Ever wonder what interpreting looks like? Video one shows consecutive interpreting from French into English; video two is simultaneous, chuchotage (whisper) interpreting from English into Spanish.
Guest blog today with information for our Louisville-area contractors from Linda Golden, Project Manager:
Running a business is not an easy task. Invoicing, tax forms, marketing – the to-do list never ends. Yet as an independent contractor, that is what you’re doing: running your own business.
At In Every Language, the interpreters and translators we work with are all independent contractors running their own language businesses. We frequently get calls with questions about invoicing, mileage reimbursement and letters of employment verification; however, IRS Employee vs. Independent Contractor laws limit our legal ability to offer anything but the most basic response to these questions. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Jewish Family and Career Services (JFCS) to offer all of our linguists small business development advice.
Need information on developing an invoice template for your language business? Not sure which tax forms you need to submit? Is travel to an appointment something you can write off on your taxes? What associations should you join? Should you get a business card? JFCS is happy to meet with you to answer all your questions. They also offer free business classes. In fact, a new class on writing a business plan will begin this Sunday (July 25th) at 1:00 PM. To register, call Gary Liebert at (502) 452-6341.
The Institute for Social and Economic Development recently published a brief article about JFCS’s services on their blog. You can read it here: http://www.ised.us/blog/refugee-ida/his-goals-are-within-reach
If you would like to take advantage of the free services at JFCS, call Mary at (502) 452-6341 to schedule an appointment.
Full disclaimer: I’m proud to be a Kentuckian.
No matter which state you’re from, though, you’d have to be living under a rock, far far away from CNN to not have heard about US Senate hopeful Rand Paul’s unfortunate remarks. In an effort to share his beliefs on government’s role (or lack thereof) in business, he unfortunately side-stepped into a nasty civil rights debacle. What the man actually said is beside the point; what’s he’s been accused of saying is that the US government had no right to force businesses’ hand in repealing Jim Crow. Whether those were his exact words or not, the national media rush resulting puts Kentucky forth as the Land of Johnny Redneck, while we scramble as a state to protest the embarrassment Mr Paul has caused.
From recent efforts to un-redneckify this image, something good has come forth: State Senate Resolution 10SS SR31. Proposed by Senator Gerald Neal (D-33), the four page resolution reaffirms Kentucky’s belief in and adherence to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a state. With language that is forthright, moving, and as passionate as you can get and still call it government, Senator Neal invokes the battle long-fought in our country for civil rights. The resolution calls the Civil Rights Act “a statement of a core American value.” Throughout the resolution, the message is clear: civil rights = good, prejudice = bad. But civil rights for whom?
As the owner of a translating and interpreting company, I see a new discrimination when I look across the Bluegrass State. Yes, racial discrimination still exists. I may have personally been born post-Jim Crow, but even I have seen restaurants with separate doors and dining rooms for whites and blacks, still divided by the community in a jus au sanguine kind of way. Laws mean nothing if they are neither followed nor enforced. Racism is still an unfortunate reality in the South. But where racism is slowly starting to disappear, a new form of discrimination is coming forth: prejudice based on national origin.
As a nation, we have Title VI, the portion of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits prejudice on national origin and which requires, thanks to a back-up executive order from President Clinton, that any agency receiving federal funding provide equal language access under the law. (For you lay people out there, that means, in part, translating and interpreting.) But, again, as we learned with laws, they must be either followed or enforced to take meaning. The 1960’s seems like a long time ago to some. The issues we faced with immigration then were different than the issues we face now.
That’s why I was so proud to see Senator Neal’s resolution. Whether he intended it or not, whether the other senators who unanimously voted for it were aware or not, we now have new legislation in Kentucky that says Kentucky is a welcoming state to immigrants. It’s right there, in the final paragraphs (for a full copy, visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/10SS/SR31.htm):
WHEREAS, if the United States is to remain the welcoming country for persons from all locations, regardless of race, color, religion and ethnicity, enshrined by the Statue of Liberty, the welcoming of persons from all nations, and the “melting pot” for persons coming to the United States, the core values must continue to be protected; and
WHEREAS, the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky finds and declares that any ideology, philosophy, or position which does not recognize these core American values is repugnant to the citizenry of the United States and to the advances made since the United States declared itself independent of Great Britain in 1776, and to the guarantees of equal protection, enshrined in the amendments to the Constitution of the United States and is hereby rejected;
Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Section 1. The Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky finds discrimination in any form to be inconsistent with American values and stands firmly behind the principles of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966.
Section 2. The Senate of the General Assembly rejects any attempt to retreat from the guarantees provided by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966, and urges all residents of the Commonwealth to do likewise.
Maybe I’m stretching for it. But did you see? We are “a welcoming country [and] the welcoming of persons from all nations, and the ‘melting pot’ for persons coming to the United States…must continue to be protected… [A]ny ideology, philosophy, or position which does not recognize these core American values is repugnant to the citizenry of the United States.”
I don’t know about you, but English-only political positions and other anti-translation efforts definitely seem unwelcoming to me. To me, there is nothing more repugnant than a non-English speaking person being denied quality health care because they do not speak English. There is nothing more repugnant than doctors who don’t care if their patient understands, who aren’t willing to invest the time it takes to open the phone book and call a qualified interpreting provider. There is nothing more repugnant than a state Medicare system that turns down federal funding to reimburse interpreting costs. There is nothing more repugnant than an abortion clinic administering abortions to non-English speaking women without first explaining the procedure in their language. There is nothing more repugnant than a government that bars non-English speaking people from taking a driver’s license test, and in so doing, keeps these same people from getting to work or English lessons. There is nothing more repugnant than school systems that do not understand the importance of having an interpreter explain a child’s progress to his parents. There is nothing more repugnant than these things, yet they and many others continue to be in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
It is my hope—no, it is my challenge—to Senator Neal and others that 10SS SR31 will take teeth and bite, that it will enact change, that it will not stop at the whites-only door, but rather march right into both dining rooms and say that ending discrimination means ending discrimination, no matter who is being discriminated against.
I am challenging you to be better, Kentucky. I am challenging you to keep me proud. I know that it’s in you.
“We are building a bridge.” This is the phrase I heard over and over again at the US Conference on African Immigrant Health (USCAIH) this week.
Last week, I blogged on the disconnect. I wrote about how our nation’s leaders were unaware of language’s vital role in healing, how people don’t heal if they don’t understand, how interpreting in of itself is a profession with ethics and rules. The disconnect is there.
But here, with community leaders from all throughout the African Diaspora, the disconnect is not. Instead, there is a concerted effort to bring together aspects of all industries that help people–especially Africans–heal.
I arrived here Wednesday. Our first event was a meet and greet where attendees stood and introduced themselves, explaining what their interest was in African health and what they expected to get from the conference. I identified myself as Terena Bell with In Every Language, said I was here to represent the medical interpreting industry, that I had seen this disconnect and I was here to learn how we could fix it. When I sat down, almost every person in the room said “thank you” and some even clapped. An Ethiopian man walked up to me and instantly started talking about the difficulty of getting trained interpreters in Minneapolis, the need for continued training for those entering the profession. A man from Ghana stood up in front of everyone and talked about how interpreters for Muslim patients need to be culturally aware of faith’s role in healing—and better paid. At Harvard, people wondered why I was even there, had never thought of language as a health-related issue. Here, at the USCAIH, attendees were willing to join with the language industry in its fight.
I am not writing this to compare one conference to the next, or the Alliance for Health in the African Diaspora (the conference organizers) to Harvard. What Harvard does not know is clearly to Harvard’s loss. But, just as I had to point out where the disconnect is, I have to point out where the disconnect is not.
So what makes the difference? Why were these two audiences so different?
I have long said that there are two types of doctors in the world: those who want to make sure their patients understand and those who do not. Perhaps there are similarly two types of people: those who want to help people understand and those who do not. I am not calling the other group cold or cruel. But there are people in this world whose drive and desire to improve their world is innate, unavoidable, a moving, liquid force. I saw that this week in the faces of everyone here. Representatives from all across the African diaspora came together to share, to commune, to–as they put it–build a bridge. They, too, talked about breaking down silos, but they took the time to find out what those silos held.
Friday, I presented on language access for African LEP’s. Every single person who heard about my topic said thank you, whether they attended my session or not. Dozens of people said, “We need that.” Most had interpreter stories of their own. A keynote on African Americans living with HIV even had a medical interpreter working from French to English. There is clearly no disconnect here.
But there is a need. They need us. And we need them. After what happened at Harvard, and after the warm reception I received here, I completely changed my presentation. It had initially been on where to get materials, how to get professional translation when materials weren’t there already. But meeting these people and learning more about how active they want to be in every area impacting African American health, I changed it.
There are three factors in LEP patient healing: the patient, the provider, and the language professional. All three must be on top of their game for healing to happen. Like our government, they must be in checks and balances with one another—they must all play their role, but they must also listen. For the patient, I discussed Title VI and HIPAA, the need to know you have a right to a professional, medical interpreter. For the provider, I discussed the need for cross-cultural training in universities and from hospital associations as CME’s. For the language professional, I said we must listen. We must listen to the patient and the provider to learn their need before we can address it. I told the people there that we could not do it without them, that if we as a language profession are wrong, then they must make us stop and listen.
And that’s the difference. As a language industry, we have been speaking, but at Harvard, no one had yet listened. I still believe what I wrote and I stand beside my words. But I also feel cool water flowing from around the rock. We must continue client education, but we must also allow our clients to educate us, listening to each other. If we are truly to build a bridge, we must meet each other in the river with our tools.
What It Is
A grant for $1,000 worth of on-site, interpreting services made available to healthcare providers who have never used a professional, foreign language interpreter before.
More About It
• In Every Language’s Interpreting Grant Program allows healthcare providers who have never worked with professional, foreign language interpreters to learn first-hand how interpreters help improve patient care for their limited-English proficient patients.
• This program is ideal for providers who
–have not previously known where to find professional interpreters
–are unsure how to work with professional interpreters
–have not previously had funds to budget for professional interpreters
–would like to learn more about using professional interpreters vs friends and family, etc.
• Interpreting appointments are booked by the winner through the In Every Language office on an as-needed basis.
• This in-kind grant on may be used to provide on-site interpreting at your Louisville-based facility in any of the following languages: Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Ewe, Farsi, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Korean, Liberian English, Lingala, Mai-Mai (spoken in Somalia), Mandarin Chinese, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Sranan Tongo, Swahili, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Wolof. (Language availability may change as interpreters move in and out of the Louisville area.)
• In addition, one on-site, cross-cultural training on how to work best with interpreters will be made available to the winner.
• Services must be rendered before 12/31/10 in order to apply toward the grant.
Who Can Apply
Healthcare providers of any type (hospitals, clinics, physical therapists, private practices, specialists, etc) who have never worked with professional interpreters. While we hope that this program will grow to include the rest of the Commonwealth, it is currently only available to providers located in Greater Louisville, Ky.
If your practice has never used a professional interpreter before, we encourage you to apply. If you have any questions about your eligibility or the application process, please call our office at (502) 213-0317.
How to Apply
To apply, please follow these steps:
1. Review the information in this application packet to make sure the In Every Language Interpreting Grant is appropriate for your practice.
2. Complete your application. An application form can be obtained by emailing In Every Language.
3. Please send three (3) hard copies of your proposal by mail to In Every Language; ATTN: Interpreting Grant Program; 812 East Market Street, Suite 201; Louisville, Ky 40206.
4. The committee will then confirm your eligibility and review your application carefully.
The application deadline is June 10, 2010.
Once your application has been submitted, the In Every Language Interpreting Grant Committee (made up of two (2) In Every Language employees and a neutral, third-party) will select the award recipient(s). While ideally one (1) practice would receive the full $1,000, in the event of a tie, multiple awards may be granted.
All applicants will be notified of the winner by email on or before June 30, 2010.
The Fine Print:
By applying for the In Every Language Interpreting Grant, you represent and warrant that you are duly authorized to represent the organization for which you are applying. If selected, you allow In Every Language to publicize the grant and its use by your organization.
The winner will be provided with a rate sheet outlining In Every Language’s standard charges for interpreting and each time an interpreter is sent, the appropriate amount will be deducted from the whole of the grant in accordance with this rate sheet. Should the winner go over their allotted balance, they are responsible for paying the remainder due.
Interpreters are scheduled first-come, first-serve and interpreters may or may not be available in your required language pair depending on interpreter availability at the time of your request.
About In Every Language
In Every Language is a Louisville-based translating and interpreting services provider. We are members of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care and the Association of Language Companies. We are currently working with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association to develop the nation’s first certification program for interpreting in domestic violence situations and we played a small, but significant role in the National Coalition on Health Care Interpreter Certification’s efforts to develop national certification for medical interpreting.
In Every Language is also a certified B Corporation. This means that, while we are a for-profit company, we behave like a non-profit when it comes to our commitment to community. As a result of this commitment to community, we are sponsoring an annual $1000 interpreting services grant. Through this grant, In Every Language hopes to help Louisville-based providers understand the vital difference that professional interpreters can make in the course of patient care.
To learn more about how In Every Language can help improve care for you and your patients, please call (502) 213-0317 or visit www.InEveryLanguage.com.
1) Interpreters work in two different ways: simultaneously and consecutively. Simultaneous interpreters will interpret while you speak; consecutive interpreters interpret in pieces as you go. Each interpreter has his own preference. If you are working with a simultaneous interpreter, please speak slowly so he’s not too far behind you. If you are working with a consecutive interpreter, please do not say more than 2-3 sentences at a time so the interpreter can relay all of your information.
2) Be aware that EVERYTHING you say will be interpreted, even if it’s just your asking the debate organizer for more water.
3) It is not uncommon for an interpreter to interrupt. It is his job to convey everything you say accurately and completely. This may include stopping you if he needs to interpret what you have already said, asking you to slow down if you are going too fast, or stopping you to seek clarification when needed.
4) Don’t be surprised if your interpreter has questions about seemingly simple vocabulary words. What’s only one word in your language could be one of many words in the other language, depending on the context. In French, for example, the English word meeting could be a “tête-à-tête,” a “rendez-vous,” a “conference,” or even a “meeting,” depending on how many people attend and how formal the meeting is or isn’t.
5) If you’ve studied the other language and the interpreter uses a different word than you would, don’t be alarmed. Many languages have multiple dialects. Spanish, for example, has 19 major dialectal forms. The interpreter may simply be using a different Spanish.
6) Allow for extra time and ask the debate organizer ahead of time if the interpreter’s time will be deducted from your own. Everything you say will have to be said twice (once by you and once by the interpreter). In addition, some languages simply take more words to express a point than others do. Spanish, for example, uses 33% more words to say something than English.
7) Look at the limited-English proficient person instead of looking at the interpreter.
Keep it in the first and second persons. Instead of telling the interpreter “Ask him which issue is most important to him,” say “Which issue is most important to you?”
9) Be as precise as you can with your comments. Anything in your syntax that is unclear (i.e., dangling modifiers, unidentified pronouns like “it,” double negatives), may be interpreted incorrectly. Along these lines, shorter sentences are best.
10) Please understand that the interpreter does not take sides. The interpreter is ethically prohibited from having an opinion on your candidacy, the race at large, or the issues involved. This means he is neither for or against you, or for or against your opponent. He is ethically bound to be impartial and to acknowledge his role boundary as an interpreter and nothing more.
Here at In Every Language, we try to take gender into account when assigning interpreters for patients who speak Arabic. As one of our interpreters explains in this video (sorry in advance for the low audio quality), it truly does make a difference.