Remote Interpreters

As the 2022 Open Enrollment Period nears, health insurance providers are gearing up to assist millions of people who wish to enroll in affordable coverage. From November 1st to December 15th, U.S. citizens and legal residents will be eligible to purchase health insurance through the federal and state marketplaces. Yet a lack of access to language services often stands in the way of limited English proficiency (LEP) speakers from doing just that.

 

Bilingual Customer Service or Remote Interpreters?    

 

While information about Open Enrollment is available in multiple languages, this isn’t always enough. Why? Because navigating the U.S. health insurance system can be challenging—even for native English speakers. In fact, a 2019 Health Insurance Literacy survey found that 51% of respondents didn’t fully understand basic insurance terms. Now imagine how much more difficult choosing a plan must be for the 23% of marketplace plan enrollees who speak another language at home.

 

Fortunately, remote interpreters can bridge the language gap and help ensure everyone finds a health plan that fits their needs. While bilingual customer service representatives serve a vital role, they aren’t always available during peak hours. Nor is it realistic to hire enough staff for every language your customers may need. By connecting with a remote interpreter when necessary, you’ll reduce wait times, enroll more customers, and boost customer satisfaction.

 

Over-the-Phone Interpreting (OPI)

 

When it comes to customer service, over-the-phone (OPI) interpreting is the most accessible option. Anyone calling from a landline or a cell phone without a data plan can speak with an interpreter in minutes. It’s also the most efficient way to assist from a call center.

 

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) 

 

Video remote interpreting (VRI) works well when you want to create a more personal connection. Health insurance agents who typically meet customers in person can use VRI to replicate an onsite meeting remotely. It’s also a great way to provide language services during a virtual session where attendees can ask questions and enroll in plans. And last but not least, it allows you to assist customers who use American Sign Language (ASL).

 

How Boostlingo Can Help

 

Now that you know the benefits of remote interpreting, it’s time to find a platform that meets your needs. With Boostlingo, you can connect with an interpreter in minutes—either over the phone or via video remote. All you need is internet access and a computer or tablet with a webcam for video calls. Plus, you’ll gain access to our Boostlingo Professional Interpreting Network (BPIN), which includes over 10,000 interpreters who speak over 200 languages.

 

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french interpretation

Nestled on the island of Hispaniola, Haiti is known for its beautiful beaches, rich cultural heritage, and resilient people. Yet due to the triple tragedy of natural disasters, gang violence, and COVID-19, thousands of Haitians are fleeing their homeland. Even those who make it to the U.S. still face shurdles before establishing a permanent home. One of those hurdles? The lack of access to Haitian Creole interpreters.

Although French is an official language of Haiti, only 5 to 10% of Haitians are functionally bilingual in both languages. And while Haitian Creole traces its roots back to French, they aren’t mutually intelligible. That means French interpreters are typically unable to accurately interpret for Haitian Creole speakers.

French vs. Haitian Creole

Haitian Creole wouldn’t exist without French. In fact, the two languages share about 90% of the same vocabulary. Yet Haitian Creole differs from contemporary French in several significant ways. Here are just four:

  • Pronunciation. Haitian Creole is based on 17th Century French, which is why pronunciation differs from contemporary French.
  • Vocabulary. Haitian Creole vocabulary has been influenced by Spanish, Portuguese, West African languages—and more recently—English. Many cognates also have different meanings.
  • Grammar. Verbs aren’t conjugated in Haitian Creole. The tense is understood based on the presence or absence of a tense marker that precedes the verb. Genders for nouns are also largely absent.
  • Spelling. Haitian Creole has its own orthography.

Given these major differences, it’s easy to see why a French interpreter would struggle when working with a Haitian Creole speaker. The problem lies in the fact that there are roughly 274 million French speakers worldwide compared to 10 to 12 million Haitian Creole speakers.

Haitian Creole and Remote Interpreting

Fortunately, remote interpreting options have made it easier than ever to connect with a Haitian Creole interpreter, regardless of location. Both over-the-phone (OPI) and video remote  interpreting (VRI) serve as fast, affordable alternatives to onsite sessions. With remote interpreting, you can connect with a Haitian Creole interpreter in minutes—which is especially important in settings such as healthcare. It can also help you assist Haitians who need to access legal aid, social services, and more.

With the Boostlingo Unified Interpretation Platform, you not only gain access to OPI and VRI options, but the Boostlingo Professional Interpreting Network (BPIN) as well. Haitian Creole is just one of over 200 languages available, and that includes On-Demand 24/7 service for OPI. (We recommend pre-scheduling VRI calls.)

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