Looking for a job in the translation and localization industry? Try these easy and free online resources to stand out

In a business world that is working its way to digitize all communications, the language services industry experiences new demands, which leads to unexpected job opportunities. In this article, we will share some quick and easy ways to start building your personal brand online and catch the eye of the recruiters.  

Your career is your business and, like any other business, it needs a brand. So let’s start with the basics. Personal branding is the practice of promoting a person’s career with marketing strategies, similar to the ones used when promoting companies and other organizations. The term “branding” refers to the efforts put into creating a brand, which is a symbolic construction (usually embodied in a name and an image) designed to identify a product or service to their potential or real consumers. When speaking of personal branding, the “product” is your professional skills and expertise, and the challenge is to build a promise to recruiters and future employers around what makes you unique and desirable above anybody else.

Start by asking yourself what makes you the professional that you currently are. This means finding the more salient aspects of your professional profile but also thinking about what makes you different from others with a similar background. Is it a job experience in a highly unusual area? Maybe it is a specific knowledge that is common in other industries, but when looking inside the translation and localization field, does it become rare? What we are searching for here is what marketers call Unique Selling Proposition or USP: a trait that is unique and special about you, and that will make you stand out from the competition (i.e. , other colleagues).

But it doesn’t end with that. The second key in personal branding is nourishing and developing your personal brand through time. When you gain more experience and knowledge and become more appealing to recruiters, your brand should be developed to reflect that. So it is not enough to focus on who you are and what you have been doing. You also have to create a vision, a desirable future path to follow when developing your career. Your experience will help you tell the story of who you are, but the vision will tell the story of who you want to be and how you want to be perceived.

The mere idea of carrying out an ongoing process of creating, developing, and maintaining a personal branding strategy can be daunting. You need to make yourself visible to the world, but also have an updated and refined set of skills that puts you above the competition. In addition to that, you need to get to know your professional community to find out about new job opportunities. It seems a lot, but fortunately, today there are plenty of online resources that can help with that. Let’s take a look at three actionable steps you can take today to start promoting your personal brand.

#1 Build a portfolio

Your brand helps you stand out from everybody else. But in order to do that, people need to find you, and today, the first place to look is Google. Social media sites like Facebook or Instagram are okay for friends and family, and LinkedIn and job searching platforms can be an acceptable first move to start in the professional world. But when trying to build something unique and inviting, the extremely structured layout of these platforms usually falls short. An easy solution to present your professional profile in a highly personalized way is to build a portfolio.

The key is to show, not to tell. While a resume or CV is a perfect way to list and summarize your career path, there’s nothing more compelling than a portfolio. A portfolio acts as a portable showcase of your work experience and skills and allows you to show the results of your work in real-life scenarios. You can include samples, screenshots, and links of your work and even develop brief case-studies of your more fruitful contribution to big projects.

If you are just starting, try getting involved with some volunteering work. You can do that by collaborating with non-profit organizations or even helping friends and neighbors with some business projects. And if you are interested in multimedia localization, there are plenty of organizations asking for subtitling volunteers.

Once you have selected the materials you want to include in your portfolio, you just have to choose your building tool. There are many online platforms in which you can build your portfolio for free. If it is your first time working with web design, we recommend that you start on sites that are specially designed for portfolio-building, such as Clippings.me or Journo. If you feel confident with your design skills and want to get creative, you also could try with general web-design pages, like Squarespace or Wix

#2 Networking (yes, online too!)

If you are not very familiar with the term, networking refers to in-person or digital gatherings of professionals aimed at sharing information and ideas among people with a common profession or special interests, usually in an informal or more relaxed setting than a work meeting. But that’s not all. As J. Kelly Hoey, author of Build Your Dream Network, points out, “networking is not a singular activity, it is every interaction throughout your day, both online and offline. Your email signature line, the article you share on LinkedIn and the person you choose to sit next to at lunch are all part of the mix.”

One of the benefits of networking is visibility. In essence, you get to meet new colleagues and leading professionals in your industry, which can take you to new job opportunities and partnerships for starting new projects. And giving people the chance to know you and listen to your ideas and perspectives is a great way to boost your personal brand and stand out. Another advantage of networking is staying current in the latest trends in the industry. And, in an ever-changing business market, being the first to know what is happening, and especially where, is a major competitive advantage for job seeking.

In the olden days, the only opportunity to build your network was to wait until some event in your industry came up and, if it was far away, to make arrangements for travel. Today, the digital landscape offers an unimaginable amount of opportunities that are only a click away and, to take real advantage of it, it is critical to choose wisely. Next time you get an invitation or see an announcement on social media about an event, ask yourself: how is this event related to my personal brand? What is the purpose or the goal that I want to achieve by attending to this event? Who will be participating, and what kind of relationship do I want to establish with these people? By defining key aspects of your networking strategy, you will be narrowing your action field, but you will also be making it more meaningful and efficient. For example, many of our partners at Go Global are attending Tess Whitty’s workshop “Let clients come to you: inbound marketing for freelance translators”, as an opportunity to expand their professional networks while learning some proven techniques to create a system to attract qualified potential clients. 

#3 Diversify your learning path

In times of technological revolution, the world becomes a grand village, and any business is a global business. This opens new opportunities for companies seeking to reach new targets in distant markets, but it also faces them with the threat of new competitors in what, in past days, used to be secured regions. This dynamic and uncertain landscape calls for business models that are highly innovative, and leading companies know that the key to a creative and responsive work environment is diversifying talent. 

In a scenario in which companies are building multidisciplinary teams, picking up some uncommon but valuable skills can be a smart move. 

After all, you don’t want to fit in; you want to stand out. And the key to that is finding a balance between an in-depth knowledge in a very specific field and a mix of skills in other related areas. It is what the experts call a T-shape profile: the vertical branch of the T represents deep knowledge and skills in one particular area, and the horizontal branch represents a broad area of supporting interconnected skills and knowledge.

A T-shaped professional is highly valued given the combination of the benefits of specialization and generalization. The specialization comes with in-depth knowledge and expertise, and the generalization provides a broad worldview and empathy to communicate effectively and to work together with experts from different fields.

If you are a translator and usually work with marketing materials, you could try to expand your knowledge to SEO practices or creative writing. If you are fully proficient in CAT tools, you could dig into the science behind artificial intelligence, or try some coding. If you aspire to a team-leading position, you could explore project management, negotiation techniques, or take some business classes. 

Today, the online learning industry is on the rise, and the possibilities are endless. While for many professionals this is a solution, others can struggle when studying alone or without direct tutor guidance. If you are looking for a place to start picking up some new skills online, a course in an e-learning platform can give you a taste of how you perform in a flexible and virtual educational program. You can try, for example, Coursera, Skillshare, Khan Academy, or Edx. Every one of these sites has free options with seasoned teachers who, in many cases, are also highly-trained professionals.

Takeaway

Your career is your brand. Define what makes you unique and valuable above anybody else in the market and find ways to make it visible, so your peers and potential employers get to know your profile and achievements. To do that in an easy and inexpensive way, take advantage of the many tools and platforms available online. You can build an online portfolio to show your work in real-life scenarios and extend the power of your branding efforts by expanding your network in online events. Also, you can explore the flexibility of online learning programs to refine your skills, but also diversify them. Developing a background with a balance of specialty and general knowledge will put you on the radar of many world-leading companies that are seeking innovative and high-potential talent.

To keep up with these 3 SEO trends, you might consider partnering up with a language expert

We analyzed today’s landscape in digital content strategy and we’ll tell you how experts in translation and localization can contribute to making the best out of it. 

Search engines are getting better and better in capturing the singularities of natural language and the diversity of users’ preferences and behaviors, making the job of SEO experts increasingly challenging. Gone are the times when keyword stuffing was enough, and the click was the single measure unit of success. Today, SEO efforts broaden on and off the page in different formats, and the strategic variables under consideration keep multiplying and becoming more complex.

However, two certainties remain. The first one is that a working digital content strategy needs to be able to produce content that can be indexed by engines for users to find. The second one is that, to achieve this, magic recipes do not work.

As online search technology becomes more sophisticated, digital strategies need to become more personalized. Each brand must find its own balance of resources, combining investment in technological infrastructure, the talent for strategic communication planning, and in-depth knowledge of its audiences.

Let’s see next what the future of SEO brings and why it’s a good idea to add the perspective of a language service provider when making decisions about global content strategies.

# 1 The evolution of artificial intelligence applied to searches

Traditionally, on-page SEO is about selecting a couple of keywords, thinking about related variants of terms and strategically placing them in certain parts and categories on the page that we know guarantee good indexing and put us in the race for positioning (title and subtitles, first paragraphs, and above the fold content in general).

However, each new step in the evolution of artificial intelligence applied to searches requires us to review and edit the “manual of good SEO practices” to adapt it to the possibilities and opportunities offered by technology.

The latest milestone in search technology leaps has been made by Google (the world’s most widely used search engine) with the launch of BERT (short for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). BERT is an open-source neural network trained to process natural language.

BERT affects one in ten searches and allows Google to understand better how the language is used and, especially, how individual words work within searches, not isolated, but in context. This means that instead of word-for-word processing, each term can now be considered in the context of a sentence, relative to those that precede and follow it.

From this point on, should SEO experts optimize content with BERT in mind? No, because there is no such thing as “optimizing for BERT”. Danny Sullivan, Google search expert, explained it after the launch: “There’s nothing to optimize for with BERT, nor anything for anyone to be rethinking. The fundamentals of us seeking to reward great content remain unchanged”. 

However, even if you cannot “optimize for BERT,” every small step that artificial intelligence takes towards an optimal understanding of natural language can be used as an opportunity to reevaluate your practices and ask yourself if you are making content that is high quality and aimed to respond to the real search intent of real users.

This review takes two steps. The first is to understand how natural language processing works to produce clearer, more understandable, and indexable content for search engines. The second is about deeply knowing the cultural contexts in which our audiences communicate to provide clearer, more understandable, and more enjoyable content.

The first step is technical and requires mastering the basics for writing content that is compatible with natural language processing (NLP) mechanisms. Writing for NLP requires knowledge of logic and syntax for crafting sentences with a clear and simple structure, and in which the relationship between words is evident and unambiguous. The second step, aimed at creating quality content for real users, requires in-depth knowledge of their cultures, the contexts in which they bond, and their different ways of interacting with the language.

In both areas, the help of a language service provider can add value. Working with highly trained linguists ensures that the syntax of the content in the target languages is appropriate and suitable for the work of the search engines. At the same time, the contribution of native translators allows the content to be delivered in any language with the clarity and appeal necessary to resonate with each audience.

# 2 The growth of voice searches

Hand in hand with the proliferation of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, or the Google Assistant, added to the increase in traffic on mobile devices, searches are no longer single words typed using a keyboard and became phrases and questions said into a microphone. In a recent survey, 48% of respondents said they use voice search, 79% considered that voice technology improves their quality of life, and 92% affirmed that it saves time.

This change in the searching mode generates a change in the use of the language, giving rise to search attempts with longer and more complex queries. As users gain confidence in the interaction with new devices, we find richer and more varied expressions, both in syntax and semantics.

How can SEO and inbound marketing experts stay ahead of the growing voice search trend? By writing content with a conversational tone and structured in a way that responds to possible questions from target audiences.

In order to build content that answers the questions from real users, it is important to start by identifying what the user’s intention is. There are multiple classifications on the different types of search intents, but, broadly speaking, we can group them into three categories:

  • navigational searches, in which the user already knows where he/she wants to go and uses the search engine to find a link to his destination,
  • informational searches, in which the user wants to know or deepen their knowledge on a subject for educational or entertainment purposes (or with a possible but distant purchase intention), and
  • transactional searches, in which the user has a clear purchase goal and looks for ways to complete the operation immediately.

To this we must add that, depending on the degree of prior knowledge and commitment that the user has with their search topic (which in online marketing is usually presented in the form of a funnel), the structure of the question may be simpler (for example, what is x) or more complex (for example, what is the best way to do x).

As we see it, the transition from written to voice search is not only a change in format but a total change in the users’ behavior and their way of interacting with language. To find creative and competitive ways to join this trend, language experts can be of great help in keyword research aimed at voice search optimization for different target audiences. Their input can be especially valuable in long-tail SEO strategies, proposing new alternatives to explore in low competition niches.

# 3 The optimization for SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

A competitive ranking strategy is no longer limited to the famous “ten blue links.” Now it reaches results in videos, images, news, maps, lists, tables, and product descriptions, among others. The key to achieving efficient and consistent results in all formats is to incorporate a 360° mindset: to abandon arbitrary conceptions about the hierarchy of this or that format over others and to think in terms of objectives and weighing the value of each channel based on a comprehensive branding strategy.

Take the case of video that, according to Cisco, is expected to occupy 80% of online traffic by 2021. A brand that has unoptimized video footage is wasting an immense opportunity, so a good start would be to curate your available content and localize basic indexing data for its target audiences.

Search engines usually take data from the title, descriptions, and tags of the videos to understand the content, index it, and make it available to users, so optimizing those three categories is a good starting point. However, for some industries, this may be insufficient for good positioning. A second step to implement would be to add transcripts. A third step, aimed at expanding global reach on video, would be to include subtitles in the languages ​​of the target audiences. With all these efforts, not only the chances of SEO positioning are improved, but also user experience in a broad sense.

To meet these demands, a language service provider has multidisciplinary teams of translators and editors in all languages, project managers, and technicians in different media to assist in optimizing and localizing content in all formats. This service usually includes the creation of terminology bases and style guides, two linguistic assets that help to strengthen the branding strategy in all channels, ensure consistency in the production and translation of content over time, and, ultimately, save time and costs.

In summary, the growth of alternatives on the search results page is both a challenge and an opportunity for brands to explore new and more engaging ways to connect with their global audiences, and a language expert is an ideal partner to carry it out successfully. 

Final thoughts

SEO practices evolve hand in hand with technology, in a way that they seek to adjust more and more to the realities and experiences of users. To do so, it is not enough to execute recipes or “shortcuts”: the key is to develop global strategies that involve investment in technological infrastructure and linguistic and cultural knowledge of the audiences in equal parts.

Adding the contribution of a team of language experts will not only achieve successful and meaningful results for each target audience, but will save time and costs, and ensure consistency of the brand strategy in all formats.

From our global team to yours: the top 5 tips for running the perfect virtual meeting

Although no company in the world remains indifferent to digital transformation, there’s a small number of exchanges, usually the most sensitive ones, that still live on in the personal arena. And the virtual group meeting is yet struggling to take its final shape at the edges of remote workflows. 

The recent changes in the global landscape, where events are postponed and travels are canceled, challenge organizations to find creative ways to get the work done and to get their teams effectively communicated while doing it. At Go Global, we are used to working remotely with colleagues in every time zone, so we invited our teams to share their tips to have a productive virtual meeting. Here’s our top five.

1. Get everyone on the same page, thematically

A virtual meeting is not a social gathering by other means but a problem-solving facilitation process, so the same organization principles for in-person meetings apply. First of all, respect everyone’s time by making an appointment, sticking to it, and starting and finishing on time. Sometimes the finishing-on-time part can get tricky, so set a clear agenda and be realistic about how much the team can achieve in one session. Also, give everybody a chance to prepare by sending in advance any information and background documentation needed to help the decision-making process.

During the meeting, the person in charge of it should make sure that every voice is heard (metaphorically, but also physically and technically, of course) and that the next steps get clearly outlined (including timing, accountability, and resources involved).

2. Get everyone on the same page, technically

An improvised meeting leads to delays, distractions, and unproductive results, and many times, the problem is not the conversation dynamics itself but the technical resource that supports it. To prevent the momentum-killing gap when some team member is still installing or updating the software while other members are catching up about how its functions, give everybody the chance to prepare in advance, whether it is installing the chosen tool or getting familiar with its functioning.

To do that, define which videoconference tool the team will use, and make sure everyone has it installed, with their account correctly set. Also, provide additional help like tutorials (or, if you have access, an IT team support), so the team members can resolve any doubts. Last but not least, make a team commitment to test the tool and practice with it beforehand (and not when the meeting is already starting). And please, please, mute your microphone when you are not using it.

3. Focus on the dialog, not on expositions

Anything that’s long and tedious in-person gets ten times longer and boring on screen. That’s why a virtual meeting shouldn’t be a series of monologues, but a brainstorming session, an exchange of ideas and knowledge, and a debate. To make that happen, all the information processes must be carried out beforehand, so the team can make better use of their time together, discussing and thinking collectively.

If someone needs to make a presentation in real-time, the main advice is to keep it short and concise and use a screen sharing tool to move everyone through the visuals to keep them more engaged.

4. Assign a facilitator (aka a master of ceremonies)

Maybe it’s because of the geographic distance, maybe it’s because the communication is technologically mediated, but sometimes people take advantage of virtual meetings to multitask. And when not everyone in the meeting is equally engaged, there’s a high risk of one or two speakers to monopolize the entire conversation, leading to more multitasking and more tuning-out of the rest.

To help attendees stay in track with the schedule, and to be actively involved in what’s happening, it can be extremely beneficial to have a designated facilitator who runs the meeting and manages the dialog flow.

The role of the facilitator is to guide the conversation so that the other participants can focus more in-depth on the content. It’s recommendable that the person in charge of this task has the necessary skills to connect with the group and flexibility to follow different conversation patterns and contain possible digressions. It’s also valuable that he or she has a deep understanding of group dynamics to properly read the (virtual) room and ensure that everyone can participate freely and actively.

5. Maximize empathy

Although technology allows many workers to fulfill their tasks seamlessly in any corner of the planet, working from home can get lonely. And in a challenging and uncertain environment like the one we’re in, some team members can be dealing with an extra emotional workload and feeling isolated or anxious.

Not everyone deals with extraordinary circumstances in the same way, so spare some initial time for small talk and check-ins to make everyone is feeling supported and involved. Sometimes, a “how are you doing?” goes a long way. After all, working from home is all about flexibility, and there’s no better way to get more flexible than to listen and show some kindness.

Bonus: if the cultural context is an issue, add a remote interpreter to the meeting

Right now, many companies are struggling to adapt their processes to a fully remote landscape. Many of them are multinational enterprises and are widely experienced in all kinds of virtual workflows. But in many cases, the language and cultural barrier remain an issue that can be amplified in a crowded virtual conference room.

To help facilitate the exchanges between remote teams that are culturally diverse, an also-remote interpreter can be a precious asset. Today, there’s a wide variety of professional interpreters highly trained on business and are available instantly over the phone and on video through online platforms.

Three takeaways

1 A virtual meeting and an in-person meeting share the same etiquette basics. Be on time, have clear objectives, send the attendees the agenda and background information in advance so they can be prepared, and finish by outlining the next steps, including timing, accountability, and resources involved.

2 Virtual meetings need some extra technological preparation. Define a videoconference tool, make sure everyone has it installed and know how to use it, and test its functioning beforehand.

3 In difficult times, extra empathy is in order. Make time for an icebreaker; ask everyone how they are doing and give people time to adapt to challenging situations. Your team will be benefited from flexibility and kindness, and the outcome may surprise you

The best translation and localization events for language professionals in 2020

In case you had a hectic start of the year and haven’t figured out your language-industry events schedule yet, don’t worry: we at Go Global got your back. Here we share our ten favorite conferences, congresses, and other networking opportunities on the translation and localization field to check out in 2020. See you there!


GALA 2020

  • who Globalization and Localization Association (GALA)
  • where San Diego, California USA
  • when March 15, 2020 – March 18, 2020

Tcworld 2020 – tekom

  • who tekom
  • where Würzburg, Germany
  • when Apr 22, 2020 – Apr 23, 2020

BP20

  • who BP Translation Conferences
  • where Nürnberg, Germany
  • when Apr 24, 2020 – Apr 25, 2020

ACES National Conference

  • who American Copy Editors Society
  • where Salt Lake City, Utah USA
  • when Apr 30, 2020 – May 02, 2020

CITI Lima 2020

  • who III Congreso Internacional de Traductores e Intérpretes
  • where Lima, Perú
  • when May 2 – May 3, 2020

Plunet Summit 2020

  • who Plunet
  • where Berlin, Germany
  • when May 28, 2020 – May 29, 2020

LocWorld42 Berlin

  • who Localization World, Ltd.
  • where Berlin, Germany
  • when Jun 03, 2020 – Jun 05, 2020

memoQfest

  • who memoQ
  • where Budapest, Hungary
  • when June 10, 2020 – Jun 12, 2020

Translation in Transition

  • who Center for Research and Innovation in Translation and Translation Technology
  • where Kent, Ohio USA
  • when Oct 15, 2020 – Oct 17, 2020

Elia’s Focus on Project Management

  • who Elia (European Language Industry Association)
  • where Manchester, UK
  • when Dec 03, 2020 – Dec 04, 2020

representation of the diversity of languages a doctor has to deal with

Healthcare industry: how to hire interpreters and translators for LEP patients assistance

The number of people with limited English skills in the United States, plus the growing variety of languages they speak, confront the medical industry with the challenge of providing quality and equal services to all its patients. And it’s not just about clinical care. The goal is to transform all communication resources (brochures, forms, websites, apps, kiosks) into a meaningful experience across channels. In this article, we will cover the requirements that a language service provider (LSP) has to meet to assist the healthcare industry.

But, first: what’s an LEP patient? The acronym LEP stands for “Limited English Proficiency” and it refers to any person aged five and older who reported speaking English less than “very well” as classified by the US Census Bureau. According to 2018 data, more than 25.6 million people were considered LEP, accounting for 9 percent of the overall US population.

Some clinicians may think that if the patient or any family member speaks enough English to get by, asking for an interpreter’s help can be superfluous. But this assumption carries many risks. Any medical treatment, even a simple consultation, involves technical information and a series of complex interactions, that sometimes can be challenging even for a native speaker. If we add to that a language barrier, any misunderstanding can end quickly in a life-threatening situation. 

Moreover, a family member serving as an interpreter may act, intentionally or not, against the principle of impartiality needed in this context. Whether he or she is unaware of the ethical responsibility involved in the task due to the lack of training or is knowingly trying to influence the course of action based on personal beliefs and prejudices, the patient’s autonomy and well-being are at stake.

To avoid potential risks and any additional burden to LEPs patients and their families, the best solution for healthcare providers is to have a cohesive and tailored language program, developed by an experienced language service provider. Although sometimes hiring freelance translators and interpreters can be enough, a company specialized in the medical industry can be a better choice for quality improvement and costs saving. For selecting the right fit, there are five key factors to take into consideration: experience and training of the professionals, quality assurance, the confidentiality of information, flexibility for managing projects, and the ability to scale up. Let’s delve into each category.

Experience and training of the professionals

As in any other technical area, handling medical translation and interpreting requires mastering the source and target languages, and the specific knowledge of the field as well.

Therefore, the professionals assigned to a medical translation or interpreting project need to have specific training and proven experience in managing the specialized terms in the context of use. Their academic background must include a native level of language proficiency, in-depth cultural knowledge of the source and target languages, and adequate skills in using specialized glossaries and translation software. 

On interpreting, and due to the sensitivity of the issues discussed by clinicians and patients, it is especially valued that the experts show, also, excellent communication skills.

Quality assurance

One of the main differences between hiring a language service provider and a group of freelancers is quality assurance. An LSP not only performs an initial evaluation aimed to commission adequately qualified professionals to the projects, but also implements efficient control processes for error detection, readability testing, and overall quality improvement.

A quality management system often takes form as a multi-step verification process. An expert or a group of experts translate the documents, other professionals review and edit the project, and then a third team proofreads it.

Although at first sight, the process may seem time-consuming, any mistranslation on medical documentation can result in health or life hazard, or trigger a lawsuit or financial claims. Therefore, ensuring total accuracy standards must be the main priority of any health-related project. 

Another benefit of hiring an LSP that adds up to quality improvement is the creation of translation memories (a database with previous translations) and termbases (a glossary of each company’s commonly used terms). These two assets are shared, expanded, and curated by the translation teams over time and allow them to maintain linguistic consistency on different translation projects, saving time and costs.

Confidentiality of information

When handling medical data, translators and interpreters must observe a strict confidentiality policy at all times. In addition to the service level agreement, the professionals or LSP must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement and prove an extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry regulations about personal information management.

As an advantage, LSPs usually offer custom digital platforms that ensure end-to-end security of the resources provided by the client. Also, they have a team of IT experts around the clock to solve any technical issues.

Flexibility in project management

A language strategy program requires a team of varied professionals, including but not limited to, translators, interpreters, project managers, and technicians of every media channel involved. Each project demands the collaboration of a highly dynamic network to fulfill the customer’s needs, and the project management role becomes critical.

With that in mind, it is recommended for the language service provider to have a flexible and adaptive approach to time frames, scope, and budget requirements to meet each project’s specific goals. Also, the LSP should have tools to facilitate the customer’s follow-up and feedback, and processes to implement the suggestions or improvements in real-time.

Ability to scale up

Last but not least, there are corporate management related issues to discuss. Ideally, hiring any service should be a strategy matter and be tied up to the organization’s goals. In that mindset, some questions arise: Would this person or business be a good cultural fit? How will this partnership add up to the company’s objectives? Is hiring this person or business a tactical and immediate solution, or is it projected on a long-term alliance of shared growth?

Any healthcare organization carries out a significant number of complex tasks daily in order to provide quality and meaningful assistance to all its patients. And in the case of LEP patients, all these tasks come together through translators and interpreters to convey life and health-related information. Considering the critical value of this communication process, the professionals in charge of providing it should be prepared to perform consistently and respond to any contingency.

Consequently, hiring language professionals should take into account the possibility of rising demand for volume, smaller time frames, and different languages. For that, and due to its structure and ability to scale up, an LSP is the preferred option.

Three takeaways

1 Caring for LEP patients encompasses a lot more than interpreting: it is a commitment to transform every piece of medical communication into a meaningful health experience for the patients and their families. On that ground, delegating interpreting and translation tasks to non-professionals not only diminishes this experience but also -and due to the critical nature of the services provided- can result in raised costs, claims, or even a life-threatening situation.

2  There are five key factors to take into consideration to find the right fit when seeking for linguistic help: 

-The professionals must have proper training on the medical subject and demonstrated experience working for the industry. Plus, the interpreters must exhibit exceptional communication skills. 

-There needs to be a quality management system with a multi-step verification process to assure total accuracy, term consistency, and good readability of the texts.

-It is necessary to sign a confidentiality agreement and verify that the information and resources the client provides are end-to-end secured through the entire process.

-To provide an adequate response to the complexity of the medical scenario, the language services team needs to work with flexible and agile project management.

-Considering the possibility of a demand for higher volume, shortest response time, or new languages, the provider needs to prove it has a scalable structure.

3 Translators and interpreters that handle medical information become a critical asset in a delicate communication process. Hiring language professionals to assist LEP patients, whether it is freelancers or a language service provider, must be a strategic decision. To make the most of it, the selection must gravitate towards professionals or companies that assure the achievement not only of the language-related tasks but of the client’s business goals. 

A patient talking with a doctor

5 keys to understanding the LEP patients healthcare services landscape in the US

Imagine a patient who doesn’t speak English and runs into a hospital with a severe wound after a car crash. From the moment the patient enters the hospital, any delay in communication could result in a life-threatening situation. All the treatment decisions depend on interpreting, and the clock is ticking. 

Let’s suppose now that the language the patient speaks is fairly common, and there’s a person in the building who speaks that language too and offers to volunteer an interpreter. It sounds like a solution, right? But if that person doesn’t have the proper training, that intervention could rapidly become a risk for the patient’s confidentiality and safety as well. 

What are hospitals expected to do in these situations? What are the obligations the healthcare community has towards a patient with a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English? And what kind of solutions can be implemented for service improvement?

In this article, we’ll cover briefly and concisely the key factors involved in these types of situations, regarding its legal, social, and linguistic perspectives:

  1. The number of persons with limited English skills living in the United States is growing.
  2. The increasing diversity calls for a political approach that addresses the change of sociocultural environments.
  3. The legal framework demands federal assisted entities to guarantee their services and benefits for every person in the United States.
  4. On the healthcare system, the challenges concern an effective assessment of the local communities’ demographics and the resources of each provider to meet their needs.
  5. As communities become more diverse, the language services industry follows, creating solutions with a broader reach.
  6. Three takeaways

The number of persons with limited English skills living in the United States is growing.

Individuals aged 5 and older who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English are considered Limited English Proficient or “LEP.” The number and diversity of LEP speakers in the United States has significantly increased  in the last decades, explained by the raising of immigrant populations with a significant part coming from countries where English is not an official language. According to 2018 data, more than 25.6 million people were LEP, accounting for 9 percent of the overall US population.

Limited language proficiency is related to low health literacy, a common phenomenon that affects 40% of the US population. Among other factors as lower socioeconomic status, long-term illness or disability, and old age, a language barrier denies patients the possibility to obtain, understand, and act on health information.

According to the 2018 US Census Bureau data, the highest concentrations of LEP individuals reside in the six traditional immigrant-destination states: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey. Spanish is the predominant language spoken (62 percent), followed by Chinese (7 percent), Vietnamese (3 percent), Korean (2 percent), and Tagalog (2 percent). Close to 76 percent of the LEP population communicates in one of these five languages.

Socioeconomically speaking, the overall LEP population (immigrant and US-born) was less educated and more likely to live in poverty than the English-proficient population. In 2015, 45 percent of all LEP individuals aged 25 and older lacked a high school diploma (compared to 9 percent of the English-proficient population), and about 23 percent lived in households with an annual income below the official federal poverty line. 

On health-related issues, and as Glenn Flores points out, “LEP patients often defer needed medical care, have a higher risk of leaving the hospital against medical advice, are less likely to have a regular health care provider, and are more likely to miss follow-up appointments, to be non-adherent with medications and to be in fair/poor health.”

The increasing diversity calls for a political approach that addresses the change of sociocultural environments. 

The demographic impact of an increasing population with limited English skills concerns the entire social fabric and presents a series of questions about the ability of the political, economic and legal structures to adapt to this evolving scenario. 

With increased diversity, social structures and behaviors face the challenge to ensure that everyone in the nation, whether they speak English proficiently or not, has equal access to the available systems. 

The labor market, the educational system, the legal system, and the healthcare and social assistance services deal with this issue on a daily basis and constantly seek more efficient management strategies.

The legal framework demands federal assisted entities to guarantee their services and benefits for every person in the United States. 

This obligation is supported by a series of laws, national and local. In regards to language access, the cornerstones are Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Presidential Executive Order 13166. 

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states: 

“No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

The purpose of this title is to prohibit discrimination. It demands police departments, hospitals, housing authorities, unemployment centers, and any program or activity that receives Federal funding to provide meaningful and equal access to its services and benefits to all the inhabitants.

In 2000, Presidential Executive Order 13166 was issued to expand the reach of the Civil Rights Act Title VI, addressing the language issue. The goal of the new norm, titled “Improving access to services for persons with limited English proficiency” is “to improve access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities for persons who, as a result of national origin, are limited in their English proficiency (LEP)”.

To fulfill its objective, it requires federal agencies to “develop and implement a system by which LEP persons can meaningfully access those services consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the agency.” This means that people who are LEP should have meaningful access to federally conducted and federally funded programs and activities.

On the healthcare system, the challenges concern an effective assessment of the local communities’ demographics and the resources of each provider to meet their needs.

According to the legal framework described above, once healthcare providers accept federal funds like Medicaid payments, they are responsible for providing language access to all their patients.

The landscape on how these laws are applied varies from State to State. Some have issued one or more laws to address language access in healthcare settings, California being the State that has the most laws. Some states expand their legal framework on specific topics/areas like intake forms, abortion risks, mental institutions,  HIV documentation, etc.

Each federal department has an Office of Civil Rights (OCR). OCRs are in charge of ensuring that no discrimination occurs in their Department’s programs and they have the authority to investigate complaints related to linguistic barriers, to initiate audits and to withhold federal funds for noncompliance. 

As a response to the Executive Order 13166, the OCR issued a Policy Guidance to help healthcare providers and other federally funded programs meet their new obligations. As part of that guide, four factors were defined to help make decisions on the extent of the language services that need to be provided. Those factors are:

  1. Number or proportion of LEP persons in the community. The more people in the community who speak a language, the more language assistance there will be in that language.
  2. Frequency of contact between recipient and LEPs. The more frequent the contact, the greater the need for language services.
  3. Nature and importance of the service to the LEP. The more important the recipient’s service or program (the bigger the risk if the person can’t communicate effectively), the more likely language services are needed. That implies better timelines and quality of the service.
  4. Resources available and cost. The level of language services required has to match the recipient budget. But economic limitations must be well-substantiated before using this factor as a reason to limit language assistance. 

As communities become more diverse, the language services industry follows, creating solutions with a broader reach.

To resume the initial question on the resources that healthcare communities have for LEP patients, we need to delve into the range of language solutions at hand. The first step to select an adequate solution is to identify the languages the LEP patients speak. The second is to evaluate the key factors about the community in which these patients participate (number of LEP persons who need assistance, frequency of services, nature and importance of the services they need, and resources and costs).  

Once the data has been gathered and the situation has been assessed, it is time to select the more appropriate language solution for a successful treatment. Today, there’s a wide spectrum of strategies and resources, which varies from voluntary work to an end-to-end language service provider. 

Community volunteers. In small communities with a limited budget, the institution can benefit from the help of multilingual staff members. In these cases, it’s best to work with people who do have some level of competency in the interpreting field or consider to invest in training.

Interpreting services on-demand. For healthcare centers with a low level of LEP patients, an interpreting provider who works on-demand will be the best solution. A service that continues to grow because it’s fast and practical is over the phone (OPI) and video remote interpreting (VRI). They are normally billed by the minute and are affordable because the interpreter can be anywhere. Interpreters in these networks are HIPAA certified and they are familiar with medical terminology. For more delicate situations, where every gesture and detail is critical, in-person interpreting will be the right approach.

A full high-volume program developed by a language services provider. When the healthcare institution receives a large amount of LEP patients or a demand for multiple languages, it is recommended to select a language service provider. Signing a service level agreement (SLA) ensures lower costs and a quick and tailored response, including not only interpreting services, but also translations of forms and documents, and localization of websites, patient information leaflets (PIL), apps for patients, etc. This kind of consultative approach also covers the (often unknown) benefit of the creation of terminology bases and style guides, two linguistic resources that help to save time and costs, and optimize communication across all channels.

Three takeaways

1. The increasing number of persons with limited English skills living in the US requires the social and political structures to evolve in order to ensure access to public systems to every member of the community. To fulfill this objective, the legal framework not only must prevent discrimination but also ensure real resources to reach the non-English speakers.

2. For the healthcare providers that receive federal funding, the main challenge is to add interpreters to their clinical practices to guarantee an equal quality treatment for LEP patients. To assess the level of linguistic resources that a provider must include in their service, they must take into account the demographics of the community (number of LEP persons, languages they speak, frequency of their service requests) and the resources available to the institution. 

3. The healthcare provider can opt for various strategies to meet its community linguistic needs, in a range that goes from including community volunteers as interpreters to hiring a language service provider. Like any other global service, the language industry has evolved to create diverse and customized responses, and there are plenty of tailored solutions for every community, scope, and budget. 

Are you looking for a translator position? Your next job interview may take place at a conference

Por Nicolás Franchini, HR Coordinator

Por Nicolás Franchini, HR Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

The working environment is changing together with the job search. And, even though the traditional application system (such as sending a CV spontaneously or replying to a search) have proven to be efficient even in the present, the number of companies that are open to finding new talents in less traditional ways is increasing.

For that reason, if you are a translator and are not currently working, or if you are a translation student looking to have your first work experience, you should not miss the opportunity to make first-hand contact with the main representatives of the industry. Events like the next Translation Industry Conference in Latin America (CLINT) —which will take place in Córdoba— may be just what you need.

By attending a conference like CLINT you will not only have the possibility to contact HR experts directly —many recruiters working for language services providers will be there, including myself—, but you will also have a big chance of getting valuable information regarding what companies look for in a candidate.

The following constitute some of the advantages of beginning your job search inside an industry event:

Direct Approach. Attending an event where the vast majority of industry representatives are present helps you build a relationship with high-profile professionals —people responsible for Human Resources departments and even CEOs of big companies— who are not always as accessible in job interviews.

Volume. Looking for a job in the traditional way implies the repetition of a never-ending cycle involving uploading CVs, follow-ups and several interviews with each and every company we would like to apply for. Conversely, events like this gives us the opportunity to find all the interested people at the same time and place.

More Information. Having contact with people that work for major companies and who are in charge of the decision-making process regarding human resources may be key to acquiring a lot of information about current market needs in order to update your profile. Being able to talk directly with recruiters and directors allows you to inquire about positions available and what they value the most when hiring new staff for their organizations.

Stress-free Environment. Job interviews may be stressing. However, meeting people in an event may be an opportunity to showcase your personality in a more casual environment where you will be able to convey your skills, which are sometimes overshadowed by the typical anxiety of a job interview.

Networking. Even if you don’t manage to find the right job offer, being in touch with other translators and industry professionals is a huge chance to exchange ideas, start new projects and do some networking with your peers.

Constant Learning. Attending a congress together with the main figures of the business who give conferences and trainings is one of the best ways of being up-to-date and learn about the present of the industry you belong to. Also, this way you can add value to your CV and be one step closer to your new job.

What do translation and content localization companies look for?

This industry is aware of the challenges posed by technological advances. As technology is increasingly taking part in the production process, those called soft skills –people skills which are independent from technical knowledge— are becoming more and more valuable as they are a major factor for developing a successful career in any work environment. As a result, the ideal candidate is the one who can balance both technical knowledge and specialization together with social and teamwork skills, all of these added to digital competences.

In order to achieve a positive exchange with a potential employer, some of the knowledge, skills and attitudes usually required from a translator are the following:

Specific Language Knowledge. Like in every industry, to know the essence of the work to be performed is core and as a consequence the first requirement is to have a wide language knowledge. Profiles that stand out are those that include a specific degree in Translation or Literature.

Research Skills. Projects are dynamic and often involve technical challenges regarding the content that has to be processed. As a result, candidates are expected to be able to do the research needed for any unknown term or concept so translations can be as faithful as possible to their source text.

Specialization. The more specialized the translator is in a particular area (medical, technical, legal, marketing, IT), the more likely it is that he or she will be called up for a translation project according to his or her area of expertise.

Technology Skills. Due to the ever-lasting influence of technology in the translation industry, CAT tools management is increasingly important for the performance of the required tasks, since they allow faster translations, greater consistency in terminology and style, the possibility to translate by segment or phrases instead of word by word and, finally, save the translations made in a translation memory. As a consequence, the translator works at a higher speed and complying with all quality standards.

Communication. As the majority of translators work remotely, it is important that they have the ability to communicate in a clear and fluent way with all of the team members with whom they are sharing a task with. Communication skills are key to follow the news and updates regarding projects.

Commitment. Due to the fact that translators’ work may be part of a large project involving multiple languages and tight demanding schedules, the responsibility towards the task, once accepted, is of a great value. This ensures a timely delivery. Should any contingency that prevents delivery on time arise, it must be duly notified in a timely fashion and in due form.

Flexibility. Working for a large company means to constantly work in cooperation with the client. As a result, sometimes we encounter last-minute challenges (changes regarding deadlines, source text or CAT tool) which require from translators the ability to adapt to changing conditions.

Productivity. The ability to deliver on time results and with sustained quality is key to build a long-term relationship with an employer. The more productive and effective the translator is, the greater the chances are that a company will contact him or her again for future projects.

If you liked my article and want to know more about what LSP recruiters look for, or if you like languages and want to help big companies develop their global contents, please visit Go Global’s stand at CLINT. We look forward to hearing from you!

Automation: Yes or no? How can technology contribute to the translation industry nowadays?

By: Bruno Rotondo, Team Lead

 

 

 

 

 

 

When considering the impact of technology on the translation industry, it is not uncommon to find professionals that see it as a threat to their work. While it is true that automated translation services are increasing and improving by the hour, human translation is far from being left out of the process. On the contrary: technology can be the door to more and better work. Staying up to date is the key.

In the world 3.0, where everything and everyone is connected, organizations have the need to reach an hyper-segmented audience that comes from all sort of cultural backgrounds. This has ensured the steady growth of global demand for language services over the years. In light of these increasing business opportunities both for translators and translation companies, the question of how to deliver high volume at a low cost, while preserving high quality standards becomes urgent. The answer seems obvious: technology.

The connection between translation and technology is stablished mainly through two kind of systems: machine translation engines (such as Google), which produce a finished translation that a human linguist can edit afterwards, and computer assisted translation software, also known as CAT tools. “Assisting” the translation implies that the work is still going to be performed by humans, but made easier by a specialized software. The core of this system relies on the concept of translation memories (TM), a type of file in which the software stores every translation done so that, in the future, it can detect similar sentences and structures and bring up old translation results. This saves time for the linguist, which impacts directly on the volume they can take and the overall cost of each translation project.

The use of translation memories improves efficiency, since it prevents professionals from performing the same translation twice. At the same time, it ensures quality, since technology allows you to check for consistency and terminological accuracy, two essential requirements for any client. Those are just the basics really. In the present, CAT tools offer many other additional features to support both linguists and project managers while they work on new and challenging projects.

Flexible settings constitute their main asset. Working with a variety of clients, translators need to keep track of each of their specific requirements. Thanks to this specialized software, translators can create their own term-lists and QA checks, among other settings that they can customize on a template specific to each client. This allows them to quickly launch each new project without having to re-read never-ending glossaries and guidelines.

Another asset is their compatibility with multiple file extensions. Over time, the number of formats that customers require to have translated has done nothing but increase. Nowadays, translators are required to work with anything, from traditional Microsoft Office files, to specific graphic design formats or even subtitles. It is simply not possible for the linguist to be proficient in each and every software currently in use. Technology constitutes an invaluable ally in this field, helping to process various formats without requiring new technical skills. Once the translation is done, the CAT tool converts the file back into its original format.

Technology facilitates online collaboration and management for challenging projects. During large projects, when different translators work at the same time, real-time online management becomes essential. By incorporating specific tools, project managers are allowed to check the status and progress of their projects at any given time. This helps them to get ahead of problems and greatly reduces the number of last-minute surprises. Online management also encourages communication among the project team. It allows participants to leave comments regarding the ongoing translation and exchange valuable research and points of view with both colleagues and project managers.

Finally, the inevitable cost reduction. When the CAT licenses are acquired by the LSPs (Language service provider), their use is totally free for those translators that have been granted access to the software by the company. This constitutes an invaluable benefit for the linguist, who probably has to pay for different software already.

In the world of knowledge-based economy, technology breakthroughs on the translation market constitute an opportunity to boost innovative projects, based on actual know-how. Unlike other industries, where repetitive work is at risk of being replaced by artificial intelligence, on the linguistic industry, introducing technology is a synonym of sophistication, better results and high-end quality. What is more, these innovative resources are improving and renewing themselves by the day.

The key to finding the solution that best fits our needs is to remain up-to-date and avoid becoming sluggish; keeping our eyes open to this field where new alternatives are being developed all the time. This is not about some human versus machine or translator versus technology dilemma. This is about combining the best of both worlds and having technology at the service of experts.

If you liked my article and want to know more about how technology can contribute to your translation service, you can attend my memoQ demo, which will take place on Saturday 14 at 1:30 p.m. at CLINT (Translation Industry Conference in Latin America) or approach us at our stand there at the conference center. We look forward to hearing from you!

la revolución de los asistentes virtuales

Multilingual chatbots: the revolution of virtual assistants?

Chatbots are changing the way in which companies and their clients communicate.

Game Developers Conference

Game Developers Conference 2019

Go Global attended the Game Developers Conference Expo in San Francisco last month.

This event is super global.

The neighborhood gets filled with GDC badges. Past 5pm, the nearby hotel lobbies turn into small GDC after office hangouts.

Game Developers Conference

If you are a late bird, you can join dinners and networking parties every night.

Depending on your reason to attend the event, you can get a different experience.

Game Developers Conference

If you are a gamer, you will have fun. You will get to play games that are well known, some that are coming out soon, some that may never be commercialized but they are creative inventions. There was even a Retro section. You can also talk to the developers of most games and get a taste for what happens behind the scenes.

Game Developers Conference

If you are a game developer, you will find plenty of information at your fingertips. Whatever technology or solution you are looking for, there’s a booth for it and experts to talk to about it.

As you walk around the venue, you can stop by and listen to open talks that are happening all the time – some given by the big guys like Google, Play Station, etc.

Game Developers Conference

One day is not enough to walk around the entire venue if you are just visiting the expo.

If you are attending the technical talks going on all day, every day – you will need at least 3 days at the event.

The atmosphere is very inclusive, professional and colorful. No matter where you are from, what language you speak, how creatively dressed you are, all are welcome.

Game Developers Conference

Excellent experience!