This week InterpretAmerica welcomes guest blogger, journalist, language nerd and author of Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners (Free Press, 2012), Michael Erard. Like us, Michael is forward looking. He sees how technology is changing language and those who study and use it--including interpreters and translators. He also sees how it can empower quality niche journalism. Last month he contacted us about a new project he's preparing to launch called Schwa Fire, a bi-monthly digital publication focusing on language.
We were so intrigued by the idea and enthusiastic about the possibility of having professional journalists writing and producing great stories about language and the language professions on a regular basis that we decided we had to support the effort. And we invite you to do the same. So, be sure to check out the Schwa Fire crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and make a funding pledge. The campaign closes on Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Right now, the project is just a few thousand dollars shy of reaching the goal of US$25,000.00 to formally launch. With the added support from a worldwide community of translators and interpreters, that goal will surely be met. In fact, if the campaign brings in another US$7,500.00 beyond the initial goal, translation will begin with the first issue. See Stretch Goal #1 on the Kickstarter page. Mr. Erard, the floor is now yours...
Two years ago, I decided to practice what I had been preaching about technology and the language services industry. I joined forces with a Silicon Valley startup called ZipDX to design and create the first integrated platform for providing remote simultaneous interpretation for teleconferences and webinars. If you attended the 2013 Annual American Translators Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas earlier this month you may have heard one interpreter’s perspective on that technology platform, which offers simultaneous interpretation services to an entirely new market segment.
Now I’ve thrown my hat into the technology ring again, this time to focus on the polemical yet promising idea of crowdsourced translation. This month I joined the Advisory Board of Webflakes, an innovative startup company I wrote about a few months ago. Here's a link to the official press release, if you are curious.
This week InterpretAmerica welcomes guest blogger Dr. Patrick J. Javid from Seattle Children's Hospital. In this articulate and insightful article, Dr. Javid outlines the critical importance of timely access to qualified interpreters in all settings and languages. His words parallel the thoughts I shared in my latest blog The Time is Now For Healthcare Interpreting 2.0. My article highlights the critical role interpreters play for families. This article beautifully expresses how interpreters empower providers to give their best care, even in very challenging linguistic circumstances. Many thanks to Dr. Javid for allowing us to reprint his article, first shared publicly on the NCIHC listserve.
By Patrick J. Javid, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital
A few weeks ago, as the Surgeon-of-the-Week, our team structured its entire set of morning rounds around a single individual. This person was not actually with us on rounds and she was not even in the hospital that day. But her expertise was instrumental to the care of one of our patients.
She was an interpreter. A Mixteco Bajo interpreter, to be exact. And she was one of the most important members of our team that day.
KABUL — A growing number of Afghan interpreters who worked alongside American troops are being denied U.S. visas allotted by Congress because the State Department says there is no serious threat against their lives.
But the interpreters, many of whom served in Taliban havens for years, say U.S. officials are drastically underestimating the danger they face. Immigration attorneys and Afghan interpreters say the denials are occurring just as concerns about Taliban retribution are mounting due to the withdrawal of U.S. forces.