Compliance

Thanks to video remote interpreting (VRI), individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can access a sign language interpreter regardless of their location. However, this technology poses an important question. Does VRI comply with the requirements established under the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) act? The short answer is: it depends.

 

What Is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

 

The ADA is a U.S. civil rights law that prohibitions discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. That includes jobs, schools, medical facilities, transportation, and all establishments that are open to the general public.

 

Under the ADA, many organizations are required to provide access to an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter when a deaf individual needs one to communicate. However, an ASL interpreter may not always be available to come onsite. And while VRI may seem to be the perfect solution, this isn’t always the case.

 

What Are the ADA Requirements for VRI?

 

For VRI to be considered ADA-compliant, it must meet certain requirements. These include:

 

  • Providing real-time, full-motion video and audio over a dedicated high-speed, wide-bandwidth video connection or wireless connection.
  • Delivering high-quality video images that don’t produce lags, choppy, blurry, or grainy images, or irregular pauses in communication.
  • Providing sharply delineated images that are large enough to display the interpreter’s face, arms, hands, and fingers as well as the individuals face, arms, hands, and fingers—regardless of their body position.
  • Providing a clear, audible transmission of voices.

 

Yet despite these requirements, many deaf individuals still face technical and communication issues when it comes to VRI. In some cases, it has even impacted their ability to receive appropriate medical care.

 

Best Practices for ASL Interpreting via Video Remote

 

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to minimize these issues. Recommendations from the National Association of the Deaf include, but aren’t limited to:

 

  • Connecting to a dedicated high-speed, wide-bandwidth connection.
  • Using a flat-panel LCD monitor with a minimum screen size of 19.5 inches.
  • Using devices with cameras that provide a minimum video resolution of 720p. (The ideal resolution is 1080p60.)
  • Testing your microphone beforehand and using noise canceling features.
  • Placing the video screen no further than two feet from the person who needs an interpreter.

Don’t forget to check in with the person periodically, either. To ensure he or she feels comfortable using VRI, you may need to make adjustments to the video screen or the environment.

 

How Boostlingo Can Help

 

Now that you know how to meet the ADA-requirements, you may be wondering how to find a remote ASL interpreter when you need one. Using our VRI platform, you can connect with someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All you need is an internet connection and a device with a webcam to get started.

 

For more information about video remote interpreting for ASL, contact Boostlingo today!

Medical Interpreting

Accuracy is often one of the first cannons in interpreters’ codes of ethics, and there is a good reason for it: in order to trust the interpreter, both parties have to know that their message will be rendered faithfully.  On the face of it, this makes absolute sense – all you have to do is interpret everything you hear exactly as it’s being said. However, in practice, interpreting is fraught with challenges – including those that may affect accuracy. To help with this, we have prepared a helpful list of tips on ensuring accuracy in medical interpreting. 

 

Beware of idioms! 

We all know that literal translation isn’t always the best translation. This is especially true when it comes to idioms and other examples of figurative language such as phrasal verbs. The thing about such figures of speech is that, quite often, their meaning cannot be understood from interpreting each individual part of such phrases – you have to treat each figure of speech as a whole. Consider this: would these phrases make sense if they are interpreted into your working language(s) literally, or word for word? 

  • a game plan
  • rule of thumb
  • between a rock and a hard place
  • the early bird catches the worm 
  • to cost an arm and a leg

When interpreting idioms, be strategic and either find an appropriate equivalent in your working language(s), or interpret the meaning behind the idiom or other figure of speech.

 

Don’t censor rude language 

Sometimes the message interpreters have to render into another language contains language that is less than polite.  Rendering harsh words, critical opinions or expressions of frustration may be uncomfortable business. However, according to the National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Health Care, “The interpreter renders all messages accurately and completely, without adding, omitting, or substituting. For example, an interpreter repeats all that is said, even if it seems redundant, irrelevant, or rude.” So, if an interpreter finds themselves struggling with interpreting something rude, it might be helpful to remember that they aren’t the ones saying these words – they are simply doing the job of facilitating communication between parties, without changing the content or making judgements about its quality. 

 

Don’t  ‘clean up’ an unclear message 

The example from the National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Health Care cited earlier in the article mentions interpreters repeating everything that is said – even those parts that may seem redundant or irrelevant. Some examples of this could be somebody answering a simple yes/no question with a long rambling story, or speaking incoherently using unconnected words (‘word salad’). While it might seem reasonable to pick out only the pertinent information, or try to order an incoherent speech segment into something more comprehensible, doing so would violate the accuracy cannon. So, once again, interpret everything, change or omit nothing. 

 

Conclusion 

As interpreters strive to interpret everything accurately and completely, they should remember that literal translation is not always the best translation and that, no matter how difficult or incoherent a message is, interpreting it exactly as it is said is the most ethical thing to do. After all, as Jim Rohn, a prominent motivational speaker once said, “Accuracy builds credibility.” 

 

Interpreting clients

Building a client base is an ever-present challenge for interpreters. Whether you’re just starting out or having been in the business for years, you always need to be on the lookout for new opportunities. Fortunately, there are several ways to market yourself as the right person for the job. Sometimes a well-crafted resume is enough, but sometimes you need to get a little more creative. Below are five ways to get more interpreting clients—from traditional methods that still work to outside-of-the-box ideas.

 

  1. Highlight Your Area(s) of Specialization

 

Language and interpreting skills are only half of the equation when it comes to getting hired. Potential clients also need someone who understands their industry and has the required credentials. Getting certified in your field is one the best ways to do just that. In some industries, such as healthcare and legal, you may need a state or national certification to qualify for most jobs. If your area of specialization doesn’t have a certification program, highlight your professional training, any continuing education courses, and/or membership in industry-related organizations.

 

  1. Build Your Remote Interpreting Skills

 

Remote interpreting is quickly becoming the norm in healthcare, business, and even legal settings. Yet it poses some unique challenges that onsite interpreters don’t face. From more difficulty building a rapport between participants to trouble with technology, it takes some adjusting to make the switch. However, with a little practice you can improve your remote interpreting skills. If you already have experience, be sure to highlight that when you market yourself to potential clients.

 

  1. Network, Network, Network

 

As with any field, people prefer to work with someone they know and trust. While COVID-19 has made it more difficult to make new connections, virtual events and conferences are still great ways to find new clients. By attending virtually, you’ll also keep up with industry trends, learn about the latest technology, and even earn continuing education credits.

 

  1. Film a Video Introduction

 

If you really want to stand out from the competition, film a short video introduction to send to potential clients. This lets you showoff your professionalism—and language skills—in a more personable way. Potential clients will get a better feel for who you are beyond your resume. If you have a website, be sure to upload it there as well.

 

  1. Use an Online Interpretation Platform

 

As an independent contractor, you’re responsible prospecting, scheduling, and tracking your finances. Staying organized is of the utmost importance if you wan to succeed. And here’s where the right software can help. Built with interpreters in mind, Boostlingo’s interpretation platform lets you manage your schedule—and your income all in one place. And thanks to our web/mobile app, you can accept new assignments no matter where you are. You never have to worry about missing an opportunity.

 

Want to find out if Boostlingo is right for you? Start your free trial today!

 

 

The United States is the land of linguistic diversity—with at least 350 languages spoken at home. Although Spanish, Chinese, and French round out the three most common after English, millions of residents speak a language of lesser diffusion. While each of these cultures add to America’s diversity, language barriers can make it difficult to access healthcare, legal services, and more.

 

If you need an interpreter who speaks Spanish, even on short notice, you’ll likely find one without much trouble. Yet what if you need someone who speaks Swahili? Or Telugu? Depending on where you live, this can pose a major challenge. Fortunately, remote interpreting options make it easy to find an interpreter regardless of your location—or theirs.

 

But before we get into the benefits of remote interpreting, let’s take a look at the linguistic diversity across the country.

 

Language Diversity Across America

 

The U.S. Census Bureau released a set of its most comprehensive data on languages in November 2015. Based on American Community Survey data, it includes information on 350 languages. Below are some statistics from five of the largest metropolitan areas.

 

New York

 

  • At least 192 languages are spoken at home.
  • Bengali, with 105,765 speakers, is one of the area’s smaller language groups.

 

Los Angeles

 

  • At least 185 languages are spoken at home.
  • Indonesian, with 12,750 speakers, is one of the area’s smaller language groups.

 

Chicago

 

  • At least 153 languages are spoken at home.
  • Serbian, with 17,490 speakers, is one of the area’s smaller language groups.

 

Dallas

 

  • At least 156 languages are spoken at home.
  • Telugu, with 12,630 speakers, is one of the area’s smallest language groups.

 

Philadelphia

 

  • At least 146 languages are spoken at home.
  • Malayalam, with 10,370 speakers is one of the area’s smallest language groups.

 

The Benefits of Remote Interpreting

 

As you can see, even languages of lesser diffusion may make up relatively large communities, especially in metropolitan areas. However, there may still be a shortage of professional interpreters who speak that language. Here’s where remote interpreting comes.

 

There are two methods of remote interpreting: over-the-phone and video remote. Both methods let you work with an interpreter without bringing them onsite. This not only helps you save on travel expenses, but can help you get an interpreter on short notice.

 

So, how do you connect with a remote interpreter? One way is through Boostlingo’s easy-to-use interpreting platform. All you need is a phone or webcam and internet access. There’s no need to download any software. Plus, you’ll gain access to the Boostlingo Professional Interpreter Network, which includes interpreters who speak over 200 languages.

 

Want to find out if Boostlingo is right for you? Start your free trial today!

 

 

education post

The 2020-2021 school year may turn out to be one of the most challenging in recent history. From virtual classes to hybrid learning to new restrictions in the classroom due to COVID-19, students and teachers will need to quickly adapt. But one thing that hasn’t changed? The need for interpreters in education.

 

Interpreting in Higher Education

 

In 2018, the number of international students in the U.S. reached a new high of 1.9 million. As the top study abroad destination, the U.S. offers numerous benefits for students who want to get ahead in today’s world. Yet in order to fully take advantage of this opportunity, many students must first overcome language barriers. Here’s where educational interpreters come.

 

Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, schools must ensure that that students who are learning English have an equal opportunity to succeed academically. By offering interpreting services, colleges and universities can give limited-English proficient (LEP) students the support they need to do just that.

 

Interpreting in K-12 Education

 

International college students aren’t the only ones who need assistance from an educational interpreter, either. K-12 students who have recently relocated to the U.S. or primarily speak another language at home typically need language support while they’re learning English.

 

According to The Pew Research Center, there were nearly five million English language learners in the U.S. public school system as of 2015. Of those students, the majority speak Spanish at home in 45 states and Washington D.C. However, the majority in states such as Maine and Vermont spoke less common languages, such as Somali and Nepali, respectively.

 

This puts teachers and school administrators in difficult position given the circumstances. Students still need help from interpreters, but many are learning from home. And even if students are returning to the classroom, schools may be hesitant to bring interpreters onsite.

 

Video Remote Interpreting to the Rescue

 

Fortunately, video remote interpreting gives students access to an interpreter in the classroom and at home. With Boostlingo, teachers can connect with an interpreter in seconds. And thanks to the Boostlingo Professional Interpreters Network (BPIN), they’ll have access to interpreters who speak over 200 languages, including American Sign Language (ASL). Plus, our new Zoom integration feature makes it easy to help LEP students, without giving up the platform that teachers grown comfortable using.

 

Want to learn more about how Boostlingo can help in the classroom? Contact us today to schedule your free trial!

 

Virtual Event

The year 2020 is the year when everything went fully virtual – from work and learning to dinner parties. Conferences held by professional interpreting and translation organizations are no exception. In this post we prepared a round up of virtual conferences happening this fall to help you stay on track with your professional development plans for the year. You can now hone your interpreting skills and catch up on new developments in the field without leaving the comfort of your home – just remember to stock up on snacks for coffee breaks!

 

Arizona Translators and Interpreters (ATI) Annual Conference: Getting Down to Business 

When: September 26 – 27, 2020

Cost: ATI Annual Membership + Conference $125.00  

ATI Annual Conference $80.00 

Event Description: As a result of Covid-19, and our responsibility to the welfare of our members, the ATI Board decided to have the 2020 ATI Annual Conference as a fully online/virtual event.

Therefore, we will hold a two (2) day event for the conference in order to attain the maximum CEUs possible. There will be a variety of presentations ranging from regular sessions to workshops. We sure hope to “see” you there!

CEUs: ATA CEPs, 9CCHI CEUs

Event Website: https://atiinc.org/event/arizona-translators-and-interpreters-ati-annual-conference-2/

 

Association of Language Companies 2020 Virtual Summit 

When: September 15-17, 2020

Cost: One Day Pass $99, ALC Member and Partnership Association 3-Day Pass $199, ALC Non-Member

3-Day Pass $249

Event Description: Agile Thinking | Innovative Solutions | Best Practices | Forecasting the Future. Three days of education, networking, and collaborating with the brightest minds in the LSC Community

Event website: https://www.alcus.org/general/custom.asp?page=ALCVirtualSummit

 

American Translators Association (ATA) 61st Annual Conference

When: October 21-24, 2020

Cost: *ATA Member  **Non-member  ***ATA Student

Early Registration (by September 28): $299* $475**  $145***

Standard Registration (after September 28): $389*  $615**  $185***

Late Registration (after October 16): $499*  $805**  $245***

Event Description: Learning is interactive: 120 sessions will be streamed live. You’ll be able to participate in Q&As, personally follow up with speakers, and switch between sessions just as if you were attending in person. 

Networking still exists:  Meeting up with friends and making new ones, even virtually, is invaluable right now. Keep up to date with technology and trends in the Exhibit Hall. Look for job opportunities at the Job Fair. Reach new clients by making connections with colleagues.

There’s no better value for the money: You’ll have long-term access to all 120 sessions on demand. With the early registration rate for members at $299, that’s less than $3 per session. Plus there are no travel or hotel costs.

CEUs: Click here for details 

Event Website:https://ata61.org/

 

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) Connected 2020

When: September 22 – 25, 2020

Cost: $295
Event Description: Organized as a virtual conference, GALA Connected will afford a wider audience the opportunity to engage and discuss what the future will hold. At an affordable price point it will also provide more professionals — be they supply- or buy-side, start-up or mature business, academia or private sector, core or allied industry, LSP or language technology provider — to join this conversation. We can only build a shared future through wider participation of the entire international community and GALA Connected is the right forum at the right time to begin the building process.

Event Website: https://www.gala-global.org/conference/GALA-Connected-2020

 

Midwest Association of Translators & Interpreters 17th Annual Conference 

When: September 26, 2020

Cost: Individual Members – $50.00, Non-members – $60.00, Student Member – $25.00, Student Non-member – $30.00

CEUs: pending from ATA, CCHI, Wisconsin Courts

Event Website: https://www.matiata.org/page-1829491

 

Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters 2020 virtual conference: From Masks to Mastery

When: September 12-13 and September 19-20, 2020

Cost: General – $55.00 (For non OSTI members), General + One-Year OSTI Membership – $100.00, General + Two-Year OSTI Membership – $145.00, Member – $45.00, Students (Proof Required) – $45.00.

Event Description: 30+ sessions spanning over 2 weekends (4 days). Topics: Remote Interpreting, COVID-19, Medical, Advocacy, Ethics, Translation, Business Practices, and more. Meet your colleagues in the lunch breakout rooms, bring your literary translation work to read in the Open Mic, or just come to enjoy. 9/19 Saturday night social on Zoom. Show your support for your profession and community through your participation. Get inspired and recharged!

CEUs: ATA, OJD, WA AOC, WA DSHS, CCHI, IMIA, RID (click for details)

Event Website: https://ostiweb.org/2020-Conference

 

Slator: Managing Change and Innovation Workshop 

When: September 10 

Cost: 75$

Event Description: In this unprecedented time of business crisis, how can leaders manage change and drive innovation to ensure their businesses have the best chance to survive and grow? In this 90-minute interactive workshop, learn how Covid-19 has disrupted businesses, and what organisations can do to embrace change, transform and lead their organisations into the future.Participants will learn the frameworks for corporate innovation, the role of Agile methodology in a time of urgency, and how you can implement your ideas with  speed across your organisation.

Event Website: https://slator.com/slator-managing-change-september-2020/

 

Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters & Translators (TAHIT) 2020  Educational Symposium

When: November 20-21, 2020 

Event Description: Join us for our first virtual event that is sure to bring even greater diversity to our event full of networking, educational opportunities, and fun! Texans and language professionals from across the country and abroad have come to rely on TAHIT to create an annual event that does not disappoint!  It is the premiere event for CEUs, networking, learning, and making great new friends.  We do all this, while keeping our symposium the most affordable and highest quality in the nation, in our humble Texas opinion! This year we raise the bar once again.

Event Website: https://www.tahit.us

 

Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (TAJIT)2020 Annual Conference

When: September 12-13, 2020

Cost: Full conference Member price: $195.00

Full conference Non-member price: $235.00

Student rate: $100.00

Event Description:  Learn & Get Inspired: Every year TAJIT offers its members a wonderful  opportunity to meet their spoken and sign language interpreter colleagues as well as fellow translators, and to become better at what we do by sharing our knowledge and experiences. This year we had to get creative as we confronted the unrelenting scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic.  All our lives have been upended but this virtual conference will provide a safe avenue for us to learn together and maintain that precious sense of community we all treasure. The TAJIT Board of Directors and its Conference Committee have worked hard to put together a quality program that meets the high expectations set by past conferences. Here’s looking forward to another successful TAJIT Conference!    

CEUs:  JBCC CE: 8 hours, ATA 8 CEPs

Event Website: https://www.tajit2020.com/

 

The Evolution Of Localization: 10 Years in the Industry: Then, Now, and Beyond  with Memsource

Cost: Free

Event Description: This event will take a deep look into the role of technology in the present and future of the translation industry: How will one of the largest ever transactions in the localization technology space shape the industry? What is key for localization teams to keep up with the fast-developing world and how has it changed in the last decade? How do we understand machine translation today and what will be its role in the future?

When: September 15 

Event Website: https://try.memsource.com/evolution-of-localization-online-event/

 

Professional Association of Mississippi Interpreters and Translators (PAMIT) and Interpreters and Translators Association of Alabama (ITAA) 2020 Joint Virtual Conference 

When: November 7, 2020

Cost: $35 – $65

Event Description: The first joint virtual conference will feature 3 live events: a keynote address in the morning, a networking event right after lunch, and a panel in the early evening. The rest of the sessions will be pre-recorded and accessible for two weeks. 

CEUs: Requested from CCHI, NBCMI, RID and Alabama Courts

Event Website:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heroes-in-action-advancing-multilingual-services-and-professionals-tickets-117878091545

 

The Translation and Localization Conference TLC + KT 2020

When: September 25 – 27, 2020

Event Description: Join us at one of the most renowned translation industry events in Europe!

This time entirely on-line together with the Polish event. Take part in the conference for the WHOLE translation industry! At our conferences, you will meet not only translators and interpreters, but also technical writers, QA experts, CAT tools experts, representatives of the academia, the media, multinational corporations… and many more!

Cost: 79.95 EURO

Event Website: https://translation-conference.com/

 

We hope you are able to attend these wonderful professional events. While we’ll miss travelling to new places and meeting colleagues in person, we are also excited about the new possibilities virtual conferences bring. Happy networking! 

English may be the world’s lingua franca, but not all business professionals can speak it. If you’re holding a business meeting with colleagues from around the world, you’ll likely need a corporate interpreter to help you communicate. However, to ensure that your meeting runs smoothly, you need to prepare. Here’s an overview of the steps you should take.

 

Choosing a Corporate Interpreter

 

First, you’ll want to ask participants which language(s) they need. Even if someone speaks English well, they may still prefer the assistance of an interpreter. This will also help you prevent confusion and misunderstanding during the meeting.

 

Next, you’ll need to choose the dialect. This ensures the interpreter uses the correct vocabulary and understands the business and cultural norms in the region. For example, say you’re doing business with a Brazilian company. A European Portuguese interpreter may use terms that have a different meaning in Brazil, and they may not understand the norms in South America.

 

If possible, you should choose an industry-specific interpreter. An interpreter who knows your industry will understand the terminology and protocols, and will likely provide a more accurate interpretation.

 

Preparing Your Corporate Interpreter

 

After you’ve hired an interpreter, hold a pre-meeting with them as far in advance as you can. This will give them time to prepare and do any necessary research.

 

Your pre-meeting should include an overview of the purpose of the meeting and what you plan to discuss. If you you’re giving a presentation, send them a copy to review. And be sure to cover any concepts or terms that the interpreter isn’t familiar with.

 

Preparing Your Participants    

 

Interpreting takes time. That means participants should plan to block out additional time in their schedules to prevent have any conflicts. This is especially true when you use video remote interpreting due to audio, video, or internet connectivity issues that can arise.

 

If participants are working from home, encourage them to take the meeting in a quiet space and use headphones to block out noise. Ask them to do their best to keep spouses, children, and pets from entering the room. Interpreters need to maintain their focus, and distractions make it more difficult to do their job.

 

Choosing an Interpreting Platform

 

Unless you plan to have an interpreter come onsite for an in-person meeting, you’ll need to choose an interpreting platform. Although platforms like Skype and Zoom work well for business meetings, they weren’t designed with interpreters’ needs in mind.

 

Fortunately, Boostlingo 4.1 includes features such as Zoom integration and four-way video conference scheduling to meet the needs of both business professionals and interpreters. It’s easy-to-use, secure, and GDRP compliant. You’ll also gain access to our Boost Professional Interpreter Network of linguists who speak over 200 languages.

 

Want to try it for yourself? Contact us to start your free trial today!

We all know that accuracy is one of the most important canons in the interpreter’s code of ethics – whether we are talking about medical or legal interpretation.

There are many aspects to accuracy, such as maintaining the register, style, and tone of the speaker, asking for pauses if necessary, taking efficient notes, and correcting errors if they occur. People who are not familiar with how interpreting works may also assume that in order to be accurate, interpreters have to interpret everything literally, or word for word. In many cases, it is possible to find the exact equivalent, especially when a speaker uses straightforward, non-metaphorical language. But some phrases, such as idiomatic expressions, or even individual words, are harder to interpret – and literal, word-for-word translation can lead to misinterpretation. But just because a word or a phrase is considered to be untranslatable – that is,  no equivalent can be found when it is translated into another language, it doesn’t mean it can be simply omitted – you just have to work a little harder to figure out how to translate the meaning behind such phrases. And because here at Boostlingo we love a good linguistic challenge, we put together a list of some fun untranslatable words and phrases for you to enjoy! 

 

  • Sem’ pyatnitz na nedele (Russian)  – literally translated to ‘for someone to have seven Fridays in a week”, this expression describes someone who  isn’t reliable, changes their mind often or doesn’t  keep their promises. 
  • Chī dòufu –  “To eat someone’s tofu’ (Chinese) means to flirt with someone. 
  • Tsundoku” (Japanese) –  buying books and letting them pile it up instead of reading them. 
  • Dar calabazas a alguien (Spanish) – literally translated as ‘to give someone pumpkins’, this phrase means to reject someone or to turn them down. 
  • “Peregar” (Russian) – the smell of last night’s alcohol on somebody’s breath. 
  • Gluggaveður” (Icelandic) – literally translated as ‘window-weather’, this words describes the kind of weather that is nice to look at through the window but not nice to be out in. 
  • Veshat’ lapshu na ushy – “to hang noodles on one’s ears” (Russian) means to tell lies to someone.
  • Abbiocco (Italian) – this word describes the sleepy feeling you get after a big meal.
  • Saru mo ki kara ochiru (Japanese) – literally translated as “Even monkeys fall from trees’, this proverb means that everyone makes mistakes. 
  • Pålegg (Norwegian): Anything and everything you can put on a slice of bread to make an open-faced sandwich. 

 

Are you interested in learning more untranslatable phrases? Check out this TED Talks blog where TED translators share some of their favorite difficult-to-translate idioms, this video where TED translators share even more untranslatable words and phrases and this list of illustrations containing untranslatable words and their meaning.

 

Legal Interpreters

Although legal interpreters are typically associated with the courtroom, they serve a vital role when it comes to community outreach. Organizations that provide legal services, advice, and education rely on interpreters to communicate with community members who are deaf or have limited English skills.

 

Why Work with a Legal Interpreter?

 

Hiring a legal interpreter can be costly. Organizations that have limited budgets may be tempted to ask bilingual employees or other community members to interpret for them. Yet they don’t always make the best interpreters. Why? Because it takes more than being bilingual.

 

Bilingual employees may have a strong legal vocabulary in both languages, but unless they’ve studied interpreting, they may struggle to keep up. Important information could be lost or misinterpreted.

 

Relying on community members, especially family members, is an even poorer choice. Community members not only lack training, but may be bias and could purposely mis-interpret or leave out information to protect a friend or family member.

 

However, you can avoid these problems by working with a legal interpreter. Not only are legal interpreters fluent in English and another language, but they:

 

  • Have completed specialized training to perform their job.
  • Understand the legal process and state laws.
  • Are neutral parties who have agreed to follow a code of ethics established by the state.

 

As you can see, a qualified legal interpreter can actually save you time and money by getting the job right the first time. And even if you’re still worried about budget constraints, there are a few ways to lower your expenses.

 

Interpreter Costs and Government Agencies 

 

If you work with a government agency, you won’t need to pay for an interpreter. It’s the agency’s responsibility to provide an interpreter either in-person, over-the-phone, or via video remote.

 

According to the Department of Justice, government agencies shouldn’t rely on community organizations to provide an interpreter, serve as interpreters, or pay for any reasonable accommodations.

 

In fact, government agencies must use neutral and accurate parties as interpreters during an investigation. If they rely on community-provided interpreters, it may trigger ethics questions around receiving a “gift” of interpreting from the organization.

 

The Benefits of Remote Interpreting

 

If you’re not working with a government agency and need an interpreter, remote interpreting is a more affordable alternative to bringing someone onsite. While in-person interpreting is often best, it’s not always possible. Fortunately, over-the-phone and video remote interpreting make it easy to communicate with someone who has limited English skills, without paying the additional expenses. Plus, video remote makes it possible assist someone who is deaf and uses American Sign Language (ASL).

 

Legal Interpreting and Boostlingo

 

Boostlingo’s interpreting platform makes it easy to schedule an onsite interpreter through your language company. You can also call an interpreter from the Boostlingo Professional Interpreters Network (BPIN) on-demand via video remote or over-the-phone. The interpreters in our BPIN speak over 200 languages, including ASL.

 

Want to learn more about how Boostlingo can help? Contact us today to schedule your free demo!

 

 

California AB5

Independent contractors make up a vital part of the language services industry. An interpreter or translator typically works with numerous organizations and is more akin to a small business owner than an employee. However, the California AB5 bill, which is designed to protect employees from being misclassified, threatens to prevent interpreters from doing their job in the state.

 

Here’s a look at AB5 and the impact it could have on interpreters and companies, if the bill isn’t modified.

 

California AB5: A Short Recap

 

The bill was introduced in response to the court decision on a lawsuit filed by Dynamex employees. (Former workers claimed they were classified as independent contractors, but were treated like employees.) In order to prevent employers from misclassifying employees, AB5 requires companies to use the ABC test when hiring a contractor in California. The worker must:

 

  1. Be free from the entity’s hiring control;
  2. Perform work that is “outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business”; and
  3. Be in an “independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.”

 

Exemptions include doctors, lawyers, insurance agents, and hairdressers among others. But interpreters and translators were left out.

 

The bill went into law on January 1, 2020, and includes a grace period for companies to comply until 2021.

 

California AB1850 and Interpreters

 

After receiving pushback from several groups (including the language industry), the California Senate introduced AB1850 on January 6, 2020 to address the problems with AB5. The new bill includes an exemption for translators, but not interpreters.

 

On June 11, 2020, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzales acknowledged on the assembly floor that the bill still needed work. But the California Senate has yet to announce any changes for interpreters. This poses a major problem for people who need an American Sign Language (ASL) or foreign language interpreter.

 

Why Interpreters Matter

 

Access to an interpreter isn’t a nice to have—it’s a legal right. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing must have access to communication in press conferences, courtrooms, and schools under the American With Disabilities Act of 1990. People with limited English proficiency are also entitled to an interpreter in these settings.

 

If organizations are barred from hiring contract interpreters, people may not have access to one when they need assistance. This could prevent millions of California residents from fully participating in their communities.

 

What Can Companies Do?

 

Ideally, the California Senate will add interpreters to the list of exemptions before the grace period ends. However, if you work for a company that hires contract interpreters, remote interpreting may offer a short-term solution in some instances. Since the bill only applies to workers in California, many organizations have started seeking contractors who work remotely in other states.

 

Think remote interpreting may be right for you? Contact Boostlingo to start your free trial with our unified interpretation management platform.