Hello Interpreters!

We are more than ready to amaze you with the next episode of “Ideas by Interpreters”.

Following some details about this Episode #8:

Summary

What does it really mean to be a freelance interpreter? Do you have your own website, a separate business bank account, and a business license? Should you have them? What are the advantages and challenges of working as a freelance interpreter? What tools do you need to increase your business, clients and income? How can you best market yourself and find clients? (website, social media, professional organizations, networking, etc.). How do you set your prices? How can you keep building and thriving your business? The purpose of this workshop is to answer these questions, provide practical information and share tips to help your business grow and thrive.

Learning objectives

  • Briefly highlight differences between freelance vs. staff interpreter
  • Learn specific tools to market yourself and find new clients
  • How to set prices and stay competitive
  • Highlight the importance of professional development beyond just attending your state conference!

Bio

Judit Marin is a freelance Spanish interpreter, translator, and trainer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an ATA certified (English>Spanish) translator and a California Certified Medical Interpreter. She holds a M.A. in Spanish from U.C. Santa Barbara and a B.A. degree in Catalan Philology from the University of Barcelona. She currently serves as NCTA Vice President and Continuing Education Director. She received the CHIA Interpreter of the Year Award at the CHIA Annual Conference in 2018. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @juditoak.

 

“My journey with languages started when I was very young. When I was growing up, my family and I, we always had a love for languages and cultures. Probably around, 6 years old, we started to learn Spanish. There were many others. Those languages included Spanish, Hindi, Vietnamese and many others. That was only the start.

In the United States, once you reach middle school, most students are required to take a language course as part of their curriculum. At that time, I was obsessed with French. I’d say around 2011 to 2012, I started to get interested into the language Korean. I never would have known it would have taken me so far. As I already had a love and knack for languages, I decided that I would start to learn it. It is now been nearly 7 years since that day.

Looking back, at that time as a young person that was still in high school, I never really considered that Korean or any language would become a career for me. It was just something that I loved, something that made me feel useful, and a contributor to society. Compared to other people, due to physical limitations, I wasn’t able to go abroad or to immerse myself like others were able to do. So, I did what I knew best; I did it all by self-study and hard work. There are many times that I wanted to give up. I’m a bit of a perfectionist I must admit but I kept up with it and now, here I am.

I have experience with both translation and interpretation. And of course, both have their difficulties, but I’d say specifically for interpreting, one of the biggest challenges can be coming to the realization that you are not just interpreting a language. You are a travel guide, a lawyer, a doctor, or maybe even just someone’s best friend. You are what bridges the gap between 2 people, 2 cultures, 2 different life stories. Not only must you know the language well, you must try to feel the emotion that another person is feeling. You’re almost an actor of sorts. It’s much more complex than people may anticipate or expect it to be. I try to imagine if it was me or a family member who needed help. By doing that, it helps me to examine and see how important interpreting really is.

My favorite type of interpreting assignment would be when working with families because family is such a big part of my life. Whether it be a parent teacher conference or someone calling a family member that lives in their home country, those types of assignments bring me much joy and happiness.

After getting connected with Boostlingo, they helped me to see that though I have limitations, I can still do what I love, and I can do it from anywhere in the world. There are remote telephone assignments, remote video assignments, and the platform is so easy to navigate. With Boostlingo, the opportunities are endless. I feel honored to work with them. I never have to feel that underappreciated. The Boostlingo team always does their best to help you in any way that they can and have really helped me to advance my career in ways I never could’ve imagined.

Currently, I am learning 11 languages (for now). I’m still young so I still have a long way to go, but I am excited and happy that Boostlingo will be on this journey with me.”

 

-Adriana

“It was providential, in the sense that I wasn’t actively seeking to ‘get into’ the interpretation field.  I had decades of experience in teaching Spoken English to the LEP people, virtually from all over the globe at my own Institute in India. It so transpired that my services were recommended (to a Language Services Provider) by a fellow church-goer when the Courts needed somebody and that, too, for a jury trial, to boot! That was my stepping stone (my ‘baptism’, so-to-speak!) that has now become my profession!

 

It is NOT work, per se, for me because I loooove what I do!

 

It is the sense of fulfillment…a satisfaction that I have contributed my mite in helping to provide the much-needed voice, literally, to the vast sea of the voiceless amongst us. This is because of no inherent fault of their own, except that they do not know (or are not well-versed in) the ‘language-of-the-land’!

In a day’s work, there are umpteen number of instances when one is tempted to speak up and advocate for the helpless (and hapless!) They are unable to appropriately and completely express their thoughts, their issues, their pain, their suffering to the authority figures (the ‘powers-that-be!), be they in the healthcare, legal, community or in any other sphere!

I find it extremely difficult to restrain myself…and to refrain from advocating on their behalf!

There are innumerable tools-of-the-trade, not the least of which is continuing education, whereby one tries to delve deep into the virtually un-ending expanse of language, nuance, accuracy and dedication. These spur one on to better comprehend—and perform—where and when it matters the most!

Social Media Groups and professional associations play a huge part—and pay rich dividends—by way of honing skills, increasing knowledge and, thereby, exposing ourselves to varying and unique perspectives: Watch <> Read <> Listen…>>> and LEARN!

There are multitudinous opportunities in the Legal, Healthcare, Community, Conference/Corporate and other ‘domains’, both on-site and remote! Thus far, much of my own ‘practice’ (!) has been concentrated on-site, though remote (‘off-shore’!) opportunities are rearing up their heads…sort-of like beacons that beckon towards lush and lucrative ‘verdure’!

Relentless competition (sometimes cut-throat, even!) leads to the under-cutting of professional fees (more so by the under-qualified/desperate!)

Many have thrown their hats in the ring in order to make a quick buck! I somehow feel that this profession is—imperceptibly, yet palpably—turning its collective back on the profession and morphing into a business that borders on being unscrupulous at times!

However, it is never too late—for ALL—to try to make amends and put the profession back on track!”

 

-Inder

VRI: An Effective Communication platform quickly replacing VRS for the Deaf Community

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that reasonable accommodation for every person with a disability is a right.
While it’s easy to understand that someone in a wheelchair needs a ramp, or that someone who is blind needs their guide dog, other disabilities can be less obvious. For instance, providing a way for a deaf person to communicate with your business is a right granted through ADA. Your business must satisfy their request for communication.

Video technology has made Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) a possible solution. Not only is this option be available at a moment’s notice, but it is more cost effective for the business paying for the service.

Benefits of VRI

Every deaf person has varying communication needs in different situations. Trying to get a refund at a grocery store may require only a pen and paper. But if a deaf person is rushed to the hospital, they may prefer a live, on-site, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter.

A live interpreter can cost hundreds of dollars an hour. If you need interpreters 24/7, such as at a hospital, that will be an incredible amount of money per year. A VRI device is only using billable minutes for actual interpreting time. It will save a significant amount of money.

How To Ensure Compliance

The National Association for the Deaf (NAD) and the ADA guidelines have laid out the requirements of VRI communication. In order to provide VRI services, the facility needs to fulfill the following requirements:

Network Demands

  • Tablets, iPads, or mobile computer stations need to be on a secure, non-public, internet connection.
  • Broadband internet is needed for live video streaming.
  • The interpreting company needs to have a reliable network in order to ensure connection.

Device Demands

Sound: Make sure that the device you are using for VRI has clear sound both ways. The interpreter has to hear everything and be able to communicate with the room.

Camera: The camera needs to be able to show the entire upper body of the Deaf person. This is simple in a calm scenario, like a business meeting, be in can be complicated in an emergency. American Sign Language (ASL), contrary to popular belief, is not just a language of the hands and can include arm and lip movements and facial expressions.

Training

Staff need to be trained on the following in order to effectively implement VRI:

  • ADA law and what it means as an employee
  • basic signs that denote deafness
  • operating VRI devices
  • connecting with an interpreter is the most important part of the process.

VRI Shouldn’t Be the Only Option

At the end of the day, technology can always fail. You need to have a backup plan to your VRI equipment to remain in compliance with ADA law. For hospitals and medical offices, they will usually have a contracted interpreting agency they work with. As a owner of a business, if you have an important meeting or event that needs VRI, contact your interpreting provider to see if you can run a test call. They should be more than happy to help. Tests like these can make sure the equipment will work. In the case that there is a breakdown of the equipment, the video becomes choppy, or the Deaf person is not understanding, you have to be ready to provide another solution. Make sure you have a service to call if you need a live interpreter.

Provide Quality Interpretation at A Moment’s Notice

Are you looking for an interpreting agency to partner with that uses VRI?

Do you have additional questions about what your business needs to comply with the ADA?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have!

Feel free to contact us today so we can get you on the right track to clear communication!

 

This is our fourth episode of our “Terp Tales series” and this time we will show you the amazing story of growing up in Haiti and becoming a professional Interpreter by Jean Bosco!

 

Enjoy it!

 

“My name is Jean-Bosco F. , I am fluent in French, Haitian Creole, Spanish and English and I am the proud father of two wonderful children, Christopher 16 and Kimberly. I gave them a nickname which is HAM (Haitian, American and Mexican).

Having been raised in Haiti, my journey into the circle of the family of interpreters started for me at the age of 14 years old. My parents have dedicated their lives working with the poor and the forgotten in the mountains of Haiti. My parents wore many hats in that community. My father was the director of the school during the week, doctor to care for the sick, a judge when there was disagreement between two parties among other title. My Mom would care for the pregnant ladies, the newborn, teaching them how to cook nutritious food and also to read and write.

Many people from different nations had visited us and try to provide resources. There was a language barrier between my parents and them. I begin to find myself in between them with a dictionary on hand interpreting for them. Though, I had not been exposed to protocol or interpreting in the first person, I did my best to convey the message.

Having moved to the United States, I pursued my education in the field of IT for 17 years where I worked as a contractor for the Federal Aviation Administration not knowing that my true calling was to serve as a conduit between two people. Once I figured that out, I began by watching videos about interpreting, the use of first person and the protocol, code of ethics, and culture. I began to practice and study medical terms. Once ready, I applied for my first OPI interpreting job which was in Haitian and French my native tongues. I realized that I love providing that service and began to dedicate more time which began to produce much fruit.

I truly enjoy my profession now because it exposes me to different culture and more importantly having the patience and the ability to meet the LEP at their current level. For example, being a French interpreter does not automatically clear the way to interpret for someone who is from North Africa or from France or Canada. Each of those countries has their own dialect. I have to adjust my French accent according to the LEP’s home country and study the proper way to interpret.

Some of my challenges have been when I have to clean up after a fellow interpreter. Recently, I had to interpret for a lady who did not slept well during the night before and asked her boss to allow her to go home. The company got her an interpreter on the line who interpreted incorrectly what she had to say and that lady ended up in the hospital where she was misdiagnosed. After this fiasco, I was called to interpret for this furious lady. There I had to regain her trust as an interpreter.

Having decided to change my career from IT to now interpreter, I have to say that it has been very rewarding for me. I have interpreted for the Bill Clinton Foundation during the 2010 massive earthquake. I served as an interpreter for Senator Bernie Sanders during a peace conference where multiple countries attended in an attempt to avert going to war with North Korea and most recently for a HBO boxing match in Atlantic City, NJ between Alvarez and Kovalev.

I recognize that I am part of a very important small group of people who has a unique assignment to provide a very important service. Sometimes, I have to interpret a prayer from a chaplain for a dying cancer patient or interpret for a mother who just lost a child. Every call is important and requires attention to details and mutual respect. There will always be a need for an interpreter because the world is a diverse place. No machine at this time can take the place of an interpreter.

At the end, my goal is to make sure that both parties leave satisfied with the service they received.”

 

-Jean Bosco

This is our third episode of our “Terp Tales series” and this time we are going to talk about the unspoken joys of medical interpreting written by German Soto!

 

Enjoy it!

 

“I currently work as an OPI and VRI interpreter from my hometown in Chihuahua, Mexico, where there are not a lot of opportunities to work on-site. I personally don´t have any on-site clients, but I do know that occasionally interpreter services are required when upper management officials come and visit American or Canadian factories that are established here in my city, therefore interpreters in my area rely on companies like Boostlingo for supplemental income.

 

I´ve been an interpreter for  little over 4 years now, this job has been one of the most rewarding jobs I ever had, the feeling that one gets after every call it´s so fulfilling, to be able to bridge the gap between two individuals that speak different languages and being able to make them understand each other not only language-wise but also culturally makes me feel as if I had a superpower.

 

I have found that medical calls are my favorite ones although they do not always have a happy ending. I have always been interested in the medical field and these calls really catch my attention and allow me to do my best since I personally have some medical education. Within these calls, a particular labor and delivery assignment really brings a big smile to my face I have always felt blessed when a newborn cries for the first time and I felt so fortunate to get to witness a new life being born in real time, a miracle.

 

It’s not all bells and whistles–there is always that call that marks your life forever in my case it was a criminal investigation where a child was abducted, I won´t go into details but I often find myself thinking about the whereabouts of that little girl.

But I know this is part of my job and the best part is to help people every day with all my effort!”

 

-German

 

This is our second episode of our “Terp Tales series” and this time we are going to talk about the humanitarian side of Interpreting written by Ahmed Noor!

 

Enjoy it!

 

“Being bilingual is something that many people are not blessed with and when you have such a blessing you are open to many doors and communicate easier with more people. Some research shows that speaking more than one language will give you a better attention span and it will also increase your multi-tasking abilities as your brain will be open to analyze more information more easily. At the same time using this blessing with something like interpreting could help you to develop in many ways as you will be constantly open to learning new things.

 

I believe that there is much need for interpreters in the Somali community as it is known there are many Somali’s who has emigrated outside the country for the last two decades. For most of the first generation immigrants, it was harder for them to adapt to their new environment and learn a new language, but at the same time it was kind of a good thing for the children as if we look closely most of the second generation Somali diaspora are considered bilingual as it is easier for them to speak both their Somali language and the language of the place that they grew at. The reason behind this is that culture and heritage is very important for the Somali people, therefore you see them very connected to their original language at least inside the house. That has shaped me and played a significant part in my life as I was able to speak three languages from a young age as I was speaking Somali at home and Arabic and English at school, it could be confusing at the beginning but as a young child it is very easy to learn.

 

That simple fact made me find myself as an interpreter from a young age and I believe it’s the same case for a lot of interpreters, as you will have to sometimes go with a friend or a family member who could only speak their native language and help with speaking and interpret for him or her for most cases. Although I am working as a professional interpreter, but I have always felt like the humanitarian aspect has more influence on the job as most of the time as an interpreter most of the work involves helping another person which could have a positive impact on the interpreter himself, as the satisfaction of knowing that you had helped someone with your knowledge and made their day easier is priceless and it could change you as a person in many ways and at the same time it could develop your personality in a good way.

 

At the same time I can’t neglect that there are many problems that interpreters in the Middle East and East Africa face as there is no big representations of interpreters in the Health sector and the Government offices, but more and more people are being open to this sector and I believe that with the use of Information technology it could be easier for more people to be helped, and a lot of the gap could be filled.”

-Ahmed

 

We’d like to share with you some “behind-of-scenes” of our Interpreter Community.

This is the first episode and Francisco Pimienta just opened up the stage!

 

“As of 2017, the number of international migrants worldwide stood at almost 258 million (or 3.4 percent of the world’s population), according to UN Population Division estimates. What does this mean to the language industry? Let’s say it could translate into business opportunities, professional development for qualified linguists and a demand for more language services in a wider variety of language pairs.

In the United States where millions of Limited English Proficient (LEP) people reside and the infrastructure, legal regulation and language access has been established so that to everyone regardless of their national origin receives the healthcare they need or legal assistance in their language they prefer, there are still some gaps in coverage that are could be unacceptable and should not happen in our revolutionizing era of technological improvement.

We might think this is impossible to happen since by law according to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000d, et. seq.). Failure to provide linguistically-appropriate services has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to be discrimination on the basis of national origin under such Title.

Recently while interpreting for a Health Insurance Plan through which I was providing my interpreting services, an LEP patient and I were connected to a Primary Care Provider’s office so that she could establish care for her and her husband, but the Care Coordinator from the Health Plan had to remain on hold on a conference call with the receptionist, since the office did not have an interpreter or anyone that spoke the LEP’s language available to take down the information in order to schedule an appointment.

Surprisingly, the receptionist told the patient that since they did not have anyone who spoke her language in their office and all of the providers only spoke English, the patient would have to bring someone to assist her communicate with the Physician. The female LEP replied “I have a 13-year-old daughter who may be able to assist me interpreting at my medical appointment”, the receptionist gladly replied (as if she had finally had been enlightened with an answer for a very complex Calculus problem) “wonderful, this will really make things much easier for you and for us, but make sure to bring your daughter to all of your medical appointments, otherwise we would not be able to understand each other.”

Since the Health Insurance Plan Care Coordinator was still on the line listening to the conversation, she immediately intervened and explained to the Clinic staff member that it may not be appropriate for the patient to have her teenage daughter help her with her language needs, and offered the LEP to search for a different provider in the area that would have the ability to assist her in her preferred language.

The explanation we received from the Clinic staff was shocking, in fact, due to the lack of language services providers in the remote area of Kentucky, they did not have access to an interpreter and there was not much they could do.

Let’s hope that within the near future with the assistance of new platforms and technologies language assistance can get to every single corner of the country and not jeopardize the life of a human being for deciding to live in a rural area where language access is still limited to a certain extent.”

 

– Francisco

 

Hey Interpreters!!!!

Get ready for the first Café Lingo Live!
Our first episode is August 7th, 2018 at 11AM PST!

We can’t wait to meet you all and chat with you about this amazing profession we are all part of!!!
As many of you know, the interpreting industry is growing rapidly, and so is the technology we use to do our work—it’s only natural to want to stay in the loop and keep up to date with the latest and greatest to keep your interpreting career strong and successful.

Boostlingo is here to do just that. Not only have we created the software for you to manage your interpreting jobs all in one place—schedule, video, audio assignments, invoicing—it’s got everything…but not only that.
Boostlingo interpreters are part of a special community that gives them a space to communicate, learn, and stay on top of latest trends and technologies in the industry.

This series of webinars will be based around the latest tips and trends of the interpreting industry, and will be all about YOU the interpreters!

So please, we want to connect with you so we can make these episodes as useful and interesting as possible.
Write to [email protected] to give feedback, comment on webinars, or even just to say hey— We would love to hear from you! 🙂

REGISTER FOR OUR AUGUST 7th LIVE HERE:
http://bit.ly/firstpostweb

Can’t wait to see you there!!

Thanks!

Hello Interpreters and welcome to your very own virtual cafe to chat, exchange feedback, and be part of your very own interpreter community!

We have interpreters from around the globe that interpret using the Boostlingo Platform, and now there is a forum for all of us to share a virtual cup of coffee and chat!

The conversation starts with you, interpreters!

Please take a look at the posts from some of your fellow Boostlingo interpreters below to start getting to know your community. Cafe Lingo will be posting weekly posts and videos with fun and useful information for YOU, the interpreter.

We would love your feedback on topics and discussion that would be useful for you and your interpreter friends!


Post from Gamamiel:

Hello!

My name is Gamaliel. I am happily married and I have an 11 year old son, Diego, whom I love with all my heart.

I am a Spanish interpreter, and an ESL teacher.

I developed a passion for languages at a young age, but I wasn’t until I lived in the United States that I knew I wanted to make a career out of it.

I went to high school in Pontiac, Michigan, where I learned a lot about teaching English as a second language from my teachers.

After living in the U.S. for ten years I went to Mexico and started teaching English to college students and to employees at companies like PepsiCo and Saint Gobain Glass.

I had my first experience with interpreting in 2014 when I was asked to be the interpreter for the mayor of the city of Riverside California who was visiting our city during the independence celebrations. I had a lot of fun, and it was an honor to interpret for them about my country and my culture.

I earned a professional interpreter certificate in 2015 and, in 2016, I received a certificate for medical specialized interpreters.

Nowadays I collaborate with Boostlingo as a telephonic Interpreter, its cutting edge technology allows me to work from my home office without compromising the call quality.

I love working from home because I don’t have to worry about the time it would take me to get to work if there is a traffic jam or about the cost of gas if I have to take on an assignment at a far away place.With Boostlingo I am always on time for my assignments.

I also continue studying at home, and Boostlingo is great for that, it allows me to make my own schedule.

I am growing professionally and for that I am grateful.


Post from Francisco:

Hello!

My name is Francisco Pimienta, I’m an English<>Spanish interpreter, translator, and senior trainer with over 10,000 hours of OPI and VRI experience in the last 12 years.

I’m an active member of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters and advocate of IMIA in my region, within the scope of my expertise are the engineering, medical, financial and legal areas in which I have done variety of linguistic projects, I am also currently pursuing my degree in Law and Federal Court Interpreter Certification.

I have taken part in different projects with some of the largest language providers in the world, but over the past year I had a boost in my freelancing career thanks to the advancement of technology and the new platforms that have been developing revolutionizing the way I am able to perform my job and further advance my career as a linguist.

I greatly enjoy healthy habits and fitness, such as practicing variety of sports including rowing, swimming and water polo.

Getting my linguistic assignments through Boostlingo has become much smoother both managing my workflow and keeping control of my own schedules at all times!

Ever since I became part of the professional interpreter network, the outreach to new clients and the amount of assignments has steadily been increasing helping me advance my freelancing career.


Post from Leticia:

Hello!

My name is Leticia, i am an experienced English<>Spanish interpreter, the constant work with the Limited English Proficiency community has sculpted me as a reputable, reliable employee as well as a student with effective communication skills in both languages with the purpose mission factor of a culture and linguistic bridge in the community.

Boostlingo, Inc. has helped me practice the communication skills I acquired in the medical interpreter certificate program where i studied: fundamentals of translation and interpreting, ethics and practice, terminology and the Spanish Literature studies I have achieved what makes me a culture broker to work with the national community.

Boostlingo Inc., leads the age of online language access where art + science meet, where people matter.