Interpreters Recognized for Fostering Peace, Understanding & Development

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

Each year, on September 30th, translators, interpreters and language professionals around the world celebrate International Translation Day. The day was chosen to fall on the feast of St. Jerome, an Italian priest known as the patron saint of translators. St. Jerome’s first language was of Illyrian dialect. He was educated in Latin and also fluent in Greek and Hebrew. St. Jerome translated many of the New Testament manuscripts from Greek to Latin as well as parts of the Hebrew Gospel from Hebrew to Greek. 

Originally established by the International Federation of Translators in 1953, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared the day an international holiday in 2017 in recognition of language professionals’ role in fostering peace, understanding and development.

Interpretation & Translation of Indigenous Languages

Each year, International Translation Day focuses on a different theme. This year’s theme is the interpretation and translation of indigenous languages. While these languages are disappearing at alarming rates, they play a vital role in the preservation and continuance of cultural diversity worldwide.

At Stratus Video, our interpreters facilitate communication between healthcare providers and patients with limited English proficiency (LEP), who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. This helps ensure patients have meaningful access to healthcare information.

Treating Patients Who Speak Indigenous Languages

In hospitals and health systems, it is essential to provide language services for LEP patients. Studies show that both patient satisfaction and outcome are greatly improved when a medical interpreter is used to facilitate communication. In addition, the provision of language services is required by several federal regulations, including Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

Although Spanish interpreters are often available on-site in U.S. hospitals, an increasing number of farmworkers from Southern Mexico do not actually speak Spanish. They speak indigenous languages that are over a thousand years old: Triqui, Zapotec and Mixtec languages. Remote interpreting services help hospitals ensure they can provide language services for less commonly encountered languages, including indigenous dialects from around the world.

With access to over 200 languages on demand, over the phone interpreting (OPI) and video remote interpreting (VRI) services provide immediate access to medical interpreters who are qualified in a wide variety of languages. This enables hospitals to better serve patients who speak less common languages that are not available onsite. Learn more about International Translation Day, this year’s theme and the importance of the preservation of indigenous languages here.

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