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Interpreter Intelligence turns 10! To celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we’d like to take a moment to look back at how we’ve grown, and look ahead at what’s to come. 2020 was a difficult year for all of us, and a year of sluggish growth for the language service industry. Nevertheless, we’re very excited about what’s to come and we’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 10 years.
Our CEO Conor Power founded Interpreter Intelligence over a decade ago, so we asked him what it was like to start your own company, why he decided to get involved in the language industry, and what is next for the language service industry and Interpreter Intelligence as a company.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth visits were on the rise. For quick questions or for standard prescription refills, patients could simply chat with their doctors from the comfort of their own homes. Now, with the pandemic, e-visits have become commonplace. One might even say they have become a necessity. Unfortunately, logistical barriers exist for underserved populations, specifically for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). So how do we bridge that crucial communication gap?
It took some time, but we now know Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, which begs the question: how will a Biden administration affect language access and employee classification? A while back, we wrote a blog post about how the Trump presidency has affected language access, but what will be different when Biden goes into office? Well, turns out we shouldn’t necessarily be looking at the presidency for answers, instead, we should look at the US Senate race.
Interpreter Intelligence was once again a platinum sponsor for Interpreter Education Online’s Virtual Conference. IEO is an organization that provides quality training and testing for interpreters, helps its clients maintain quality assurance, and is committed to upholding industry standards. Interpreter Intelligence is honored to be involved with IEO’s second virtual conference, which focused on interpreting and translation during the pandemic and post-election.
Machine Translation (MT) is the process by which computer software is used to translate a text from one natural language (such as English) to another (such as Spanish). Long disregarded as a buzzword, machine translation has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1950s, and its evolution has been exponential. Let’s take a few minutes to go over the latest developments in machine translation, and let’s have a look at what the tech giants have been up to lately.
The race to the bottom refers to a competitive situation where a company, state, or nation attempts to undercut the competition’s prices by sacrificing quality standards (often defying regulation), or reducing labor costs. It is a phenomenon the language services industry is unfortunately not immune to. In some markets, the language services industry’s deregulation has led to low pricing at the expense of poor quality and, ultimately, poor outcomes for the end-consumers, opening the door to liability on the part of the provider.
The die is cast. Interpreters and translators in California have been granted an exemption from AB 5. It’s been almost 9 months since the controversial AB 5 bill went into effect, which reclassified independent interpreters and translators in California as employees, and no longer as independent contractors. After a year of petitioning, protesting, and lobbying, interpreters and translators have been exempt from AB 5 through “clean up” bill AB 2557.
Operational strategies refers to the methods companies use to reach their objectives. By developing operational strategies, a company can examine and implement effective and efficient systems for using resources, personnel and the work process. As a Language Service Provider, these strategies are very unique, and the tools you use to implement those strategies are as well. Below is a list of the most important operational strategies you should consider as a Language Service Provider, along with recommendations on how to implement those in your day-to-day operations.
Interpreter Intelligence is proud to be a platinum sponsor for Interpreter Education Online’s first International Online Conference. IEO is an organization that provides quality training and testing for interpreters, helps its clients maintain quality assurance, and is committed to upholding industry standards. On our behalf, Interpreter Intelligence is honored to be involved with IEO’s first international online conference, aimed to tackle questions around language access in ‘the new normal’.
AB5, the bill reclassifying California interpreters as employees and no longer as independent contractors, has been in effect for 6 months now. Given that the bill is detrimental to the livelihood of professional interpreters, not to mention its damaging effects to language access for minorities in California, it has been met with a lot of resistance. SB 900 was introduced to undo the damage of AB5, but that bill fell flat. A new clean-up bill called AB 1850 has now been introduced, but it still doesn’t exempt professional interpreters from AB5 (for now).
Video conferencing tools are now part of everyday life. As remote work has become the norm across the globe, tools like Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Hangouts, Skype and Microsoft Teams have seen online activity explode. But how private and secure are these video conferencing tools? And what type of tool should you consider using for your own business? A deeper dive reveals that the privacy and security of some of these tools are far from perfect.
AB5, which went into effect January 1st, has caused a lot of controversy over the past few months as it reclassified interpreters and translators in California as employees, and no longer as independent contractors. Given that over 75% of practicing interpreters and translators in California are independent contractors, AB5 has threatened the livelihood of many language professionals. However, a newly drafted state legislation bill aims to provide a path to undo the damage of AB5.
Language access is now more important than ever, and Interpreter Intelligence is here to support your business as a partner, and as a service provider. For example, with our latest VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) technology, on-demand language support was rolled out in visitor centers all along the coast of California.
An agile business is a business that can respond quickly and effectively to opportunities and threats found in its internal and external environments (be they commercial, legal, technological, social, moral or political). For many businesses, the coronavirus pandemic has been a major challenge. For agile businesses, however, the outbreak can be an opportunity. For some industries, there is little opportunity for agility, but for the language service industry, agility might well be the only answer to the current health crisis.
COVID-19 is forcing language service providers to exclusively offer remote interpreting services. To do that, providers need the right platform. Many LSPs have been using ad-hoc video solutions, such as Zoom, but those platforms are not designed for remote interpreting services. Here are 5 essential questions you need to ask your remote technology provider if you want to offer high-quality remote interpreting services.
As we self-quarantine, we have time to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 (better known as the Coronavirus) on aspects other than our personal lives. Many industries are suffering because of the Coronavirus outbreak, but it should come as no surprise that video conferencing companies are thriving. Zoom for example saw their stock go up by 50% over the past month. Remote work and video conferencing has become the norm. The interpreting industry, however, has been initially reluctant to move operations online. Will the severity and the duration of this outbreak revolutionize interpreting forever?
There is an increasing need for real-time translation. In today’s increasingly globalized world, language barriers need to be broken down, here and now. Real-time translation is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, and technology is catching up. From virtual assistants to smart cameras, today’s technology is helping to interpret and translate the world around us in ways that are almost seamless and in real time. For high stakes medical, legal and political exchanges, we continue to rely on skilled human interpreters, for obvious reasons. However, for casual use, or for people simply trying to understand the world around them, tech is here to help.
As society becomes increasingly accessible for the hearing impaired, tech is making great strides to help close the gap. Here are a few examples of recent technologies specifically designed to make the lives of the deaf easier.
Here is a list of 14 essential productivity tools to support your small business in 2020. From customer relationship management to social media management to task management, there is a plethora of tools out there that can help your business thrive in today’s corporate landscape. Are there any important productivity tools we forgot to mention? What productivity tools do you use to support your business? Let us know!
US troops in the Middle East often recruit local interpreters to support their military operations. These interpreters have proven to be critical to the success of US military operations. They help establish a rapport with the local population and they help gather crucial intelligence. In doing so, the interpreters put themselves and their families in grave danger as they are often seen as traitors by their co-nationals. As the US military recedes, some interpreters are rewarded with US citizenship, but the visa application process can take months or even years, putting the lives of many interpreters at risk.
January 1st came and went, but interpreters and translators have still not been exempted from CA AB5, the bill that has reclassified all independent contractors in California as employees. Despite months of heavy protesting from the translation and interpretation community, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the sponsor of the bill, seems to be turning a blind eye to everyone’s concerns.
A few months ago, we wrote a blog post called The Future of Language Service Providers, outlining the political and technological developments affecting the language industry. One political development we pointed out was the state of Washington looking to potentially replace language service providers with one independent scheduling organization, essentially centralizing interpreting services in the state. A year ago, the Danish government tried centralizing judicial interpreter services, but that did not turn out well. Previously, the UK also screwed the pooch trying to centralize judicial interpreting, which begs the question: is centralizing interpreting services a recipe for disaster?
About a year ago, we wrote a blog post called ‘New Doors Are Opening Around the World for the Deaf,’ about how language barriers for deaf people are beginning to come down around the world. Over the past year, several ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters have gone viral, highlighting the growing recognition of the deaf community and its culture. One ASL interpreter in particular, Amber Galloway Gallego, stands out for her impressive sign interpretation, and for being a fierce advocate of the deaf community.
Any interpreter platform worth its weight in Bitcoin should have basic features such as calendar synchronization, scheduling, accounting automation and high-quality Over the Phone Interpreting (OPI) & Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), just to name a few. However, to accommodate the diverse needs of your customer base, you need more than just those basic features. You need to be able to rely on a comprehensive platform that allows you to cater to the unique needs of your customers and interpreters. Here are 7 features your ideal interpreter platform should have.
MCIS Language Solutions announced at their annual general meeting that Interpreter Intelligence won their professional partner of the year award! Every year, MCIS provides the award to a business partner who has contributed substantially to their growth and development. Interpreter Intelligence is proud to be that business partner. We are looking forward to many more years of this wonderful partnership.
Interpreting agencies are increasingly relying on VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) to provide language services to their clients. But what are the requirements for all parties involved to bring a VRI session to a successful end? Click read more if you want to learn more about the technical requirements and about some best practices around video remote interpreting.
It is no secret that the Trump administration has sparked some controversy over the years. Recently, Trump has made efforts to dial down legislation around language access. An Obama-era federal rule requires government institutions like courts and hospitals to inform people of their right to free linguistic support. The Trump administration, however, insists that providing linguistic support is too onerous and costly for providers, so it is looking to ‘relax’ that federal rule. This could have far-reaching effects for the millions of Americans who desperately need those services.
On June 23rd 2016, the British public cast its vote on whether the UK should leave or stay in the European Union. As we know, 52% of voters opted to leave. Over three years later, it looks like the Brexit negotiations are finally coming to an end. Whether there will be a successful or hard Brexit, it seems to be inevitable. Either way, LSPs in the UK are going to be affected.
Interpreter Intelligence onboards new customers all the time. For a one-time fee, we set up our customers’ data in the system and we teach them how to navigate our platform. For some customers, however, we are happy to go the extra mile.
The ATA’s (American Translators Association) 60th Annual Conference took place in Palm Springs, California this year. 1,400 translators, interpreters, and language company owners came together under the blazing sun to connect over our vibrant language industry. Interpreter Intelligence was represented by our head of sales, Gerry Kelly, and our marketing manager, John Demessemaeker.
It is no secret that political and technological developments have a profound impact on the language industry. Particularly, language service providers (LSPs) are finding themselves having to constantly react and adapt to disrupting political and technological changes. It is key to proactively change the way your business operates in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Global interpreter platforms are slowly but surely changing the language industry. The language industry has long been immune to technological advancements, but that has now changed. Remote interpreting technology has changed the way interpreters and language service providers work. Phone and video interpreting have been a gimmick in the language industry for a long time. However, with the rise of global interpreter platforms, remote interpreting is now easier than ever.
Compared to other industries, technology has made a modest impact on interpreting. There have been incremental improvements over the last decades, but claiming that technology has transformed the profession would be an exaggeration. That being said, the latest technological wave washing over the industry does seem like it’s going to leave an irreversible mark on the lives of many interpreters.
On September 12th, it was time for another edition of SlatorCon, this time in our very own San Francisco. Over 120 language industry experts gathered to discuss the state of our growing and vibrant industry. Among those industry experts, our CEO, Conor Power, and our head of sales, Gerry Kelly.
¿Sorprendido? No deberías estarlo. En Interpreter Intelligence, nos enorgullecemos de poder entender a nuestros clientes de la mejor manera posible. Es por eso que recientemente contratamos un intérprete multilingüe para ayudarnos a optimizar nuestro producto, un producto con el proveedor de servicios de idiomas y el intérprete en mente.
Interpreting is not easy. Interpreters are expected to be able to work across a variety of subject matters, often under enormous pressure. So it should come as no surprise that interpreters, like everyone, often make mistakes. However, some mistakes are bigger than others. Here is an overview of the biggest interpreting mistakes in history.
In one of our previous blog posts, we explained what the Dynamex ruling might mean for Language Service Providers. Well, it does not look like matters are heading in the right direction. Recently, a bill was passed in the California Legislative Assembly that would reclassify all translators and interpreters in California as employees of their clients. Interpreters and translators typically work for many different clients as independent contractors, so this bill could have disastrous consequences.
If you are an interpreter, you must have heard these before. Read about the 5 most common myths about interpreting in our latest blog post.
“Technology is reducing the need for interpreters and translators.” You hear and read about it all the time. Many sources claim that the need for interpreters and translators is being reduced because of the rise in automation. Some even claim that technology will eliminate the need for translators and interpreters altogether. However, we would argue that is not likely to happen anytime soon.
Determining the price of a service can be complicated. That is no different for interpreting services. The pricing of interpreting services depends on many variables: hourly rates, daily rates, rates per job, rates by the minute, travel expenses, language combination, certification, cancellation fees, rush fees,… Every interpreter calculates its pricing based on a unique combination of all these factors, which can make it challenging for language service providers to keep on top of their financials. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running a business. Answering phone calls, replying to emails, scheduling meetings, sending and receiving invoices,… The list goes on. To get more out of your business, it is crucial to move away from these mundane tasks and focus on what actually pushes your business forward. According to a survey from The Alternative Board, the average business person spends 70% of their time on day-to-day tasks and 30% of their time working on achieving business goals. To focus on growing your business, it is important to correct this imbalance. Instead of taking a reactive approach, take a proactive approach by automating the basic administrative duties of your business.
Simultaneous interpretation is a process in which the interpreter hears one language and speaks the words of the second language in real time. It’s not an easy task, to say the least. In fact, even among people who know two languages well, it’s a gift that few possess. This talent boils down to a set of highly specialized skills, a way of managing mental resources, and a range of coping strategies that are needed for this extremely difficult process. A recent research study looked specifically at working memory load and how it affects SI.
The ALC (Association of Language Companies) Annual Conference took place in Washington, D.C. this year from May 1st to May 4th. This year’s agenda focused on the worker classification of interpreters specifically. Interpreters are not considered to be independent contractors, so this year’s ALC conference centered around reviewing federal policy and regulatory issues facing our industry.
Employee or Independent Contractor: What the Dynamex Ruling Might Mean for Language Services Providers
What would it mean to your LSP business if you had to hire your interpreters as employees? The question is receiving intense interest since a California ruling tightened the classification of independent contractors. While the court’s decision was designed to provide fair treatment for workers, it presents difficult problems for the language services industry.
Through various legislative acts and executive orders, court interpreting has received recognition as a vital part of the judicial system. Yet, the demand for court interpreters has far exceeded their availability. Meanwhile, the courts, language services companies, and the court interpreters themselves are currently facing several critical issues.
Congress Democrats want State Department interpreter Marina Gross to answer questions about the July 2018 meeting between Trump and Putin. The idea was first suggested almost immediately after the summit was over, when it became clear that there might be no other way to discover what was said in the meeting.
The question is, would this be a positive step, not only for Congress, but for the government, the interpreters, and the American public?
When is the best time in life to learn a foreign language? People of all ages can benefit from learning a new language, of course. But recent studies have revealed two key life phases when language learning has a tremendous impact.
Whether you’re young, old, or in between, you can learn a language you’ve never spoken before. If you’re young, you can become fluent more easily. Even if you’re quite old, you might very well put off age-related damage to your brain.
The language barriers that deaf people have always faced are beginning to come down. Around the world, businesses and organizations are beginning to open their doors to the hearing impaired like never before.
Read about a sign language café in Pakistan, an Uber app for deaf drivers, a Starbucks signing store and an Austrian language class for deaf refugees.
When judges, lawyers, and defendants can’t communicate with each other, the judiciary system quickly grinds to a dead halt. Unfortunately, it happens all too often. That’s because many courts lack the court interpreters that they need to keep the wheels of justice turning. In a country with both non-English speakers and limited English speakers, court interpreters play a critical role.
With efficient interpreter scheduling, the court runs smoothly and defendants get fair treatment. Everyone wins.