Limited-English Speaking Residents Especially at Risk in Second Wave

Limited English speaking COVID

U.S. residents who don’t speak English are much more likely to test positive for coronavirus, a new study suggests.

Limited-English speaking U.S. residents are nearly five times more likely to become infected with coronavirus. The study from the University of Washington Medicine System also shows that limited-English speakers are less likely to be tested at all.

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This Is an Interpreter

LanguageLine interpretation and translation

There’s a story about the brilliant Renaissance artist Michelangelo. He was asked about the difficulties he must have encountered in sculpting his masterpiece, David. Michelangelo replied with an unassuming description of his creative process:

“It is easy,” he said. “You just chisel away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”

Today is “International Translation/Interpretation Day,” as christened by the United Nations in 1991.

Linguists deserve to be celebrated each day for their heroic work, and especially this day in 2020, a year in which their contributions have meant the difference between life and death.

More than ever, the word “interpreter” is used in our society. The term is often thrown off casually without understanding what a human, professional interpreter actually signifies.

We thought that today would be an opportune time to define “interpreter.”

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Words Contain Worlds: Saluting Interpreters and Translators

LanguageLine interpretation services

September 30 was christened “International Translation/Interpretation Day” by the United Nations in 1991. Since then, the date has been used to commemorate the role translators and interpreters play in connecting nations, as well as fostering peace, understanding, and development.

For nearly 40 years, we at LanguageLine Solutions have had a front-row seat to witness the miraculous work that linguists do each day. There is quite literally no sector of life that they don’t impact for the better.

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Two Ways Banks Can Use Interpretation to Reach Multicultural Consumers

Bank interpretation multicultural consumer

Demographic shifts tell us that financial consumers have become more culturally and ethnically diverse.

Over 65 million U.S. residents—or 21 percent of the U.S. population over the age of five—speak a language other than English at home. More than one out of every 12 people in the U.S. are limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English less than very well. This group represents around nine percent of adults living in America.

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Legal Document Translation: How Plain Language Improves Effectiveness

Legal Document Translation

Even those who readily accept that plain language improves readability, understanding, and engagement often push back when it comes to legal documents. But numerous U.S. and global studies show that “legalese” results in lost opportunity for both the reader and the writer.

Legal documents, like all communications, should be easy to read, understand, and act on with the first reading. A study released just last month focused on the impact of plain language in legal disclosure documents.

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WEBINAR: Language Simplification Leads to Improved Customer Experience

Language Simplification Leads to Improved Customer Experience

Clear communication has never been more essential. Our upcoming webinar is for those who look at their materials and find them too long, poorly organized, or full of jargon and insider language.

At LanguageLine, we consider “plain English” to be a language of its own. Our clients are consistently amazed at how much customer experience improves when they speak it.

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Can I Just Hire a Freelance Translator?

Freelance Translator

Many organizations that have a translation project looming consider hiring a freelance translator instead of bringing in a full-service language services provider (LSP). The appropriate path for translating your written material depends on a few factors. 

The important considerations involve time, quality, budget, and the need for value-added services. Do you have the time and staff to hire and manage individual translators, and assess the quality of their results?

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'Plain English' Is a Language. How Can it Improve Health Literacy?

Health Literacy

The average reading level for U.S. adults is seventh grade. The recommendation for healthcare communications is that it be at a fourth or fifth-grade level.


According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of adults have the health literacy skills needed to manage and prevent disease. Nine in every 10 of us struggles to understand and use health information.

The reason is that much health-related content is unfamiliar, complex, or filled with industry jargon. The reality – and imperative – is we need to improve health literacy. Low health literacy costs this country an estimated $238 billion each year.

When it comes to health literacy, using plain English isn’t just the best approach. In many cases, it is required.

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Translation Projects: Here's Why Your Overseas Office Can’t Do Them

Translation Projects

Your organization is expanding internationally. You’re responsible for making sure that the translation of your carefully crafted English content doesn’t end up reading like those laughably bad assembly instructions that we have all tried to decipher.

The inclination of many is to have their overseas colleagues translate and localize the content. Decades of experience have taught us that this endeavor will quickly exceed what your colleagues can do in their “free time.” So how should you approach these projects and how do you know which is the right way?

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10 Tips for the Translation and Localization of Training Content

Translation and Localization

In her book “The Good Company," Laurie Bassi found the best single predictor of a company’s ability to outperform its competitors is the amount of investment made in training and developing employees.

The remarkable growth of remote training since the term “eLearning” was coined in 1999 has been driven by globalization, the internet, the proliferation of smart phones and myriad tools to create and manage remote-learning courses. A global health pandemic is now highlighting the importance of quickly training remote employees in order to safely maintain operations.

If your organization is facing the additional challenge of delivering effective distance learning and training across time zones, cultures and languages, here are a few key concepts to keep in mind:

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