Health Care Interpretation Certification: Pilot

Health care interpretation has traditionally been one of the interpretation fields with the least amount of standards -- to the dismay of both health care professionals and interpreters. After many years with no national certification in the field, 2010 brings us not one, but two nationwide certifications. While we certainly think it would be better to have only one certification -- it would present a more unified front and be less confusing for the public -- in general, certification is good. Judy hasn't yet decided which organization she will support, but for now, we wanted to let readers know about the discounted pilot certification being offered by the Certification Commission  for Healthcare Interpreters. The other certifying body is the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.  Both organizations have done a tremendous amount of work, supported mostly by hard working professionals who have volunteered their time to make certification a reality. 

Dutch Working on New Language

Since it's Friday, we clearly love languages, and we have become huge Netherlands fans since our trip to Amsterdam and Utrecht last month, we wanted to share this funny tidbit of information. We just heard this on NPR's Morning Edition, and it's a 28-second audio clip. Basically, it's about researchers developing a language that will help us communicate with the robots in our lives. Enjoy! 

Summer Book Discount

Lulu, the online publisher that recently published our "The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation" book, just sent us a 10% discount for book purchases through July 31. It doesn't do us any good, as we have plenty of copies, so we figured we'd pass it on to those who might be interested. We don't know about you, but we love discounts! Simply enter "BEACHREAD" at checkout. We are not sure our book on the translation business qualifies as a beach read, but hopefully our readers will enjoy the discount! You can order the book here

Google Docs Features OCR Reader

Good news for those of us who frequently have to struggle with converting locked PDFs into editable documents. While we really like ABBYY FineReader, at $399, it is an expensive program (try the free 15-day trial). Our friends at Google have integrated similar functionalities into their powerful and popular Google Docs, which supports several languages, including English, Spanish, German, and French. We haven't tested that functionality yet, but with all things Google, you can expect it to be quite solid. Best of all: it's free. Read all about it on the Google Apps blog. Yet another solution: charge a PDF conversion surcharge. Your clients will understand that your expertise is not primarily in the document conversion area, and that having a professional linguist spend time on converting documents is neither the best use of the linguist's time nor the best use of the client's money. You would be surprised how quickly an editable document is found at your client's office once they realize they can save money by looking for it! Truly a win-win situation, isn't it?

Nigerian Scam Database

Ted Wozniak, our friend and colleague who runs the fantastic Payment Practices list (essential for every freelancer, and at $20/a year, it's a bargain) has graciously put together a free database where freelance translators and interpreters can report so-called Nigerian check scams.

The following information comes from Ted:
"Nigerian check" and similar scams have long been a problem for the unwary.
In recent years, the scam has evolved to target interpreters and translators

To help prevent freelancers from falling prey to these scams, Payment
Practices has established a public database where you can report names and
other contact data when you receive an offer you believe to be a scam
targeted specifically at translators or interpreters. (Please report only suspected scams specifically targeting translators or interpreters -
reporting every suspicious email your receive would quickly overwhelm the

This database is open to the public and is NOT restricted to subscribers of
Payment Practices. You can access the database here. 

ATA Certification Exam in Las Vegas, NV

The Nevada Interpreters and Translators Association (NITA), where Judy serves as Vice President, recently announced that it has been approved to host an American Translators Association (ATA) certification exam. This is the first time an ATA exam has been held in Nevada, and it's a great opportunity for linguists on the West Coast to take the exam close to home. While NITA will  be physically hosting and proctoring the exam, all registrations and questions will be handled by the ATA. NITA has put together a thorough information page for those interested in the exam, which will be held on Friday, September 10.
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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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