The Cost of High-Quality Interpretation: A Low Rate Doesn’t Mean Savings

5 min read

Investing in a strategy to help your limited English proficient (LEP) patients or customers is an admirable goal, and being sure you’re getting the best deal is integral to offering high-quality services without emptying your pockets.  

When considering a partnership with a language service provider the first thing an organization weighs is price. The price of interpretation is a fair consideration to make. But when thinking about cost, it’s important to contemplate more than just the number laid out before you. While a low hourly or minute rate may seem appealing, it can cost you more than you bargained for if that interpreter is not carefully vetted, experienced, or qualified for your situation. 

A qualified interpreter may have a higher per-minute rate than someone without a specialized skillset, but there are several reasons for this. Interpreting is more than just converting words from one language to another – it’s understanding meaning, context, cultural nuisances, and having a background in a particular field, like healthcare for instance. Medical interpreters have a broad knowledge of medical terminology and treatments and are well-versed in healthcare regulations and ethical standards. With a qualified medical interpreter, clear communication between a doctor and LEP patient is assured, which reduces costly readmissions and lengths of stay. These calls/sessions also tend to be shorter because a qualified medical interpreter doesn’t need as much time for clarification as an interpreter without a medical background (extra minutes add up even while an interpreter has a lower rate). In the long run, a more qualified interpreter saves you time and money even if their rate appears to be higher on the surface – and this applies to all sectors from legal to finance. 

At Language Services Associates (LSA) we hold our interpreters to a high standard, with a meticulous six-step assessment process, and only one in every 40 candidates making it through our qualification procedure. Our interpreters are carefully vetted, industry-specialized, and frequently monitored to ensure that we are providing the highest quality service possible.  

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.  

About LSA 

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.  

Interpretation vs. Translation: Understanding the Key Differences

7 min read

Interpretation and translation both promote breaking down language barriers, facilitating communication, and bringing cultures together. And while most people use the terms “interpreter” and “translator” interchangeably, the two disciplines require a different skill set and are rarely conducted by the same people. Outside of the language service industry, the terminology can be confusing. Understanding the intricacies of each unique medium will make it easier for organizations looking to partner with a language provider to acquire the solutions they need. 

The first major distinction between interpretation and translation is that interpretation is spoken, and translation is written. On the surface, this is the defining characteristic that sets each apart from the other. But let’s take a deeper dive into three key differences. 

1. Translation is Performed Over Time, Interpretation is Immediate

Interpretation is executed in real-time either over the phone, in person, or via video. During conversation, an interpreter needs to listen for, not only the words being spoken, but also the nuances, meanings, and tones being delivered. In many languages there are words that don’t always have an exact equivalent in another language. In these cases, an interpreter will have to think quick on their feet to render the meaning of what is being said and keep the conversation moving without losing accuracy. 

Since translation renders the meaning of the written word from one language to another, it doesn’t entail the same immediacy as live interpretation. Translation occurs subsequent to the development of the source and affords the translation team time to utilize terminology resources, parallel texts, specialized technology, and other support tools to ensure the text is translated exactly as the author intended. 

2. Fluency and Direction 

Interpreters need to be fluent in both languages they work with. During quick back-and-forth exchanges the ability to instantly understand what is being said and relay that information accurately is critical to the task at hand. They need to work well under pressure and have superb communication skills. 

While translators need native fluency in the source language as well as the target language, they only work into their native language. They must have remarkable comprehension skills and an almost innate ability to transfer from the source language to the target language. They have the option of consulting terminology resources, specialized subject-area reference material, and making use of the most current technology to support their work.  

3. Collaboration 

While both interpretation and translation require teamwork, the people they work with are quite different. Interpreters work directly with clients and their limited English proficient customers or patients in realtime. They depend on their memory and fluency in the two languages to quickly work with each speaker in the absence of any external tools or resources for support. 

In translation, a project can go through several stages and edits, and involve a team of translators, editors, proofreaders, and project managers all working together to assure that the intended meaning of the original material is kept intact. Translators rely on their expert reading comprehension skills, and their ability to accurately render written material into the target language. 

Interpretation and translation are closely related in that they bring cultures together and remove language barriers; however, the skill sets required are ultimately quite different. Understanding these key differences can make it easier to navigate the solutions offered by language service providers. 

Learn more about LSA’s interpretation and translation services today! 

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.

About LSA 

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For more than 2,000 clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.

Funny in 33 languages: The art of translating Maysoon Zayid’s hilarious TED Talk | TED Blog

3 min read

What’s funny in one language isn’t necessarily funny in another. Maysoon Zayid’s “I got 99 problems … palsy is just one” presented many challenges for TED translators bringing the hilarious talk into their language. As she tells stories from her life as a Palestinian-American comedian with cerebral palsy, Zayid cracks with wordplay. For translators, it’s one thing to convey meaning, but how do you let non-English speaking audiences in on the joke? “If you have to explain the joke, it’s no longer funny,” says Greek translator Dimitra Papageorgiou. But if you do a good job, says Meric Aydonat, who translated the talk into Turkish, “it looks so natural that your translation becomes funny in itself.”

Maysoon Zayid, for one, appreciated the thought that went into each and every translation of her talk. “Hands down my favorite part of being a speaker at TEDWomen was seeing my talk translated. Every time a new language was added, I would post it on Facebook because it made me so happy,” she says. “As a bilingual comic, I know how hard it is to translate comedy and I love everything these volunteers did, especially in tackling ‘can can.’ I’m thrilled that so many people were willing to take on this challenge. Together we proved that comedy really is a universal language.”

Source: Funny in 33 languages: The art of translating Maysoon Zayid’s hilarious TED Talk | TED Blog

Translation and Localization FAQs

10 min read

How does the Client Portal work? 

With LSA’s secure online Client Portal, you can submit documents for translation 24/7/365. LSA’s Client Portal also allows you to approve estimates, monitor your projects, and retrieve your translated documents online. Your Client Services Specialist, Account Manager, or Project Manager can set up an account for you. 

What is the difference between interpretation and translation? 

Although both practices share the common goal of taking information that is available in one language and converting it to another, they are two separate processes. Interpretation refers to listening to something spoken and interpreting it orally into the target language. Translation involves taking a written text and translating it in writing into the target language. 

How long will it take to translate my documents? 

Processing time for translation depends on a variety of factors, including the number of words in the document, the file type, the rarity of the language(s) requested, and the type of translation being performed. To speed up the process and reduce your cost, please provide editable native files, including all images, fonts, and instructions for handling, if applicable. If your project is urgent, we proudly offer rush services for an additional fee. 

How many languages do you provide? 

We offer professional translation and localization services for any standard world language; that is, any language having an alphabet and agreed upon grammar and spelling conventions. Conversion to Braille is also available for English documents. 

What if I’m unsure of the language of the source document? 

Our Project Managers are trained to identify languages for our clients. Simply let your Project Manager know that you are not sure of the language, and he/she will be able to assist you. 

May I request a particular translator? 

We match translators to a particular project based on the following factors: native language, experience, education, and expertise in the subject area. Often, clients will be matched with the same translator(s) to maintain consistency. 

What if I have a question about a project? 

For all translation questions, please contact LSA’s Client Services department at 866.221.1301 or on the Web. You may also contact your Account Manager, Project Manager, or the Translation Division Manager if you have a question about a particular project. To view the current status of your project, please log in to the Client Portal. 

Where do I send requests for translation? 

If you are a new client, please send your request for translation to our Sales department at 800.305.9673 X55305 or on the Web. If you are an existing client, you can upload your file(s) via the Client Portal or e-mail the document to your Sales Account Manager. Upon receiving your first request, our Translation Division Manager will assign the project to a dedicated Project Manager. Please include your contact information, the language(s) requested, and any special instructions. 

How can I pay for my translation? 

If you are a new client, an LSA Sales Manager will be happy to set up an account for you. We offer several payment options for services, including monthly payments (based on service agreement), credit line payments, purchase order payments, and credit card payments for smaller projects. 

What type of documents are you equipped to translate? 

We can handle almost any type of source file, from handwritten documents to HTML. Below is a list of some of the most common file types we typically work with. If your source file type is not listed below, please contact your Project Manager for confirmation. 

  • Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher 
  • Adobe InDesign, PageMaker, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Acrobat PDF 
  • Website, Database, and Resource Files
  • SCORM Packages 
  • QuarkXPress 
  • HTML 
  • XML 
  • AutoCAD 

What levels of translation do you offer? 

We have a combination of different translation methods for our clients to choose from, including Enhanced Machine Translation (EMT), with or without post-editing; Translation, Editing and Proofreading (TEP); and Translation, Editing, Proofreading and PM Proofreading (TEPP). We often combine different levels of translation to meet our clients’ budget and project requirements. Our TEP and TEPP processes are ISO 9001:2008 Certified. 

How do I determine what level of translation I need? 

We will explain the different translation levels in detail and make recommendations based on the materials you provide for translation. We firmly believe that client education is the most important factor in the translation level selection process and is vital to the success of every translation project we undertake. 

What is enhanced machine translation? 

Machine Translation (Regular and Enhanced) 

Machine translation (MT) is the conversion of text from one language to another via purely automated means (content is not translated or reviewed by a human linguist). Enhanced MT involves an engine that has been trained for a given customer’s verbiage or subject matter. This training provides a higher degree of accuracy than a standard MT. LSA can perform both regular and Enhanced MT of your materials upon request. 

    Machine Translation (Post-edited / MTPE) 

Machine Translation that has been post-edited (MTPE) is a regular or, preferably, Enhanced machine translation that has been reviewed by a human linguist after completion of the MT stage to “clean up” the translation, in order to ensure a higher degree of accuracy than even an Enhanced MT can provide, while retaining the speed and cost advantages of utilizing MT. LSA can provide MTPE upon request. 

What if my material is constantly changing? 

In most cases, we can locate and identify all changes to your assets, whether they are simple documents or complex websites, to ensure that new and updated content is translated as it is created. 

Do you have professional translation experience in a particular industry segment? 

We have experience providing professional translation and localization services across virtually every industry, including healthcare, insurance, sports, utilities, education, government, manufacturing, and banking & financial services. 

Do you specialize in a particular area of translation and localization? 

We specialize in the following types of translation and localization services: 

  • Website translation and localization 
  • E-mail support services 
  • IVR prompts 
  • Software localization 
  • Video script and multimedia translation 
  • Technical document translation 
  • E-learning and training translation 
  • Marketing and advertising translation 

Language Industry Will Outpace World Economy In 2013, Say’s GALA

2 min read

According to a recent press release distributed the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA), the multi-billion dollar language industry will grow by more than 12 percent in 2013.  Hans Fenstermacher, the CEO of GALA, attributes the projected growth to the rising demand for professional translation and localization services.

“Despite the advent of the most advanced automated translations in a generation, businesses increasingly need professional translation services to maintain their brands. To sell worldwide, businesses must look and sound as if they’re right next door,” said Fenstermacher.

Fenstermacher also cites four industry-specific trends that are driving the need for more language and translation services worldwide:

  • Faster delivery due to improving technology
  • Demand for real-time translation services
  • Adequacy of machine translation for lesser-quality requirements
  • Increasing interest from corporate investors

Please click here to read the complete press release on PR Newswire.

To learn more about Language Services Associates’ professional translation services and professional interpretation services, please call 800.305.9673 or contact us online.