It is always extremely helpful and convenient to have someone who is bilingual in the workplace, no matter which industry you are in. Today, we live in a world where the majority of our population does not just speak English. Fortunately, bilingualism brings many benefits for most standard everyday situations and conversations. 

 

However, just because you have a bilingual person on staff does not mean all language needs are covered. Unfortunately, many organizations feel otherwise. It’s important to know that your language needs aren’t covered for quite a few reasons, and today we are here to tell you why you are not a qualified language interpreter if you are bilingual. 

 

3 Reasons Why Being Bilingual Does Not Make You an Interpreter

 

  1. There are more than 300 languages spoken all around the United States. If someone on your staff is bilingual in only spanish, english and german, what happens if someone who speaks french walks in? Qualified interpreters are able to cover the full spectrum, where as a bilingual employee typically only knows a few languages. 
  2. Legally, many industries require a qualified interpreter to communicate with patients or customers. So, if these businesses do not have qualified interpreters on staff or ready via video chat, they could be playing with fire at a legal standpoint. 
  3. Professional interpreters are far more training and experience than bilingual people. They are specifically trained to do what they do, and they have accomplished a level of fluency far beyond what the average bilingual individual would ever need.

 

3 Differences Between Being Bilingual and Being an Interpreter

 

  1. As we said before, professional interpreters not only know more languages than someone who is bilingual, but they also understand the language perfectly and know the culture behind it. They know everything about the specific language and culture including silences surrounding words, voice inflection, and other non-verbal cues that someone who is bilingual wouldn’t know. 
  2. Professional interpreters are trained to interpret, completely. When interpreting you are not only communicating what someone is saying but also with all the meaning and emotion behind the original statement. They are trained to have exceptional listening skills, concentration, note-taking, multitasking and empathy for all parties involved. 
  3. Professional interpreters are also trained to handle complex vocabulary for a specific industry. For example, the medical, legal, and financial industries all have a unique set of industry terms. Someone who is bilingual wouldn’t need to know extensive vocabulary like that. 

 

It’s important to know that being bilingual and being a qualified interpreter are far from being the same thing. If you trust a bilingual employee to interpret to your patients or customers, you aren’t giving them the best customer care they deserve. If you need professional interpreting services for your business, Boostlingo can help. For more information visit: https://www.boostlingo.com/

 

As you may know by now, Boostlingo will be attending CCHI’s 10 year anniversary summit as a global sponsor this October. CCHI (Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters) has been offering an independent, national, comprehensive certification program to medical interpreters of all languages since 2009. Boostlingo has been attending CCHI’s summit almost every year and really respects what commission has to offer and what they believe in. One factor in particular, accreditation. 

 

As a well known and respected commission for healthcare interpreters, CCHI has been asked the question about the importance of accreditation to them numerous times. Natalya Mytareva, CCHI’s Executive Director came forward with a response of what accreditation means to CCHI and gave three great reasons. 

 

A Medical Interpreter is Just as Important As Anyone Else

When CCHI was formed, the majority of the team were practicing interpreters and managers of interpreting services. The team was passionate about bringing the professionalism of interpreters to the same level as that of any healthcare providers. Basically, the CCHI team believed then and now that a medical interpreter’s job is just as important as a physician or a nurse. 

 

Almost all healthcare providers have certification or licensure requirements that are  accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA, the accreditation arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, was founded in the mid 1970s to review and accredit different healthcare certification programs. When CCHI started in 2009, they immediately started designing their exams to follow best practices and standards so that they could get their accreditation later on. Sure enough, in 2012, they received their CHI™-Spanish certification accredited with NCCA, and then in 2014 they accredited the CoreCHI™ certification.

 

Follow Practices and Rules

Another important reason for accreditation to CCHI is because they believe in following best practices and rules. As Natalya Mytareva would say is “common sense”. Like anything, for any process or program to be valid, it needs to follow established practices and “rules.” These specific healthcare interpretation practices require continuous psychometric monitoring of the test performance and continuous updates of the test content based on the current professional practice in the field. This is why CCHI has NCCA, as a neutral third party whose sole business is evaluating various testing programs, is in the best position to monitor our program. 

CCHI believes accreditation pushes them to do their best all the time. It is the “high bar” that they continuously want to work hard to meet. Furthermore, CCHI submits annual reports about its exams to NCCA and undergoes a reaccreditation every 5 years. 

 

CCHI is Passionate in Doing Things Right

Lastly, CCHI has always been passionate about doing the right thing, which is being accredited. From the very beginning, they have always done things the right way and it has lead them to great success. They are not a commercial entity, so they are not driven by the need to increase revenue. They are not an association, so they are not driven by the need to expand their membership. They simply do things because they are passionate about what they do, which is why it is such a great commission. They focus solely on developing and administering the most comprehensive certification program for healthcare interpreters. 

 

Additionally, CCHI is always looking for ways to improve, and by all means they are not perfect! They run into a few hiccups every now and then but always try and continue to grow and learn from their mistakes. However, by having accreditation frees them to do all those other things confidently because they know that the process is valid and solid.

 

Since 1958, September has been a time to celebrate Deaf Awareness. What started as just the International Day of the Deaf that was celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) has turned into a month long celebration over the years. Although this is a month long celebration, many nations celebrate Deaf Awareness month on different weeks throughout the month of September, really naming this celebration International Week of the Deaf. 

 

At Boostlingo, we celebrate it all month long as our interpreting products really pay forward to the deaf population. Deaf Awareness Month is meant to increase public awareness, perhaps reach a population who isn’t all so familiar with deaf issues, people and the culture. There are many things we can share, and celebrate throughout this month such as sign language, subtitled shows, accessibility at events, work safety, deaf celebrities and tons more. 

 

We encourage our customers, employees, friends and family throughout this month to help spread awareness with us! Here’s how you can too. 

 

Help Spread Deaf Awareness 

 

There are a number of ways to get involved and spread awareness on the Deaf community.While we don’t want to tell you what to do, we want to give you a few examples. 

 

  1. Get creative! Make a poster to put at your local library or other community places. 
  2. Consider learning a little bit of sign language this month. It’s a lot of fun!
  3. Let your colleagues or other employees know a few facts about deaf awareness by doing some research. 
  4. Donate to a charity. 
  5. Volunteer at a deaf organization.
  6. Host a community event bringing deaf and hearing people together. 
  7. Share positive stories about the deaf culture on your social media pages. 
  8. Learn about those who are deaf in your community. 
  9. Recognize achievements of deaf people. 
  10. Gain a better understanding of the deaf culture.
  11. Research and learn about the types of educational programs and resources that are offered for deaf people. 
  12. Learn about the different degrees of being deaf, and why people experience hearing loss. 

 

Basically, we look at it this way. If people do not know what they are raising awareness for, then how can they ever help? We know that not everyone has the opportunity to do things as involved as that, but every bit counts.  It all starts with one person. What are you doing to help spread awareness this month?