Blog

Read our blog for regular updates on the interpreting business and product updates!

Sponsoring Interpreter Education Online’s First International Online Conference

June 26th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

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’.

The theme of Interpreter Education Online’s inaugural conference was the transformation of the interpreting and translation profession during and post pandemic. The conference brought together expert speakers from language companies, language associations, political organizations, and hundreds of interpreters and translators. Together, we discussed the current state of the language industry, and how we can all adapt to the current market and political landscape.

Click here to see the full conference program. To see a full recording of the conference, please contact the team at Interpreter Education Online. Interpreter Intelligence being a platinum sponsor for the conference, our CEO, Conor Power, recorded a short video to be played during the conference. Watch it below.

Freelance Interpreters in California: Where Are We Now?

June 9th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

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).

A combination of AB5 and COVID-19 has left many professional linguists in California with zero assignments, and zero income. Language industry leaders were quick to act, and Senator Jerry Hill drafted SB 900, a bill providing a set of conditions allowing freelance interpreters to continue to operate in California. However, Senator Hill quickly withdrew from the bill amid union pressure. The livelihood of freelance interpreters was again in danger and we were back to square one.

Soon after, AB 1850 was introduced. AB 1850 is an assembly clean-up bill looking to protect professional linguists in California. For now, though, the bill states that only certified translators are exempt from AB5. Certified translators represent less than 10% of all professional linguists in California. In other words, AB 1850 only covers a tiny sliver of professional linguists and omits all interpreters. The exclusion has huge negative implications for Californians with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, and millions of Californians who depend on interpreters for reliable language access.

The sponsor of the bill, Lorena Gonzalez, incidentally the same Assemblywoman who sponsored AB5, recognized that the language of the exemption was a work in progress. Still, the road ahead is long and paved with many obstacles. As AB 1850 finds its way to the Senate, it is important for interpreters, language professionals, and language advocates to make their voices heard. Highly skilled interpreters have to be included in the bill, not only to ensure their livelihood, but to ensure language access for those who desperately need it.

If you work in California and feel passionate about this issue, find your legislators here, and email or call them to further educate them on the independent and highly skilled nature of the interpreting profession, and to urge them for an exemption for interpreters.

How Private and Secure Is Video Conferencing?

April 27th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

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.

Privacy vs. Security

The first thing you should know is that privacy and security are two different things. Privacy refers to individuals’ universal rights to control their data. Security is how that data is protected. When it comes to security, companies preferably use end-to-end encryption to ensure that even the companies themselves do not have access to the contents of anyone’s communication. As far as privacy is concerned, you better hope companies aren’t collecting data about your video calls and selling that data to third parties.

Zoom

In its latest privacy policy, Zoom claims it “does not allow third parties to use any personal data, unless you consent.” However, many people skip this part of Zoom’s terms of service, meaning most users unknowingly consent to Zoom selling their data. Also, Zoom recently made headlines when it became clear unwanted users could ‘crash’ random Zoom calls, but recent updates have fortunately added an additional layer of security to Zoom’s video calls.

Microsoft Teams

On the other hand, Microsoft Teams’ privacy policy leaves no questions. It explicitly states that it “collects data from you, through our interactions with you and through our products.” Microsoft is upfront about using people’s information. According to Microsoft, they use your information to personalize your experience and to participate in legal investigations. Microsoft may frame it this way, but make no mistake, all personal data on their platform is fair game.

Skype

For many, Skype was the tool that introduced them to video conferencing. But Skype is definitely not perfect. It shares user data with third parties, across the entire Microsoft family, and even with law enforcement when asked. To up its security, like Microsoft Teams, Skype uses dual-factor authentication, but it also ended up succumbing to Microsoft’s massive customer breach earlier this year.

WhatsApp & FaceTime

WhatsApp & FaceTime both provide end-to-end encryption, and are relatively private and secure. Consumer-facing products are often more regulated, so there is no need to worry about your data when using any of these two applications. So far, the two applications have been without major security breaches. But let’s face it, we do not use WhatsApp or FaceTime for any business meetings anyway.

Interpreter Intelligence

At Interpreter Intelligence, we are committed to your privacy and security. All our video and voice calls have end-to-end encryption, and we never record or store any calls. Interpreter Intelligence is fully HIPAA compliant, and always has been. If you provide remote interpretation services, you can rely on us to run your business. Contact our team for a demo, or for more information on our platform’s privacy and security. And don’t forget to do your research before you click ‘Agree’ next time!

New Bill To Protect California Interpreters From AB5

April 16th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

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.

SB 900, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, provides a set of conditions, including credentials, whereby practicing interpreters and translators can continue to operate and serve Californians. The bill protects access to essential language service by Californians, including people with disabilities or with limited English proficiency, crucial to every aspect of daily life in California. SB 900 aso prevents cutoff of highly trained professionals, led by women- and immigrant-run small businesses, who are the backbone of a growing $2 billion sector of the California economy.

Language organizations continue to work with legislators to finetune the bill. CoPTIC (Coalition of Practicing Translators and Interpreters of California) advocates met with Sen. Jerry Hill ahead of the bill’s introduction. Other organizations such as the American Translators Association (ATA), the American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS), and the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) have united in support of the new bill.

“Interpreters and translators are an essential lifeline for Americans in every sector of society, including public health. SB 900 respects the hard-won expertise and restores the capacity to practice by thousands of linguists in California who, like the overwhelming majority of our profession, work independently or self-employed. We look forward to the continued improvement of this bill and its approval this year”, said Bill Rivers, executive director of the JNCL.

If you work in California and feel passionate about this issue, find your legislators here, and email or call them to further educate them on the independent and highly skilled nature of the interpreting profession.

On-Demand Interpreters at the Click of a Button

April 14th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

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. Click the video below for a sneak peek. All that needs to be done is select the language you want an interpreter for, select the service type (OPI or VRI), and your customers will be connected to one of your interpreters in no time. When the session is over, as always, you can go through the audit history of the session to see the details of every participant in order to accurately prepare your invoices and payments. If you currently find your business having to transition to remote solutions, get in touch with our team for more information. From scheduling interpreters to workforce management, and from financial management to scheduled & on-demand remote interpreting, we have you covered. Click here if you want to learn more about how Interpreter Intelligence can boost your interpretation business.

Business Agility against COVID-19

April 7th, 2020 by Interpreter Intelligence

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.

Agile Language Service Providers

According to Nimdzi, 80% of all interpreting assignments in the US are face-to-face, which means only 20% are remote. This ratio rings true for most countries, except for Canada, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia, where remote interpreting has become the norm. In the United States, given the social isolation measures, language service providers are seeing most, if not all, face-to-face assignments being cancelled. This is not only a huge blow to their business, but it also does not bode well for hospitals, courts, and other government institutions that are having a hard time ensuring language access for LEPs (Limited English Proficiency).

Luckily, the language industry is flexible enough to adapt quickly to the current circumstances. To remain economically viable and to ensure language access, switching from face-to-face interpreting to remote interpreting is the only option for LSPs, and technology providers like Interpreter Intelligence have the necessary infrastructure and support to help LSPs make that transition. As tech gets better and better, remote interpreting is the way forward, so LSPs need to take advantage of this global crisis to make sure their business comes out leaner and more competitive than ever before. As they say: adapt or die.

Agile Interpreter Intelligence Support

As our customers’ priorities change, so do ours. Over the past few weeks, our efforts have been mainly focused on making sure our customers have been able to smoothly transition to remote interpreting. From technical support to manuals to webinars, we are doing everything we can to accommodate our customers during this global crisis. We are fortunate to have a close-knit development team that has been involved from the very start, allowing us to shift our product focus quickly, and easily. Agile language service providers cannot be successful without an agile technology provider supporting them.

Switch to Remote with Interpreter Intelligence

If you are a language service provider and are interested in our remote interpreting services, get in touch with our team to learn more. Don’t let COVID-19 disrupt your business, but let it transform your business for the better.