From the Editor
Welcome to our May edition of Language Lines.
This month we'll focus on how telephonic interpreting is assisting law enforcement agencies and medical facilities. We'll also provide tips on overcoming language barriers while traveling and introduce a handy little application for your iPhone that can assist you while traveling abroad.
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Telephone interpreting is often used in medical and business settings. But it can also be used in law enforcement.
In response to the needs of a multicultural and multilingual population, New Zealand is turning to telephonic interpreting to strengthen law enforcement services:
“The [New Zealand] Ethnic Affairs Office hosts a language line which offers a free telephone interpreting service in 40 languages to clients and officials of 60 Government agencies.
Until a New Zealand call centre can be set up, calls to the Crimestoppers phone number and online crime reports will be handled by the British Crimestoppers call centre, which will send the anonymous information to New Zealand Police for action.
’I think Crimestoppers is a fantastic initiative,’ Mrs Wong [Minister of Ethnic Affairs] says…’It’s about making sure people of all backgrounds can help in this important area of law and order,’ she says. ‘When I was door-knocking before and since the election, it was amazing how much the residents had in common. Safety was a huge issue, one that all people share.’”
(Extract from “Breaking barriers to beat crime,” New Zealand Times Online, Nov. 2009)
In the business world, telephonic interpreting can allow your company to increase customer loyalty and reduce customer service interaction time. It also makes your products or services more accessible to non-English speakers – an important selling point even within the USA.
For more information about all types of language interpreting, contact Language Translation, Inc. Located in San Diego, California, we have been providing language services domestically and internationally for over 20 years.
A new report indicates that the telephonic interpreting market is increasing, especially in the health care sector.
A new Common Sense Advisory report emphasizes the rise in telephonic interpreting as a solution to linguistic and geographic barriers. Telephone interpreting now represents over a quarter of the world interpreting market, and income from telephonic interpreting is expected to nearly double worldwide by 2012.
According to the research group’s findings, medical interpreting represents about a third of all telephone interpreting carried out in the USA. This is not surprising since hospitals that receive federal funds are required to provide language services to all patients.
“’The mythical translation device that allows people to communicate effortlessly across written and spoken forms of all languages has yet to be invented,” said report analyst, Nataly Kelly, in a press release. “’Until that time, people can turn to telephone interpreting services that can connect them with a human interpreter for nearly 200 languages in under 30 seconds. With the availability of such services, there is no reason why people should struggle with spoken language barriers.’”
In international business, telephonic interpreting can allow your company to increase customer loyalty and reduce customer service interaction time. It also makes your products or services more accessible to non-English speakers – an important selling point even within the USA. For more information about all types of language interpreting, contact Language Translation Inc. Located in San Diego, California, we have been providing language services domestically and internationally for over 19 years. “Let us show you how good translation should be.”
TIPS & TIDBITS
Do you have the interest and economic wherewithal to travel abroad but find the language barriers intimidating? Or, have been abroad thinking that the whole world understands English? Great satisfaction and self confidence can be obtained by gaining the ability to make yourself understood in a foreign land. You don't need months of preparation either. Learning how to make yourself understood in a foreign language will open a world of opportunities.
Step 1: Buy a dictionary and a phrase book. The are especially inexpensive if purchased from places like Amazon. These are available in pocket size so they're easy to carry with you. The phrase books are divided into topics like travel, shopping, and dining. Study the pronunciation tips. See how sentences go together.
Step 2: Learn common greetings and phrases. Hello, thank you, goodbye, please, airport, bus, taxi, bathroom, restaurant, left, and right make up some of the most basic vocabulary you'll want to pick up. Learn the words that are specific to the activities that you plan to participate in. Make a list, then practice memorizing while you're on the plane or during other non-productive time.
Step 3: If you have the time, try the Internet for free language tutorials or purchase a language course. For example, search on "Free Spanish tutorial" to find sites that teach Spanish. If at all possible, try to find CD's or a language site that lets you listen to the language.
Step 4: Some free online language courses are quite extensive, offered by the likes of MIT and the BBC. Go to the article on Ranking of Foreign Language OpenCourseWare Education Sources at the http://degreedirectory.org site.
Step 5: In spite of your best efforts, you may still have some difficulties making yourself understood. Try pointing to the word in your dictionary. You should also carry the name of destinations or addresses in written form to show your taxi driver or when trying to get directions.
Step 6: English is the international language. Find someone who speaks it. People who have studied English in school are always eager to put their skills to practice. Remember though, the farther you are from major tourist areas, the harder it will be to find English speakers.
JUST FOR FUN (Humor)
Jibbigo, by Mobile Technologies, is a bilingual translation app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that can translate your speech directly into another language. Currently, the app supports only English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translations, but Mobile Technologies says it will support other languages in the future.
Jibbigo is easy to use, but like most voice-input apps, it works best in environments with low-to-moderate background noise, and you must speak clearly when using it. To start translating, you launch the app and record a sentence in English or Spanish. Jibbigo then translates the spoken input into the appropriate language, displays the translated text, then speaks it using a synthesized voice with an included vocabulary of 40,000-plus words for travelers in a variety of situations, including medical emergencies, restaurant settings, or general conversation.
To take full advantage of the Jibbigo's features, you'll need an iPhone 3GS or a third-generation iPod Touch, since the app supports two-way translations on these devices. Other iPhones and iPods are limited to unidirectional translations, explained in this table that details what works and what doesn't on each Apple device.
We noted that the app took a bit longer to launch then any app we've used before, but other than that, we have no huge complaints. We'll be happy when Jibbigo adds more languages to its repertoire.
A demonstration of Jibbigo can be seen in this video: