically or to accompany you to a medical appointment, Telelanguage offers 2,000 live certified interpreters ready to speak in 200 languages 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For even faster connections to a live interpreter, download our FREE Telelanguage interpreter service app for iPhone and connect to a live certified interpreter in just seconds!

Telelanguage Teams Up With Marion City, IL as Official Interpreter Service

The city council of Marion, Illinois elected to make Telelanguage their official certified interpreter service provider.  Without knowing how many residents or number of travelers passing through the city would be limited English speakers, the council made the move to team up with Telelanguage.

A past incident involving a bus crash along Interstate 57 was used as a primary example: Most of the passengers didn’t speak English, which impeded emergency rescue efforts at the time. To preemptively give those that speak different languages the opportunity for communication and understanding, Marion City officials agreed that a designated interpreter service would prevent any future language barriers.

“This program was started to help address some of our diverse population of people that either live in the area or travel through it and have a hard time speaking English. With this program we will be able to offer the same city services to everyone with more accuracy and efficiency.” Terance Henry, Marion City’s Information Technology Director

Not only will emergency services have access to Telelanguage’s interpreters, the entire city will be able to utilize a certified telephonic interpreter in any department or city service such as in libraries or schools. All certified interpreters from Telelanguage are available telephonically, connecting to residents of Marion City within just seconds. Although the city can’t foresee how often the service will be needed, as remarked by Henry, “…at least we know it’s there when we need it.”

Telelanguage has over 20 years of service to the language industry backing them up, making them the ideal choice for Marion City. All 2,000 interpreters from Telelanguage are available to speak in 200 languages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. If you’re looking for a certified telephonic interpreter, contact us at 888-983-5352.  Now for even faster connections, we’ve created a free to download app for iPhone, now located in the App store.

Why Choose Telephonic Interpreters?

In today’s world, the work of an interpreter becomes increasingly important as the need to be understood becomes critical. When we think of interpreters, we imagine a face to face meeting where the interpreter is present for an appointment or conference. Just as face to face interpreters are a tremendous asset to the medical and emergency services industries, so are telephonic interpreters. They’re the right hand of several business and emergency industries, including 9-1-1 call center services. Here’s some reasons to consider the benefits of telephone interpreting:

Certified and Skilled Interpreters: You can trust that the voice on the other end of the line has elected to partake in several years and additional hours of schooling and training to provide the quality service you or your business needs. Interpreters work hard to make sure they’re credentials and certifications are current. This is an added security to clients when they know the interpreter has taken extra steps to strengthen their skills to provide the quality service you need.

Fast Connections: In emergency situations, connection speed is important for ensuring that a 9-1-1, police and fire, or medical team will be able to respond quickly. Telephonic interpreters are available around the clock, every day of the year to take critical inbound calls.  Fast connections are also important for travelers or clients that have businesses in foreign countries. When you’re at an airport, or asking for directions, quick connections to a live interpreter for help will dissolve a potentially stressful situation.

Can be accessed globally: Calling a telephonic interpreter means they can be connected to businesses or clients wherever you need them. Global businesses or travelers can take advantage of the services a telephonic interpreter has to offer. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll always have access to an interpreter for assistance with appointments or meetings.

Quality language support: Telephonic interpreter services provide a wealth of languages. Some services can provide hundreds of different languages, making provider options easier to choose from. The quality of the interpretations is also vital, and a service provider with years of experience backing them up will only offer the most qualified interpreters to represent them.

When it comes to service, connections and expertise, you’re going to want to look for a language service company that provides all of the above. For the quality you’d expect, and years in the industry backing them up, Telelanguage will connect you to a live certified interpreter within just seconds. Telelanguage offers 2,000 interpreters ready to speak in 200 languages around the clock, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now for even faster connections, download this free app for iPhone to reach a live interpreter wherever you’re at in the world!

What Makes a Successful Interpreter?

Interpreters go through years of schooling and rigorous testing to meet certification and skill level requirements. Knowing the language is one thing, but what makes a professional certified interpreter successful? Here’s some key traits every successful interpreter will possess:

Time Management Skills: Practicing strict time management skills will propel you to complete assignments within an adequate amount of time. This awards you with efficiency as appointments are met, and professionally you’re able to show you can work within a specific time frame, making you a reliable asset.

Familiarization with culture: Language and culture go hand in hand. Understanding and familiarization with culture will enable you to make judgement calls where tone, diction, and vocal inflections are needed to express the message into the target language and vice versa. It’s not just what is said, it’s sometimes how it’s said that keeps the integrity of the interpretation intact. You’ll also be readily familiar with colloquialisms, regional idioms and the like, enabling you to quickly interpret those phrases.

Communication and client relations skills: Being armed with firm communication and client relation skills will help generate quality from your meetings or appointments. Understand who you’re working with, find out about the meeting or appointment’s pertaining information, as well as who the client is. Having that extra edge of great customer support only adds to your professionalism as clients will feel comfortable working with you.

Volunteer your services: Looking for a great way to flex your interpreter skills while giving back to your community? Volunteering mutually benefits you and the local organization, allowing you to sharpen your skills while gaining valuable hours of experience.

Interpreters understand that perseverance with fine tuning their skills plays an enormous role in their success. When you need a reliable certified interpreter that goes the extra mile to ensure they’re providing premium service, Telelanguage will be your trusted source. Whether it’s for an appointment or an emergency, our team of 2,000 certified interpreters are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now, for even faster connections, download our breakthrough app for iPhone, connecting you to a live telephonic certified interpreter in just seconds!

Code of Conduct Series: Certified Court Interpreters

For a certified court interpreter, a professional demeanor walking into a courtroom or law office is vital. A strict code of ethics or conduct is in place to not only protect the interpreter, but to ensure that an interpreter also doesn’t overstep boundaries. If you’ve ever wondered what the code of conduct for certified courtroom interpreters is, we’ve listed them below:

Provides accurate interpretations: Certified interpreters are tasked with learning, memorizing and putting to use vocabulary words that exist only inside of the courtroom. They must also provide complete interpretations, as it’s not the interpreter’s place to censor or omit information.  An interpreter will relay the information word for word in the integrity of which it was delivered. In some special circumstances, using their expertise and judgement, an interpreter will be able to paraphrase a redundant phrase that is idiomatically correct while still keeping the integrity of the meaning.

Keeps confidentiality: Private information, case details, and rulings will be kept in strict confidence by the interpreter. Whether the information was privileged or not, the interpreter will not publicly comment on or disclose details to colleagues, media outlets, or family and friends.

Must acknowledge conflicts of interest: Interpreters are not to be involved with any cases where there may be conflict of interest. Conflicts may include previous prior involvement with the case, attorney, defendant, or witness. If the interpreter has been in previous involvement, they are to notify the court, and professionally decline to serve that case.

Won’t provide legal advice: Certified court interpreters will not provide legal advice. This also includes interjecting personal opinions or speculations regarding the case. The interpreter will not speak to or advise council except in instances to clarify cultural meanings where their linguistic knowledge may be needed.

Is as qualified as their credentials: A certified interpreter will gain continuous knowledge and skill as they move forward with their career. This further learning is done by the certified interpreter with classes, seminars and conferences. An interpreter must be able to perform the duties acquired by those credentials. A certified court interpreter must immediately notify the court of any lack of knowledge, inability to hear, or any other circumstance that would impede them from executing proper interpretations.

Qualified certified court interpreters are professionals that are equipped with all of the criteria above.  If you’re looking for a certified interpreter for your legal needs, Telelanguage offers over 2,000 interpreters ready to speak in 200 languages 24-7-365. One of our professional certified interpreters on-site within 30 minutes from the time the initial request is made. Have a legal situation that can be helped with a telephonic interpreter? Now, connect faster than ever with our new free to download app for iPhone, and connect to a live certified interpreter within seconds!

Why Become an Interpreter?

There’s several reasons why someone looking for a career in the language industry would be interested in becoming a professional certified interpreter.  If you have a love or passion towards language, here’s  4 reasons why becoming an interpreter could be a winning choice for a long term profession:

You love helping and working with people:  Being a professional capable of connecting  people together through language is rewarding, especially when you are directly involved in the process of providing understanding.  Whether telephonically or face to face, working with different people on a sometimes daily basis is a great way to offer the help you’re able to provide.

Breaking down language barriers excites you: Every appointment and meeting an interpreter’s involved with is an exercise in breaking down a language barrier. As a certified interpreter, you’ll be instrumental in communication.  Taking part of the process that leads to understanding is one of the most important reasons why interpreters are so strongly depended on.

You have the ability to make critical judgment calls:  Certified interpreters are reliant on their knowledge combined with quick thinking.  Some interpreters can elect to work in the 9-1-1 Emergency or medical and healthcare industries, participating in life-altering situations. Regardless of which industry you choose, interpreting takes precision skills and the ability to work in fast paced and sometimes stressful environments.

You want to be a part of a global business: As businesses lean towards globalization, the interpreter becomes even more valuable, promoting understanding with clients and customers from all over the world. Whether it’s during a meeting or a conference, an interpreter becomes a beneficial tool to help elevate a business’ global reach.

You strive to continue to learn: Once an interpreter is certified and begins working, there’ll be continuous training sessions, additional language and vocabulary courses, and practices to keep your interpreting skills sharp throughout your career.  Having the want to always improve, learn, and grow into the career leads to satisfaction when you’ve become an interpreter that seeks to keep moving forward.

Choosing a career in interpreting results in changed lives, both for you and the people you’re helping to communicate. If you’re a business and you need certified interpreters with the qualities listed above, contact us. Telelanguage is backed by a team of 2,000 interpreters ready to speak in 200 languages. Now, connecting to a live interpreter is even faster with our breakthrough app for iPhone. Get access to a live interpreter in the palm of your hand, connect in seconds!


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!