Lost in Translation… No Longer: A Video Remote Interpretation Success – MTI America

Lost in Translation… No Longer: A Video Remote Interpretation Success

By: Andrea Davila, Supervisor, Language Services

Access to language interpretation and translation services for medical and legal purposes is always in high demand.

Spanish? No problem. Creole, Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, or Punjabi? We can provide a translator or interpreter for those injured workers with no problem. Those languages are among the most requested translations nationally that we coordinate through our Pompano Beach office in South Florida.

In fact, our translators and interpreters have provided services in more than 200 languages.

With our extensive network of certified translators and 28 years of industry experience, it was hard to picture a language translation challenge that we had not encountered before…that was, until Mr. R.

Mr. R. was an injured worker with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), who spoke Ixil, one of the 21 different Mayan dialects spoken in Guatemala and the primary language of the Maya Ixil people. Mr. R lived in Fresno, California, and needed an onsite interpreter for his medical appointment. Due to the limited number of Ixil speakers in the US, we could not locate an onsite interpreter who could translate Ixil to English at the Fresno location. But we did not let that deter us. Creatively, and with the client’s approval, we expanded our search for a telephone or video interpreter.

Proud of our ability to problem solve, we embarked on a search for an Ixil interpreter to provide video remote interpretation (VRI). Here we faced a second challenge. The Ixil interpreters we located were proficient in translating to Spanish but not to English. Since the physician spoke only English, a Spanish-speaking interpreter was not the solution we needed. Our team put their heads together and found two interpreters, one who could translate from English to Spanish and one from Spanish to Ixil using Video Remote Interpreting (VRI).

While providing two interpreters for one medical appointment is not a standard solution, we are proud of our coordinators’ abilities to work as a team, approach the problem creatively, and ensure Mr. R had the necessary language access needed to address his medical concerns. As a result, Mr. R. received the care he needed, with nothing even remotely “lost in the translation.”