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Basic lifehacks for interpreters

Being an Over-the-Phone or Onsite Interpreter is very challenging. An interpreter can help people communicate. Especially, interpreters must help patients to get proper medical treatments or legal advice. However, interpreters need lots of things to learn. They improve their skills and knowledge all the time.
We expect a lot from the knowledge of the second language, but it doesn’t give us the right to call ourselves interpreters. Experienced interpreters remember the lifehacks that helped them at the beginning of their careers. Here are some of them:

1. Get ready before meeting

When you check the details and get prepared before a meeting or shift, you feel more confident.
If you are an onsite interpreter, always get the address where the meeting is held, and where you should work. Check the time for a trip, places for parking, or opportunities to use public transport.
If you work online, check the platform for conferences, webinars, meetings, or calls. It is always a good idea to make a test call to be sure, that your camera, microphone, and headset work properly.
Take some time to refresh the vocabulary that can be used during your interpreting session. More information before you have about subject, speakers, companies or organizations – more effective will be your job.

Such details in preparation will save you time, money, and nerves.

2. Analyse previous experience and improve it

Make time to analyze your previous experience. It will help you to make conclusions about how to improve your job in the future. Don’t focus only on weak places and mistakes. Always take into account your strong skills and difficult cases where you performed successfully. This “homework” will help you to discover your strong characteristics and make them stronger, together with that you will see your weak places and improve them as well.

3. Ask for detailed instructions and follow them

When you are working for the agency, language provider (such as Homeland Language Services, for example), or even for an individual client, be sure that you know everything about your job position. Each of them has its own “rules of the game” and you should be ready to follow them. For example, agencies can ask for special reports or shifts, individual clients can provide the timetable of the meeting and vocabulary for it. You should be 100% aware of your responsibilities to get the work done.
Moreover, don’t forget to discover all the questions about your contract: salary, weekends and vacations and other vital conditions for you.
This way you will be on the same page with your employer or client initially.

4. Be a professional

Take one minute to think about what characteristics a professional interpreter should have. Add to them:

– improving the knowledge of Protocol
– continuous training
– development of emotional intellect and hard skills
– gaining certifications
– joining industry associations

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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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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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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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Why Video Remote Interpreting New York is Essential for Interpretation Services

In the last decade, video remote interpreting (VRI) has become a crucial tool in improving the deaf and hard-of-hearing’s efficiency. It involves using a webcam to connect an interpreter with a Deaf or hard-of-hearing client in another location.

VRI is affordable and reduces the need for an onsite interpreter. Since video remote interpretation is on-demand, the service can be scheduled on the go, making it suitable for many settings and industries. Besides, use in government agencies, another site that can gain massively from video remote interpreting in New York is the healthcare field.

This piece provides critical reasons why it is better to put VRI in use.

  • The use of VRI do not need expensive software and tools

Compared with the VRI of the last decade and today, there are less involved tools to offer the service. VRI technology in the 21st century requires no expensive software and much equipment to have. In the past years, an upfront cost was mandatory for clients to gain access to the service.

However, all required is an internet connection in today’s tech advancement, and a smart device with a camera and everything is set. High speed internet connection is available almost everywhere in the US, and most of today’s devices come equipped with a web camera.

  • Less movement involved

An interpreter doesn’t need to travel to offer interpretation services onsite. Since no travel is necessary, travel and accommodation expenses will be less than an onsite interpretation service.

Sometimes, an in-person interpreter will charge for the travel time and have a minimum rate per session. All these factors render video remote interpreting services the right option when cutting costs.

  • Affordable

Usually, many people think video remote interpretation is an expensive service to an in-person. Most don’t know that this is the most affordable way to get interpretation done swiftly. The reduced costs in the purchase of devices, high speed internet, and many companies in and out of New York offering the service make it affordable.

Many companies charge per minute of interpretation work done, and that includes Video Remote interpreting New York. Per-minute charge means a client is only charged on what is needed. An onsite interpreter usually charges hourly and have other costs involved.

  • Video Remote Interpreting New York, Promotes Social Distancing

The novel coronavirus has made it difficult for physical interpretation services. VRI adheres to the rule of social distancing. The interpretation service promoted social distancing earlier, before the WHO made it a practice to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. VRI provides an interpreter with no need to meet physically.

VRI also helps provide vital body expressions, and no loss of information is incurred. This service is also ideal for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing.

  • Readily available

In emergency occasions, like in Health, where an interpreter is required without notice, VRI is of great help. An interpreter is easily contacted within minutes, and the service is put into use. This helps save time in hospitals and other sectors where the correct information is required quickly.

Various VRI service providers can be contacted differently. Many are readily available on the phone, and others can be contacted via their websites. For more convenience, some interpreters have device programs or apps where their services are readily available.

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