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7 Industries with a Growing Need for Interpretation Services

industries with growing need for interpretation services

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We live in a global economy thanks to the Internet age. With that can come challenges, such as a language barrier.

Why would a business let a language barrier keep them from a big sale or opportunity?

A professional interpretation service provider can help businesses overcome such obstacles.

Hiring the right interpretation service provider can be a secret weapon to a sales team when it comes to international business relations.
If you’re a language service company looking to diversify your interpretation offers or even an interpreter looking for an industry to focus on, here some industries that are worth your time and energy when it’s time for a new sales or marketing campaign:

The Biggest Need Is in Healthcare

In healthcare, the ability to understand a patient might not just affect the bottom line. It could also be a matter of life and death. In 1980, the family of 18-year-old Willie Ramirez brought him into the hospital in a coma. His family told a bilingual staff member that he was “intoxicado.” The staff member translated this as intoxicated, when in reality the definition is more along the lines of ingesting something that made you ill.  They believed he had food poisoning. They treated him as if he had suffered an intentional drug overdose, when in reality he was experiencing an intracerebral hemorrhage. The delay in properly treating him left the 18-year-old baseball player quadraplegic. He received a $71 million malpractice settlement. A proper interpretation service could have saved that boy.

Did you know that U.S. healthcare law states that care providers must advise a patient of their rights?

In the case that a patient does not speak English, they must seek an interpreter to guarantee proper communication.

In the U.S., almost 65 million people are not speaking English in their homes. Of that group, 26 million say they don’t have a comfortable grasp of English.

In a medical emergency, like with the case of Willie Ramirez or any of those other 26 million Americans, quick access to an interpreter (or the lack thereof) can have drastic implications on someone’s life or livelihood. Health care professionals need to quickly act and must have accurate information when it comes to symptoms, medical history, allergies or more. Additionally, rural area hospitals are particularly vulnerable. As of this writing, there is one certified medical interpreter in the entire state of California for the Hmong language. However, there are almost 35,000 Hmong that may struggle with English. Hospitals all over the country struggle to hire qualified bilingual staff to assist with translations in addition to their main responsibilities. This is why there is a great demand for medical interpreters.
You must gain specialization in this area to success as a medical interpreter. It’s a must to have a grasp of medical jargon in order to properly communicate the symptoms, conditions, medications and allergies of a patient.

The Legal Profession Needs Language Services

There is a growing demand in the legal and judicial professions for interpretations services.

Did you know that there are more than 350 non-English languages spoken in American homes, according the the 2015 Census? In the majority of major metropolitan areas, there are at minimum 125 various non-English languages spoken in the home. Much like the healthcare field, courts are required by law to offer languages services for those who may struggle with the English language. There is such a massive shortage of qualified interpreters that cases wind up being tossed, or reviews wind up being significantly delayed. There are more than 7 million individuals in California who don’t speak English well. To service that population, there are a mere 2,000 court interpreters.
This is only one example of why there is a large need for qualified and specialized interpreters to overcome language barriers in the legal field.

Entertainment, In Your Own Language

Entertainment can and should be accessible to all thanks to interpretation services. In fact, sign language interpreters are now a mainstay at concerts. Some have even developed their own following! Sign language interpreters at hip hop shows are never not fun. There are more than 15,000 live entertainment venues across the nation who host events year-round. Every performance should be made accessible to more people with the addition of a sign language interpreter. Concerts, theater, magic shows and more. The opportunities don’t end there. In the global world of today, interpretation services may be needed for broadcast interviews, a CEO in the U.S. might be making remote presentations or hosting Q&As with faraway lands or a scientist in Israel may need to present their findings to the world. Conferences and conventions are another part of this segment. In 2018, 250+ million individuals attended conferences in the U.S, and that number is expected to grow. Many of those attendees need an interpretation service to maximize the benefits of the conferences.

Business, Finance, and Banking Depend on Communication

As we’ve mentioned, we live in a global economy. It’s inescapable in the business world. Negotiations that cross borders and languages are commonplace. Language services can benefit these situations, whether it be in-person, by video or via teleconference. Like other fields, the world of business requires interpreters with a particular set of skills (you might say businesses would be taken with such a skill set).

For example, Cyprus, a small country in the Mediterranean Sea, must handle oil and natural gas exploration negotiations in six languages (Greek, Turkish, English, Russian, Hebrew and Korean). Those interpreters with the specialization to thrive in the world of banking and capital markets may find bigger opportunities in tax havens such as Switzerland. While we’re on the topic of banking and translations, in 2009 HSBC Bank had to undergo a $10 million rebrand thanks to a translation fail. Their tagline “Assume Nothing” was mistranslated to “Do Nothing” in several countries.

Interpretation Services for the Travel Industry

The travel and tourism industry has been incredible growth in recent years. Additionally, one in 10 jobs across the globe are in this sector. A number that is expected to grow. That number pales in comparison to the travelers they are servicing. In 2015, more than one billion travelers ventured outside their home country. That number is projected to grow 4-5% year over year. These numbers are hard to ignore. Interpretation services will be required for travelers to book reservations and traverse a foreign land.

Communication Is Compulsory for Government Services and Public Schools

In 2017 as Hurricane Irma neared, emergency officials in Manatee County, Florida hired a lifeguard as a sign language interpreter to provide evacuation warnings to the deaf community. This caused confusion in the community as he signed warnings for “bears,” “monsters” and “pizza.” This may sound silly, but there are essential communications and interactions that a local government or community may need to have with their people. In these cases, professional interpreter services are vital to ensure everyone can comprehend what is going on. There are laws at every level of government that dictate an interpreter be provided for certain communications. Additionally, there is a need in public schools for classes to met the needs of students and parents who speak non-English languages or who are deaf. The U.S. faces an incredible shortage of qualified ASL interpreters, despite programs to recruit and train in this area.

Once again, if you’re qualified for these roles, you’re sure to find plenty of work in this space.

The Insurance Industry is critically dependent upon linguistic accuracy

The number of individuals who need insurance is not equal to those who need insurance that speak English. There are interpretation service jobs to be filled in the insurance industry. Whether it be for health, home, auto, workers’ compensation or more, accuracy is essential. For tasks such as risk analysis, insurance agents may conduct in-person interviews to access the situation. Accurate information is critical to to a company’s bottom line. Also, for instances such as accident claims or property theft, an interpreter service must be able to navigate the detailed fact-finding process and even non-English speaking witness interviews.
Like every sector, an interpretation service with specialization in this field will find ample opportunities.

It’s not just in our largest cities that you’ll hear multiple languages being spoken as you move about your day. Whether it’s in the world of health care, entertainment or business, interpretation services deliver connection, collaboration and accessibility to all involved. The need for interpreters is only going to increase. Seeking a specialization in one of the many sectors in need will benefit you and that industry.

Is there an industry that you feel we didn’t properly represent? Make your case in the comments below!

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As technological innovations emerge at a rapid pace, we’re living in an increasingly interconnected world. Breakthroughs in transportation and telecommunications have allowed us to engage with people from different corners of the world and this newfound interconnectedness has revolutionized global interactions. But as the world gets smaller, language barriers bring an additional layer of challenges to cross-cultural engagements.