All posts by Kseniya

Note-taking tips for medical interpreters from interpreters in Homeland Language Services

The job of a medical interpreter requires a good memory, but it is still difficult to remember all the important details, especially when the speech for interpretation is long. The good news is that there are useful tips for effective note-taking, which can help a medical interpreter to catch all the details. 

  1. 1. Use keywords and abbreviations. 

It is better to focus on the KEYwords and phrases, instead of writing full sentences. You will save time and demonstrate a good speed of your interpreting. If you need to remember a complete sentence, use the abbreviations where possible. But you need to learn them and keep your glossary updated. Find one of the examples here.

  1. 2. Write down the keywords and terms in a particular order.

Try to write important terms and words in the order of a timeline. This method will help you to keep  track of the conversation and circle back to smaller details, those mentioned earlier in the conversation.. 

  1. 3. Use pictures and symbols.

If you can draw sketches and read them for interpreting, definitely use this method! Doodling improves memory, so it is an additional benefit for you. 

Moreover, with the help of symbols and  highlights you can indicate the main points of the conversation.

Our Arabic-English interpreter invented his own style of sketches. Ahmed AbouZekry from Egypt makes the illustrations from his notes for medical interpretation. Have you seen such notes before?

  1. 4. Group main ideas.

It is a good way to write down the main idea of the conversation or a part of it, and then to add supporting ones. This way you can create word clouds that will help you see all the information you need  at the same time. 

  1. 5. Use the “Subject, Verb, Object” method. 

The Subject, Verb, Object (or SVO) variant is part of a note-taking  method  first introduced by Jean-Francois Rozan in his 7 principles. It is performed exactly as its name describes..

On a piece of paper, write down the subject, verb, and object of each sentence you are listening to in descending order, diagonally to the right. Each new sentence or topic is separated by a horizontal line on a page.

Writing the main parts of the sentence, and in a way that shows their hierarchical relationship to each other, will help you better remember what was said.

 

Note-taking is one of the best tools that you can use during consecutive medical interpretation. Now you have tips on how to help yourself during the interpreting of medical calls. Try to practice them! You need some time to make it a habit and to use it in your daily work routine, so keep your head up and try to do this every day!

If you need interpretation or translation services, send us your request

In case you want to work at Homeland Language Services, check our Career portal

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Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, gave lots of work for translators

On July 20 Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, gave lots of work for translators.

Boris Johnson signed off his final appearance as prime minister in the UK’s House of Commons by offering advice to his successor and declaring his mission is “largely accomplished.” His legendary speech spread to the majority of news portals all over the world, together with Twitter and Youtube.

But why do we mention the job of translators together with Boris Johnson’s speech? We made some small research on it. We tried to watch the video of his appearance in the UK Parliament with subtitles in different languages.

We noticed that the automatic translation in subtitles is not as accurate as it should be. And we can understand that – just listen to the last sentences in his speech. From the first try, it is difficult to understand what he is saying. That’s why even English subtitling looks a little “confused”.

It is very important to work with such valuable speeches together with professionals. Professional certified translators in translation agencies are used to working with translating or transcribing speeches of varying complexity. They have specific knowledge for each industry and special skills to work with audio materials. Their ears are trained specifically to hear all words exactly in different languages, with different tones of voice and accents.

Homeland Language Services can surely help you with such important translations. We can be your reliable agency for translation services. Find more information about our translation services on our website.

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Happy Independence Day, America!

The 4th of July is a federal holiday in the United States of America since 1941, but Independence Day celebrations go back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.

The story was the following: on the very beginning of July 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. After that on the 4th of July delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. This historic document was drafted by Tomas Jefferson. That’s why from 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.

It is a great holiday with festivities, fireworks, parades, and concerts. Also, it is a traditional day for family gatherings and barbecues.

As usual, we found some interesting facts about this day. We believe interpreters and translators should deep in the history and culture of countries, which languages they are using for their job.

So, did you know?

– The first effective celebration took place in 1776 in Philadelphia. There was the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, and the ringing of the Liberty Bell.
– The first celebration in the White House was held in 1801.
– In 1938, Congress formalized Independence Day as an official paid federal holiday.
– In 1960, the current 50-star flag debuted after Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959.
– That one American president Calvin Coolidge was born on the 4th of July in 1872.

And some non historical facts here:

– There were only about 2.5 million people living in the United States in 1776. This number is dramatically different from the 332 million people that live in the USA today!
– There is a popular myth that Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national symbol, but it was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who recommended the bald eagle.
– Americans consume a lot of hot dogs on July 4th. About 150 million, to be exact. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Los Angeles residents alone consume about 30 million pounds of hot dogs on July 4th.
– There are other countries that celebrate America’s independence on the Fourth of July. Countries like Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden all take part in hosting commemorations for the holiday. This is in part to honor their many citizens who emigrated to the U.S., but also as a move to attract tourists.
– There are 31 towns in the U.S. that contain the word ‘liberty.’
The largest town is Liberty, Missouri, with a population of 32,865.

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Interpreters VS Translators: Why are they different?

Both interpreters and translators help our world to live and develop. They are bridging the gap between different languages, countries, and cultures. Thanks to the work of language specialists the world economy, the medical industry, and the legal sphere work like a clock. 

We are constantly talking about two job positions: interpreters and translators. It is time to define the differences between them!

So,

Interpreters do the talking.

Translators do the writing. 

But let’s dig in more.

Interpreter talks. 

Interpreters work with spoken or sign languages. They convert speech from a source language into a target language and vice versa. Interpretation also has different kinds, such as Over-the-Phone, Onsite, and Video-Remote interpretation. 

Interpretation is far more than having a decent knowledge of two languages. The language specialist should be aware of the cultural features, be tolerant and keep a calm tone of voice. 

Interpretation in two directions:

Nowadays, most interpreters work in two directions. That means interpreters transfer information both to and from the target and source languages. It is more common for Over-the-Phone, Video Remote interpretation. Meanwhile, Onsite interpretation can have only one direction. For example, Conference interpreters interpret from the source language to the target language and that’s it. 

Main types of interpretation:

Simultaneous interpreting is a type of interpretation when a language specialist listens to and comprehends the source language and simultaneously provides an interpretation in a target language. 

Such type of interpretation is widely used in the court, international meetings, and television news broadcasts. 

Consecutive interpreting allows the language specialist to listen to several complete sentences in the source language and then interpret them in a target language. Consecutive interpretation is the usual method of communication for OPI, VR interpretation, and small and face-to-face meetings. 

Specialization in interpreting:

To be effective, the accurate majority of interpreters choose their specialization. They often specialize themselves in certain areas like medicine, law, business, finance, technology, government, social services, or culture.

To provide high-quality services, the interpreter should always improve his or her knowledge in both languages he or she works with. 

 

Translator writes.

Translators work with written text, converting a message in the source language into a message in the target language. It is far more than replacing one word with another. The translator should see and understand the context, the cultural characteristics, moreover the translator should save the style and the tone of the incoming text. 

One direction, but a good knowledge of both languages:

Translators get the text in one language and translate it into another one. In most cases, they have one target language and it can be their native one. But sometimes, the translator can work with several languages, for example, he can work in such language pairs as English-Spanish and English-Portuguese. 

Specialization in translation:

The same as interpreters, good translators also have specialization in definite niches. This way they can continuously improve and deepen their knowledge in terminology and communication features in the languages they work. 

That’s the major difference between these two language jobs.

When you are searching for an interpreter near you or a translator near you, pay attention to their experience, specialization, and feedback from clients. Or you can consult with a specialist or a language provider about what type of specialist you need. For example, Homeland Language Services managers will be happy to find the best solution for you personally, or for your business. 

If you are a translator or interpreter, who is reading this text and searching for a job, please, follow our Career portal link and apply for your new career stage!

 

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A Good Translator Should Be Passionate About His or Her Job

It is widely thought that speaking a foreign language gives you the ability to be a translator, but this job is not as easy as it seems. We gathered a list of qualities that a good translator should have, as well as a story from one of our personnel who created the meaning of a new word.

So, the question is: what are the characteristics of a good translator?

  1. 1. Passion and curiosity: Professional translators are passionate about what they do and try their best to deliver high-quality projects.
  2. 2. Skilled in linguistics and rich in vocabulary: Certified translators at Homeland Language Services have undergone extensive education and have considerable experience. Our professionals are constantly trained, gathering new knowledge to provide the best services.
  3. 3. Accuracy and honesty: Providing accurate information is essential for translations. The goal of professionals is to express the source text as clearly as possible without ambiguity.
  4. 4. Appreciation for other cultures: Diplomacy is their motto. They break down misconceptions, stigmas, and other language barriers, so as to prevent misunderstanding between different cultures.
  5. 5. Time management skills: Tight deadlines are part of the daily challenges; every minute can make a difference. Our certified translators cope with high-stakes situations when major projects need to be completed in a record time, which is usually in the medical and social industries.

 

At Homeland Language Services, we are proud of our translators, who possess these great qualities. Fortunately,  Ahmed Ali — one of our Arabic-English interpreters from Egypt— has shared with us the story about his translator experience:

“During my college days, I’ve had two major military translation projects. The first one was when my professor chose three of my colleagues —who had top scores in the exams— and myself to assist him with a military translation for a training project report between Saudi and American Air forces.

It was a challenging project, as it was a new field of translation for me and it was the first time I had a deadline to finish my share. Additionally, it was a classified document, so we could only work in our professor’s office with him.

The second project I’d worked on was my graduation project, where he asked us to translate a book in the military field that had not been translated before. I managed to find a book about Military siege tactics across history up to the modern ages.

One of the main challenges I have ever faced was a new word that was not found in any dictionary. After researching in vain, I informed my professor who advised me to fashion a new meaning out of the context. After he approved it, he decided to add it to his own Dictionary, which he was about to release.

Later on, I managed to put a glossary together after I finished translating the book. As a glossary was extra work and I was the only one who included it, my professor gave me the highest score and I managed to graduate with excellence.”

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World Refugee Day in 2022

Can you imagine that you need to leave your home, your country, and flee to another? And it wasn’t your choice. Every minute 20 people undergo this awful experience and become refugees.

It is very important to support refugees. But how we can do that if we even don’t know about them? Today the topic of refugees is more spread and visible in daily news due to the war in Ukraine. Russian invasion highlighted lots of world problems and the problem of refugees is among them.

The concept of seeking a place to save a life dates back as far back as Ancient Egypt was. But the international efforts to protect refugees started only at the beginning of the 20th century. The High Commission for Refugees was founded by the League of Nations in 1921. Again it was intended to help people escape the Russian Revolution.

During the past century, people have fled terror and oppression all over the world, from such countries as Armenia and Germany, Spain and Turkey. In recent years many refugees were displaced from Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria. At the end of 2021, there were 70 million displaced people all over the world, and now this number increases enormously.

The ultimate goal for refugees is to return to their home country when it is safe for them to do it. Unfortunately, often it is impossible for years. Meanwhile, refugees aim to integrate into their host nation. Frequently, people, who leave their native country don’t know foreign languages. So their adaptation process becomes even more complex.

It is a simple practice when refugees use language services. Moving to another country people often need translation services. They need to translate their documents, and application forms. Moreover, lots of countries require personal presence to apply for refugee status in special organizations. and this is the case when refugee needs interpretation services. Nowadays, it is a great opportunity to get different interpreting services. The refugee can choose the onsite interpretation, so the interpreter will be next to him, or Over-the-Phone interpretation, so the refugee will receive interpreting services in any place he needs.

The integration process in a new country is difficult and lengthy. The basic needs: food and shelter are covered the first of all. At these locations, volunteers work, and often they know the native language of refugees or are bilingual. Such practice for interpreters and translators is a priceless experience, considering what a great job they are doing. After refugees are accommodated, social and cultural integration starts. It depends on the mental and physical state of the refugee, so the process can also be long and not so easy.

Interpreters and translators at Homeland Language Services have huge experience in working with such sensitive situations. They all worked with clients on social issues, the healthcare and insurance sphere, and career-building. Moreover, they can be a confidential helper during the legal processes too.

Language specialists together with social and medical workers, volunteers, and government officers like no one else know the painful issues for refugees and can advise them partially.

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Tips for interpreters: exercises to improve short-term memory

Memory exercises should simulate the interpretation as best as possible since the intention of these exercises is to improve memory for interpreting purposes. However, this kind of exercise should not involve bilingual activities, since these lead to different problems that the mind tends to focus on. It is highly recommended that the exercises be done alternately in both of the interpreter’s languages.

 

Exercise 1: shadowing

The exercise of shadowing involves repeating what the speaker says, word for word, in the same language. For this exercise, the texts used should be relatively small but may increase gradually in size. If you work alone, record a text or use a speech on the television or radio. If you work in a group, one may read the text while the other repeats it.

 

Exercise 2: vizualisation

There are speeches that invoke visualization naturally and the interpreter should be able to identify them and use visualization to retain and recall them. For example, court interpreters often have to interpret descriptions that were described by a witness (a place, a suspect, etc.). These descriptions are ideal for the use of visualization to improve memory. Images should be visualized step by step and in sequential order, helping the interpreter recreate a whole scene.

 

Exercise 3: listening

Attentive listening requires identifying a speaker’s key points. You should be capable of listening to a short narrative or a descriptive text and answering the key questions “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?”. In this exercise, any descriptive or narrative texts may be used and you may record the text if you’re practicing alone, or you may ask a colleague to read it if working in a group.

 

Exercise 4: segmentation

This exercise is based on the concept that it is easier to retain a number of limited chunks with information than just one or two larger dense chunks. Segmentation involves breaking a larger chunk of information into two or smaller ones. This exercise can be performed using both oral and written texts. You should be able to read the sentence only once and, then, segment it. The texts should contain long sentences and dense information.

These exercises can be used by Over-the-Phone interpreters, Video Remote interpreters, and Onsite interpreters. This is a great way to keep fit the professional skills of a language expert.

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How is the process of immigration to the USA bound by language services?

In January 2022, the total immigrant population in the USA hit 46,6 million people according to the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey. It is the highest number ever in the history of America. Despite the Covid-19 travel restrictions, the foreign-born population rebounded dramatically after President Biden’s victory. Reasons for that were restarting of visa processing overseas and the surge of illegal immigration at the border. However, the 1,6 million increase over the last year is quite large and significant. 

Whenever we speak about immigrants or foreign-born people, we mean people with native languages different from English. Of course, some of them have learned English at school or University, so they can freely communicate in English and solve their problems. But the majority don’t know English. That’s why there is a huge network of language providers. Homeland Language Services, one of them, provides non-English speaking people comprehensive interpreting and translating services in different spheres of their “new life”. For example, interpreting services are very much needed for legal and social issues (from filling in the form in order to get the Green card to getting food stamps for the family), in healthcare and medical support (from taking out the insurance to visiting the doctor’s appointment). 

Going back to the background of immigration process development, we need to state that the United States of America has been the main country destination for international migrants since 1970. Since then, the number of foreign-born people residing in the country has more than quadrupled – from less than 12 million in 1070 to near 50 million in 2022. This amount is the highest percentage in 112 years – immigrants are 14,2 percent of the total population. 

More than 40 percent of all international migrants worldwide in 2020 (115 million) were born in Asia, with nearly 20 percent primarily originating from six Asian countries including India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, and Afghanistan. Mexico was the second-largest country of origin, and the Russian Federation was the third. Several other European countries have sizable populations of emigrants, including Ukraine, Poland, the United Kingdom, Romania, and Germany. 

States with the largest increase in the immigrant population from January 2020 to January 2022 are Florida (up 531,000), Virginia (up 268,000), Texas (up 263,000), California (up 212,000), Indiana (up 205,000), Tennessee (up 198,000) and New Jersey (up 183,000). 

Nowadays, it is much easier to access the language needed by means of interpreters and translators. Homeland Language Services has a huge team of professionals who work remotely. We provide interpreting services that can be accessed from any city or state. The foreign-born individual can get the needed social service in his native language with the help of an Over-the-Phone interpreter or attend a telemedical appointment with a doctor with the help of a Video-remote interpreter. These services are affordable and easy to use because the certified interpreter can be in touch at any time and in any place, just a device, like a smartphone or computer, is needed. Our services are available in more than 100 languages.

Furthermore, our company has offices in California, Florida, New York, and Texas states. We can provide onsite interpreting services as well. There are some cases when an interpreter offline is needed for the meeting. Homeland Language Services offers simultaneous and consecutive interpretations. 

Taking into account the current world situation, which has been changing since February 24th, 2022 when Russia started the military invasion in Ukraine, we expect an increase of Ukrainian and Russian-speaking refugees all over the world and in America too. Day after day our sales department searches for new partners to be helpful with language services. At the same time, our interpreters and translators work 24/7 to fulfill the current demand in Over-the-Phone interpretation and translation services. 

 

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The power of language – story of American senator Victoria Spartz

At the very moment, when an ordinary girl from Nosivka (a small town in Ukraine) becomes an American senator and votes for a lend-lease for Ukraine.

In 1999, Victoria Kulheyko was traveling around Ukraine by train and noticed that an American man, named Jason Spartz was trying to order dinner but the waiter did not know English. And nobody else in the train car knew how to speak English. So she offered to help him interpret. Mr. Spartz was very grateful and both exchanged their contact information.

With the years, they both got to know each other better and fell in love. In the year 2,000, Miss Kulheyko became Mrs. Spartz and moved to the U.S.A. 

Her husband’s successful agrarian business received great support from Victoria in accounting and finance. Her talent was noticed and soon, she started teaching at Indiana University.

Victoria became one of the founding members of the Hamilton County, Indiana, Tea Party. She served as the CFO in the Indiana Attorney General’s office and she was also an adjunct faculty member at the Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis.

In June 2019 Victoria announced her candidacy for Indiana’s 5th congressional district. And to everyone’s surprise, she won the Republican primary elections on June 2, 2020. Her candidacy for the Senate was supported by 187,000 Americans.

This is how, from a simple dialogue with a foreigner, Victoria Spartz became an extraordinary foreigner leader and an example to many people. 

“I look forward to contributing to the United States’ beacon of freedom and hope for people around the world, and to promoting the free market and the rule of law in countries suffering from corruption and oppression. My warmest wishes to Ukrainians!” – this is the phrase Victoria said during one of her first speeches in the Senate.

The time has come. The lend-lease act was signed on May 9th, 2022. This is the start of a new era in the Russo-Ukrainian War when Ukraine is able to get great support to save and restore the country’s sovereignty.

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Homeland Language Services has been recently certified in the State of New York as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) program

We are pleased to announce that Homeland Language Services has been recently certified in the State of New York as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) program.

This Act promotes and encourages the participation of Service-Disable Veteran-Owned Businesses in the State’s public procurement of public works, commodities, services, and technology to promote and advance economic development in New York State.

Homeland Language Services can serve the public sector of the state with comprehensive interpreting and translating services. We are looking for a greater role in the State’s economy by increasing our participation in the State’s contracting opportunities.

“We are very excited about this new certification. Our company already has the experience working with the public sector in many states, building trust & credibility among our clients. We are ready to position Homeland Languages Services as one of the most dependable and cost-effective Interpreting & Translating services across the State,” – Ernesto Lanazca, COO & Co-founder of Homeland Language Services.

For over 6 years Homeland Language Services has been a reliable partner of language services. Our interpreters and translators work for the most important industries in the country, including medical and healthcare providers, government and legal services, and social and educational organizations.

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