More than ever before, language services providers (LSPs) are essential partners in managing and growing modern organizations that welcome all people, regardless of language, culture, or ability.
One in five U.S. households speaks a language other than English at home. That’s more than 65 million people. Another 10 million are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. There are more than 350 languages currently spoken in the U.S.
Interpreter quality is the lifeblood of on-demand interpreting.
Connect times and technological bells and whistles do not matter if the interpreter on the other end of the line is not fully capable of delivering the empowerment you desire. It is imperative that language services providers (LSPs) have a sophisticated method for recruiting the finest interpreters in the world to meet your needs.
When evaluating interpreter quality, it is helpful to break the subject into four sections:
Interpreter new hire training
Quality assurance, monitoring, and ongoing development and support
Procedures and policies to ensure safety and security of information
In this article, we will address interpreter recruiting. Future blogs will cover the other criteria above.
Canada's ambitious immigration plan is creating linguistic changes that are impossible (and irresponsible) to ignore.
A new report says that Canada has experienced its largest inflow of immigrants in more than 100 years.
The country added 71,131 immigrants in October, November, and December 2018. Canada’s full-year immigration increase was 321,065, according to Statistics Canada. The jump is the largest Canada has experienced since 1913 when more than 400,000 immigrants came to the country.
The shift is part of Canada’s goal to admit more than a million new permanent residents by the end of 2021. Under the plan, total immigration is expected to reach 350,000 new permanent residents over the next three years. This would represent an immigration level of nearly 1 percent of Canada’s population, which the nation’s government says must be reached by 2030 to ensure economic growth.
The Hispanic and Asian populations in Bowling Green, Kentucky, have more than doubled since the turn of the century. Fourteen percent of the city’s residents are originally from another country, giving it the highest percentage of foreign-born citizens in the state.
Calls from limited-English speakers to dispatch and other city services come in high volume.
“Daily – I would say multiple times every day,” said Amelia Bowen, Bowling Green Police Communication Manager, in an interview with news station WBKO-13. “We can’t staff someone 24 hours a day that would be able to meet the whole community’s language needs. So LanguageLine breaks that barrier and gives us the instant access we need to help everyone in the community.”
For tens of thousands of people, 2017 was a year of devastation.
First it was floods: residents in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and other southern states faced catastrophic damage. Hurricane Harvey alone claimed at least 48 lives and caused an estimated $190 billion in damage. Then it was fire. Wildfires in Northern and Southern California forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes as the governor twice declared a state of emergency.
When you factor in severe storms, cyclones, and other weather-related events, there were 15 that claimed more than 320 lives as of October. Each disaster cost $1 billion or more. Many of those affected were limited English proficient, deaf, or hard-of-hearing and required language services.Insurance companies know disaster is inevitable.
Having a language service provider on hand is a simple step they can take to ensure they are prepared to assist their policyholders and provide a great customer experience, regardless of language need.
You may not realize it, but two laws aimed at improving communication with limited-English-proficient (LEP) beneficiaries will go into effect in 2018.
If yours is a home-health agency seeking to participate in Medicare or a health-insurance company that offers plans for employees, you will want to pay attention to these new laws so as to stay in compliance.
When a customer takes time out of their busy day to call, every second matters, because every additional second they spend on hold stands to amplify their frustration.
It’s another second they’re not getting an answer to their question, another second to dwell on their problem, and another second to consider taking their business elsewhere.
For customers who need to connect with an interpreter, the wait can be even longer – but it doesn’t have to be.
Language access has evolved as the world has become more connected. Users are surrounded by smart, multi-function devices and expect to receive service anywhere and everywhere at any time. Fortunately, new technologies ensure that customer experience keeps pace with customer expectation.
When LSPs first came on the scene more than 30 years ago, the concept of a remote interpreter was novel. Decades later, our aim is to leverage technology in reducing wait times to mere seconds to ensure an optimal user experience.
Technological innovations are enabling faster connections to over-the-phone and video interpreters. Here’s a look at three of the latest advances and the impact they’re having on improving interpreter-connect times:
Imagine you’re a sales manager at a telecommunications retailer that just rolled out the latest and greatest smartphone. A family of four has come into the store to upgrade their phones, a sale equal to well over $1,000. However, the family only speaks Vietnamese, a language that’s not common in your region.
Fortunately, you can use a mobile app to connect with an interpreter in less than a minute. While you explain the features and benefits of the newest model, the interpreter relays the information to the family in Vietnamese, and in turn relays their questions to you. The interpreter does all of this securely from a remote office, hundreds of miles away.
Language-access clients love the idea that their customers, patients, and citizens have near-instant access to interpretation in a constellation of 240-plus languages, but they wonder about security. Is the private and personal information that is exchanged during these calls as secure as it would be if the interpreter was sitting in a brick-and-mortar call center? Furthermore, how can the quality of these remote workers be assured?
We can’t speak for all providers of language solutions, but this is how LanguageLine reconciles these issues:
This language barrier poses challenges in all aspects of life for LEPs, and especially when they visit a physician. One Cantonese patient at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York has been faced with this obstacle again and again as he has dealt with a leg deformity that has required multiple operations to correct.
Having more options than at any other time in history is generally a good thing, but the “paradox of choice” has a tendency to paralyze us. (As the famous jam study illustrated, consumers were much more likely to buy a jar of jam when they saw only six options, compared to 24.)