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The Importance of Language Services during Disaster Relief Efforts

The Importance of Language Services during Disaster Relief Efforts

When a city or country is hit by a natural disaster, such as the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean, Florida and Texas, earthquakes in Mexico, as well the wildfires in California, many volunteer agencies send people and groups to assist with providing aid and relief to those who are coping with the aftermath. These groups are instrumental in providing food, water, shelter, clothing, and other basic necessities for those affected by the disaster. However, they are not always equipped with the basic language skills to communicate effectively with these individuals, which could hinder the relief efforts immensely in certain cases. For that reason, volunteers assisting with language translation and interpretation can be just as important as any other volunteer providing aid.

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What information does ATS consider when providing my free quote?

For each project that ATS handles, we consider several different factors when it comes to providing your free quote. We will consider the project type or service you request, the source and target languages of your project, and the timeline in which the project needs to be completed. No matter what project you need handled, ATS will be sure to offer you the most competitive rates possible while taking these items into consideration.

A legal document should be handled differently than a technical operating manual and ATS takes project type into account. Since these two areas are so distinct, we have teams of different linguists who work on each one. It is important that our linguists be highly specialized in the content area you request. We have a wide array of linguists with many specialties, so doing so is usually not a problem. If we do not have a specialist in your project’s subject area, ATS will work to recruit someone who is able to handle your project type.

We also take source and target languages into consideration. Language combinations that are more rare sometimes require us to charge higher rates than some of the more common language combinations, for example.

ATS also takes your desired/needed timeline into consideration when providing your free quote. A job that does not need to be returned immediately, and will not rush the linguists who are working on the project for you, will not require any additional fees. However, if the project turnaround time will require our linguists to work overtime-type hours to finish it within the desired timeline, we may need to add rush fees to the quote. You will have the chance to accept the fees or change the timeline of the project.

Interpreting is quoted differently than document translation, since the services require a different set of skills. Similar to translation, however, the type of interpreting service needed will also be something ATS considers when providing your quote. Interpreting for a surgery is handled differently than interpreting for a legal deposition, for example. ATS offers varying types of interpreting services, such as in-person or over-the-phone interpreting. We also take source and target languages into account, just as we do for document translation, as well as the time required for our interpreter to be available. If an interpreter needs to be available for longer than a normal working period, we may need to charge additional fees.

No matter what project or service you need, ATS will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will always provide you with the most competitive rates possible. Please don’t hesitate to email us at freequote@accessibletranslations.com so that one or our Project Managers can assist you at every step along the way – we are happy to help!

How can telephonic interpretation benefit you and your company?

One of the first questions new interpretation buyers ask when they reach out to us for an interpreter is whether or not they will need to have one of our interpreters come to their office several times a week in order to be available when an LEP (Limited English Proficient) individual shows up or calls in for information or an appointment. Our answer? Not necessary. Of course, we are happy to have new clients, but we want what's best for our clients, and having an interpreter on-site for an extended period of time without the definite need for his/her services is not practical or cost-effective. So, what do we suggest? Telephonic interpretation.

If you are unable to foresee the time/date that you'll need an interpreter to assist your clients and staff, how can you give the LEP individual your undivided attention when he/she calls in or shows up unexpectedly? Telephonic interpretation can be very effective in these situations, and you don't need an appointment. Many of our clients choose this option in order to best handle incoming phone calls, unexpected visits and for times when their staff needs to reach an LEP patient or client to relay information.

How does it work? Our over-the-phone interpreters are trained and screened before they ever take the first phone call. They maintain complete confidentiality of your organization's information and are professionals who can assist you to speak to clients and staff without the stress of making an appointment for a meeting and having to call in an on-site interpreter. We will set up an account for you and supply you with a toll-free number to call whenever you need the service. You also have the option of making a three-way call with our phone interpretation option.

TelephoneInterpreting_Dial
TelephoneInterpreting_Dial

Some of our clients use the service to interact with clients and colleagues overseas, while others just want to communicate with individuals who frequently come to their office but have little to no fluency in English. Whatever the case may be, we can support you and give you an accessible solution in over 150 languages.

How do you know if this is the best option for you? Ask yourself these three questions:

1. Do you find yourself at a loss when LEP customers or staff need to talk to you and you haven't had time or been able to find an on-site interpreter?

2. Do you want to show these LEP individuals that you do care about your interactions with them and want to give them the attention they deserve?

3. Do you want a service you don't have to worry about scheduling and that is always there when you need it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, find out more about our telephonic interpretation services today and let us be your solution.

On-site or remote interpreting: Which is the best fit for you and your organization?

Something we've noticed with a lot of our interpreting clients, especially those here in Columbus and Central Ohio, is that they want to know which route to take when it comes to oral interpreting for their organization. Many who call as first-time language service buyers are not sure which is the best option for them. So, we make sure to ask them some key questions first in order to assess the situation before we can recommend an option or a combination of the two. Here are some options if you are in need of oral interpretation. Remember, you may decide that you need to choose more than one option to fit your interactions with clients, colleagues, patients, etc.

On-Site Interpretation This type of service offering is probably the most commonly sought in our industry. Interpreters are hired to perform this service in person at the time of an arranged appointment or meeting where an LEP (Limited English Proficient) individual or group of people is present and requires an interpreter. Once the interpreter arrives and meets the LEP individual, s/he will explain to all those involved that s/he will interpret everything that is spoken during the meeting.

Remember, a good interpreter will interpret everything that is said, even the side conversations that take place if within earshot. The reason for this is that the LEP person should be on equal footing with the rest of the individuals in the room, i.e. the interpreter's job is not to select what is or is not important for this person to hear.

Telephonic Interpreting Another very effective form of interpreting, telephonic interpreters are hired when an organization may not need an interpreter on-site or when certain languages are required that are rarely spoken in a geographic area, among other reasons. Although there is a disadvantage in that the interpreter cannot see the gestures and movements of those involved in the appointment, there is not always a need for an interpreter to physically be present to interpret, particularly if the interaction is brief or very simple.

One of the most common reasons our clients contract us for telephonic interpreting is for short, simple communications, such as those that take place in the workplace almost daily (think greetings and quick interactions like depositing a paycheck, scheduling a future appointment, etc.). Many clients like to use dual-handset phones, which allow both you and the LEP individual to each hold a receiver while the call takes place. This way, you can both hear the entire interaction with the interpreter and talk directly to one another, avoiding "he said, she said" conversations. Video Remote Interpreting Another type of remote interpreting, video remote interpreting (VRI) is often used for sign language interactions, as telephonic services would not be effective. You will need to have video conferencing equipment, or at the very least, a webcam, speakers and a microphone. The interpreter may be working from a call center or from home, much like a telephonic interpreter. However, you and the LEP individual will be able to see this person, and s/he will listen to you through a headset. If the person who needs the interpreter is not deaf, but rather, speaks another language, the interpreter will speak through his/her microphone in first person (using pronouns like "I", "me" and "you" to reflect the speakers' words accurately).

Sign language interpreters will also interpret in a similar way, but this is often referred to as "in person" interpreting. They will speak through the proper signs directly to the deaf individual as if s/he were the one originally speaking.

Hopefully these explanations will help you to decide what is the best option or set of options for you and your organization. If after reading this you are still unsure, contact a professional company that provides these services and request more information. An important thing to remember is that interpreters should always interpret the entire message and do so in first person. This not only creates a more personable and authentic interaction, but it ensures a more accurate interpretation as well.

What types of interpreting have worked for you? Which would you like to see utilized within your organization if you do not already have one of these services available?