COVID-19 hasn’t stopped international business meetings, but it has pushed them into cyberspace. Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype are booming in popularity. Yet they’re not the best choice when it comes to corporate interpreting.

 

From privacy issues to limited access to data, these platforms weren’t built with the needs of global companies in mind. Fortunately, a secure platform that offers more flexibility does exist. But first, let’s dive into the major risks of using the wrong one.

 

Mind the Security Gap

 

A warning phrase in the London subway, mind the gap is worth heading. That’s especially true when you’re discussing proprietary information or business negotiations with the help of a corporate interpreter. You’ve now revealed your secrets to hackers in two languages!

 

Not only that, platforms like Zoom and Skype may be listening in or selling your data themselves. Sure, these companies have publicly addressed these issues, but do you want to take that chance?

 

Meeting International Privacy Standards

 

When it comes to privacy and security, different countries have different standards. Members of the European Union, for example, protect privacy and personal data using the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—both inside and outside the EU. Organizations that don’t comply may face serious penalties.

 

The GDRP has also become a model for countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Japan, and Kenya. Even the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has several similarities.

 

So, what does this mean for international business meetings and corporate interpreting? You need a platform that puts privacy and security at the forefront of the user experience.

 

BoostLink to the Rescue

 

In May 2020, Boostlingo launched BoostLink™, a new video conferencing feature to meet your remote interpreting needs. BoostLink™ lets multiple participants in different locations communicate using a highly qualified corporate interpreter.

 

The platform’s features include:

 

  • The ability to access a remote interpreter on-demand or schedule one for an upcoming meeting.
  • Brand-able waiting rooms. Invited users can wait until you’re ready to start or bring them into the chat.
  • Full room control. You can mute or remove users at any time.
  • Privacy filters. The knock to join filter let’s you know when someone has logged in.
  • Fully configurable. You decide who has which permissions for a call.
  • EU GDRP Compliance. You never have to worry about a damaging data or privacy breach.
  • Fully reportable –call details are immediately exportable and reportable for registered users.
  • Mobile support for iOS and Android. Users can join the meeting on their phones, making it easy to use no matter where they are.

 

As you can see, BoostLink™ provides more security and privacy features than non-interpreting centric platforms. Plus, you get access to all the backend data support that Boostlingo is known for.

 

Ready to make the switch? Contact Boostlingo today!

ear health

Too many people don’t pay enough attention to their ear health until it is too late. For interpreters, their ability to listen is the foundation of their job, and anything that impedes this could have huge ramifications for their chosen career. With many interpreters today working across a screen or using a headset to communicate, this puts their hearing at an increased risk of various conditions. In fact, one of the more common and serious conditions is acoustic shock syndrome, with recent reports showing that it is having an increasing impact on interpreters in political arenas.

What is acoustic shock syndrome?

To the uninitiated, it’s a condition that can arise after being exposed to loud sounds for extended periods of time. People describe it as feeling as though they have been electrocuted in the ear. If symptoms persist, it can result in far graver issues, including loss of hearing and even emotional reactions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.

What are the symptoms of acoustic shock syndrome?

Most of the symptoms associated with acoustic shock syndrome occur due to the strong muscle contraction in the middle ear after exposure to what is perceived as a traumatic sound. People who experience it report symptoms like headaches, tinnitus, ear pain, nausea, jaw and neck pain, fluttering noises in the ear, poor balance, hypersensitivity, and fatigue.

Who is susceptible to incurring acoustic shock syndrome?

The most vulnerable to acoustic trauma are usually those who are repeatedly exposed to noise levels over 85 decibels. This includes people who work with loud industrial equipment, those who frequently attend concerts and festivals, those who frequent and work at gun ranges, and professionals who have to wear headsets for extended periods, like interpreters and call center representatives.

Who to see for acoustic shock syndrome?

If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms it is vital that you see a specialist as soon as possible. Today many medical professionals now study these types of conditions at degree level, and often as a specialist subject. Those who take a course in communication sciences and disorders, whether as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, will be trained in different areas of audiology. Indeed, these audiologist graduates are needed today more than ever, as an estimated 40 million Americans struggle with speech, language, and/or hearing disorders. Not only can they help with treating the condition if you have it, but they can also help in guiding you on how to communicate to those who may also have this disorder. Something an interpreter could easily encounter.

How can one avoid acoustic shock syndrome?

It’s no secret that hearing loss cannot be reversed. The best thing you can do now is to protect your ears from loud noises and avoid experiences where you’ll be exposed to higher decibels. You may also want to look into using headsets that are specially designed to protect hearing. There are a plethora of high-quality headsets on the market with built-in amplifiers that provide some degree of protection from excessive noise. They are engineered to lower the sound automatically when high pitched tones are detected.

For more information on how those with limited English-speaking skills can have access to healthcare, our post on telehealth will help them and their interpreters ensure they get the best treatment they need.

Written exclusively for Boostlingo.com

by Cassandra O’Grady

Telehealth

In response to COVID-19, the U.S. government has expanded access to telehealth to include more people than ever. Unfortunately, one group is often left out of the conversation on how to use it: limited English proficient populations (LEPs).

 

Even when limited-English speaking patients have access to the internet, most video conferencing platforms weren’t built with their needs in mind. And this disconnect directly impacts their ability to receive healthcare. For example, a University of California primary care clinic saw the number of non-English speaking patients drop by 50% once they switched to telehealth.

 

So, how can limited-English speakers access the telehealth services they need? Through a platform that enables remote interpreting, of course!

 

Remote Interpreting and Telehealth 

 

There are two types of remote interpreting: video remote interpreting (VRI) and over-the-phone interpreting (OPI). Video remote interpreting often works best for several reasons, including:

 

  • Healthcare professionals can see patients and gather more information about their physical health.
  • Interpreters can evaluate facial expressions and body language to help them clarify what a patient is trying to say.
  • Deaf patients who communicate using American Sign Language (ASL) can use it to access telehealth services.
  • VRI can help health care professionals build trust with patients because they’re speaking “face-to-face”.

 

Yet OPI still has its place. Patients who either don’t have internet or live in an area without high speed internet won’t be able to use VRI. Other patients may not be comfortable on a video call and would prefer to use audio-only.

 

Ideally, the telehealth platform you choose should include both options to ensure all patients can use it. Keep in mind that some patients may not be comfortable with technology and are likely new to using telehealth. That means any platform you choose should be as user-friendly as possible.

 

A Simple, Secure Solution

 

With Boostlingo, patients can seamlessly connect with a remote interpreter via video call or over the phone. They get on-demand access to interpreters who know over 300 languages—including American Sign Language. And they don’t need to be tech-savvy, either. There’s no need to install software. They just join a call via a link, SMS, or email.

 

But our platform is not only easy-to-use, it’s one of the most secure options available. Unlike video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype, Boostlingo is HIPAA-compliant and provides the data security and privacy features that keep patient information secure.

 

Making the Switch

 

Now that you know a little more about Boostlingo, why not give it a try? Contact us today to schedule your free demo!

 

Interpreting for physical therapy

Some of the more common appointments healthcare interpreters can encounter are physical therapy (PT) and, to a lesser extent, occupational therapy (OT). These two kinds of therapies often go hand in hand (pun intended!) and can take place in pediatric, adult, and geriatric medicine, on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Both of these therapies might be helpful for a wide range of conditions as well as for patients recovering from a surgery, trauma, or illness. 

 

Considering the variety of settings and conditions associated with physical and occupational therapy, interpreters assisting during such appointments can expect to encounter, among other things, terminology related to the musculoskeletal system, childhood development and learning, descriptions of pain, commands, exercise equipment, and therapeutic tools and devices.

 

To help interpreters prepare for interpreting during physical and occupational therapy appointments, Boostlingo has put together some resources: from background knowledge to glossaries and videos, so read on to learn more! 

 

  • Physical and occupational therapies are sometimes confused because of a certain overlap between the two and because these types of services might not be as common in other countries. So, start by reading this helpful article explaining the similarities and differences between physical and occupational therapy, as well as examples of situations in which both of these therapies might be used. 
  • Get started on your glossary with these handy mini-glossaries for PT and OT
  • Next, watch this Ted Talk which describes how occupational therapy can be used to help recover from a traumatic brain injury using a real-life story of a patient’s recovery. This story is both inspiring and informative, and you can turn on subtitles to help you with translating terminology used in the video – and to make it easier to add it to your glossary! 
  • Read this blog post by Liz Essary, a Spanish interpreter, with hints and tips on preparing for and interpreting during physical therapy sessions. 
  • Watch these video demos of physical and occupational therapy sessions, As you are watching, note down the words and phrases you think might pose a challenge for interpreting. You can also use these videos to practice your consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills. 

 

Conclusion

 

Professional medical interpreters are expected to possess a breadth of healthcare background knowledge and be proficient in medical terminology. In addition, interpretes engage in continuous professional development to make sure they are staying up-to-date on the latest developments in their field. Preparation for interpreting in common areas of healthcare is part of each interpreter’s continuous professional development, and after reading this article, you are that much more prepared to interpret during occupational and physical therapy sessions! 

Remote Interpreting

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work. The real question is: will these changes last? Due to the pandemic, remote interpreting has become the norm in healthcare, business, and legal settings. And given the convenience and lower costs compared to in-person interpreting, this trend is likely to continue. That means now is the time to shift to remote interpreting, if you haven’t already.

 

Trends in Remote Interpreting

 

Before we dive into how to improve your skills, let’s take a look at a few key industry trends:

 

 

As you can see, more and more people are turning to remote interpreting including those in fields that are slow to innovate (e.g. law).

 

How to Become a Better Remote Interpreter

 

Yet even if you’re a seasoned in-person interpreter, remote interpreting still poses some unique communication challenges. A few of these include:

 

  • Difficulty forming a rapport between participants in a virtual setting.
  • Uncertainty around being understood. People may repeat themselves, which can make a remote interpreting session take longer.
  • Trouble with technology. Difficulty with audio, video, and internet connections can occur.
  • Distractions during calls. You may hear people’s kids, pets, or other noises in the background, which can affect your ability to focus.

 

Fortunately, with some practice (and an excellent interpreting platform) you can overcome these challenges. Here are five tips to help you step up your remote interpreting game:

 

  1. Practice speaking clearly to improve your communication.
  2. Practice your intonation and tone to ensure you accurately convey information.
  3. Take voice acting lessons to better express feelings.
  4. Practice interpreting audio and video. Try:
    • Interpreting podcasts as you listen.
    • Interpreting videos from industries you work with.
    • Listening to a range of native and non-native speakers (males and females of various ages).
    • Speeding up videos and trying to formulate the main points.
  1. Prepare your remote interpreting space. That means:
    • Using a USB headset.
    • Experimenting with browsers to see which works best.
    • Knowing your equipment.
    • Creating a quiet, distraction-free environment on your end.

 

Bonus: Use an interpreting platform, which offers several advantages over telecommunication apps such as Zoom and Skype. Some advantages of using Boostlingo include:

 

  • Enhanced privacy and security features.
  • HIPAA compliant for telehealth interpreting.
  • EU GDPR compliant for interpreting internationally.
  • Fully reportable—call details are immediately exportable and reportable.
  • Access to backend data support, which Zoom and Skype won’t provide.

 

The Benefits of Interpreting Platforms

 

Thanks to innovations in technology, remote interpreting is easier than ever. Interpretation platforms help you manage your schedule, accept on-demand requests, and track your earnings. And as new features such as video conferencing are added, platforms are getting better at meeting clients’ needs—which means for opportunities for interpreters.

Want to find out if Boostlingo’s platform is right for you? Contact us today to learn more!