Study: Patients and Physicians Don't Speak the Same Language

It is no secret that physicians sometimes struggle to explain medical terminology to their patients. Imagine how insurmountable this challenge must feel when doctor and patient literally speak different languages.

According to a new study, a significant gap exists in America between patients’ languages and the languages doctors speak. The study also suggests that health care organizations are not doing all they are required to when it comes to providing meaningful language access to patients who are limited English proficient (LEP).

Fortunately, near-term remedies exist that can meaningfully diminish these language barriers between doctors and multicultural patients.

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Report: More Than 40 Percent of California Residents Speak a Language Other Than English at Home

More than 40 percent of residents of the nation’s most populous state speak a language other than English at home, according to data released this week by the United States Census Bureau. Nearly one in five of its residents age five and older are considered limited English proficient.

As of July 2016, California had a population of 39,250,017. Of this group age five and older, 44 percent spoke a language other than English at home. Meanwhile, 18.6 percent of California residents are considered limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English less than “very well.” California ranks first among all states in both of these categories.

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How Marketers Are Using Language to Attract Multicultural Consumers

Driven by population growth and expanding buying power, multicultural consumers are transforming the ways marketers and advertisers use culture to connect with increasingly diverse consumer markets.  For businesses, this is why investments made now in language will pay off for decades to come.

Between 1990 and 2014, according to Nielsen, multicultural buying power increased from $661 billion to $3.4 trillion, and it will only continue to grow. Because the median age of the multicultural population is lower and the life expectancy longer than those of non-Hispanic whites, these consumers have significantly more effective years of buying power ahead of them.

We’ve already talked about why language services are critical to the future of retail, as well as how language services in retail can create the sort of personalized, experiential shopping environment that multicultural consumers are seeking these days.

 But no matter how wonderful your store’s shopping experience and customer service are, they’re only effective once someone is in the store. Let’s talk about how retailers are using language to market to multicultural consumers.

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Why Language Services Are Critical to the Future of Retail

The news this year has been filled with headlines about the “retail apocalypse,” a wave of bankruptcies, store closures and layoffs sweeping the retail sector. But while the situation is critical, it’s possible that reports of brick-and-mortar retail’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

It’s true that online shopping presents a challenge to traditional stores, but only a few of the biggest names in retail are online-only, and even that is changing as giants like Amazon and smaller companies like Warby Parker make forays into the physical world. In addition, consumers continue to prefer shopping in-store, including 70 percent of millennials and 77 percent of Gen Z.

As retailers figure out strategies to survive and thrive, one factor that might not seem obvious to consider is adding language services. Why? 

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Over 20 Percent of U.S. Residents Speak a Language Other Than English

More than one in five people living in America speaks a language other than English at home, while more than one in 10 speaks Spanish, according to the latest United States Census Bureau American Community Survey.

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