Monthly Archives: June 2013

Foundation Launches to Accelerate Certification

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 26, 2013  (Eteligis via Accesswire) — Louis F. Provenzano, language advocate, co-founder of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, and a renowned interpreter advocate, today announced the launch of a non-profit foundation to accelerate the certification of medical interpreters.

The Louis F. Provenzano Foundation for Certified Medical Interpreters, a 501(c)(3) foundation, will work to assist medical interpreters with training and National Board certification expenses. The foundation’s Board of Directors, to be announced at a later date, will include leading subject matter experts globally in the medical interpretation industry.

In order to fulfill its mission, the Foundation will seek donations from hospitals, government agencies and other interested parties to fund grants to those interpreters who need assistance in getting trained and certified.

“Often, the difference between life and death is being understood by a highly trained and qualified medical interpreter,” Provenzano said. “It is an honor to have my foundation support the cause through more extensive and better training that leads to an increase in the number of interpreters certified through the National Board.”

Izabel Arocha, Executive Director of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA), the world’s largest association for medical interpreters, credited Provenzano with “continuing to remove language barriers for limited English speakers.”

“As the previous CEO of Language Line Services (now LanguageLine Solutions) and the co-founder of the National Board, Louis brings unparalleled passion and respect to the cause,” Arocha said. “His leadership on the issue of certifying medical interpreters has been critical in advancing patient safety and raising awareness for what it truly means to be a professional medical interpreter.”

To date approximately 750 interpreters have received the Certified Medical Interpreters (CMI) designation. The oral performance exam is given in Spanish, Russian, Cantonese and Mandarin. The exam will be available shortly in Korean and Vietnamese. Plans to expand to other languages are underway by the National Board.

Tina Peña, Chair of the National Board, called Provenzano the “undisputed expert on language access, and the foremost spokesperson for the need of qualified and certified medical interpreters. “

“Louis is one of those truly exceptional leaders who puts his mind, heart and soul into all aspects of a critical issue,” Peña said. “The impact of his support cannot be overstated.”

More information will be available on the foundation’s website, which will launch in September.

About the National Board

The mission of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (National Board) is to foster improved healthcare outcomes, patient safety and patient/provider communication, by elevating the standards for and quality of medical interpreting through a nationally recognized and validated certification for medical interpreters. The certified medical interpreter (CMI) certification program is governed by the National Board, an independent division of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA). For more information, visit:

About IMIA

The International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) is a U.S.-based international organization committed to the advancement of professional medical interpreters as the best practice to equitable language access to health care for linguistically diverse patients. Founded in 1986, with over 2,000 members, most providing interpreting services in over 70 languages, the IMIA is the oldest and largest medical interpreter association in the country. For more information, visit:

About Louis F. Provenzano Foundation for Certified Medical Interpreters

The Louis F. Provenzano Foundation for Certified Medical Interpreters works to assist medical interpreters with training and National Board Certification expenses. Provenzano is a language advocate, co-founder of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, a renowned interpreter advocate, and former President and chief executive officer of Language Line Services (now Language Line Solutions). For more information, visit

Tina Peña
Chair, National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters


© Accesswire 2013
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America’s Afghan And Iraqi Interpreters Risk Lives But Wait Years In Danger For Visas –via Huffington Post

US Marines Patrol Remote Part Of Helmand Province Near Kajaki Dam

The Americans are not going to be here forever,” Taliban militants told Faizi while he was on assignment in a Kandahar prison. “Now we know your face.” They vowed to the 27-year-old, U.S.-contracted linguist that they would find him the moment the Americans pulled out of Afghanistan.

Faizi knew those were no idle threats. When suicide bombers attacked the base his friend and colleague Farhad was working on, the linguist was the first one to be targeted.

“The first thing they did was shoot him,” Faizi says.

Faizi is one of tens of thousands of Afghans who have been employed by the U.S. military, government and contractors during 12 years of war in Afghanistan. He has been working with U.S. troops since 2009 and embedded with units in some of the most dangerous parts of the country. He joined them on patrols, got caught up in the same attacks and suffered from the same IED blasts.

“We are like members of a family, we and the U.S. troops,” Faizi says. “We take care of each other.”

To read  more of this article courtesy of The Huffington Post, click the link below.


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Chattanooga company breaking down language barriers –via



A Chattanooga company is making its way around the world leaving its mark through language, and nearly instant updates. If you weren’t interested in technology before, this may finally spark your curiosity.

Sovee combines the speed of the Internet with native speaking translators in Chattanooga.

Just a stroll down the hall at Sovee and you can learn hello in several of the 64 different native tongues that Sovee can translate.

It’s a worldly place with translation technology not matched by many.

“Sovee has developed smart engine technology, and it’s something a lot of people don’t have. Traditional translation is you take something and manual translate it, and it’s a really slow process,” said VP of Marketing Kathleen Casey.

The Smart Engine can do that in seconds. If you’re thinking Google Translation can do the same, try fitting an entire website in Google Translation.

After the Smart Engine translates, humans run a fine comb through it.

“If it uses the wrong word, sometimes it will look funny and we have to change it to the correct word,” translator Judith Vera Barra said.

To read more of this article courtesy of, click the link below.


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Congress to vote on visa program for Afghan interpreters –via Washington Post

Prince Harry tour of duty in Afghanistan
By Kevin Sieff,June 13, 2013

KABUL — For years, Afghan interpreters who risk their lives working with the American military have been promised safe haven in the form of U.S. visas that would allow them to escape from the Taliban insurgency’s cross hairs.

Now, a narrow interpretation of the relevant visa program and a lack of commitment to it in Congress are threatening to deprive longtime U.S. government employees and some of the Taliban’s top targets of the prospect of that escape route. Legislation to be voted on this week will determine whether thousands of current and former interpreters will actually receive the promised visas.

The program, already hobbled by bureaucratic delays, hit another roadblock recently when the State Department ruled that many U.S. military interpreters are ineligible for visas because they were hired by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) rather than directly through the U.S. government.

To read more of this article courtesy of the Washington Post, click the link below.


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Hot jobs: Signs show growth in careers for interpreters


When he was in elementary school, Daron Ladson took sign language classes at his church, offered by the mother of a deaf girl in the congregation so she wouldn’t feel isolated.

“The way I remember it, I was reluctant initially,” said the 26-year-old, who lives in Chili. “But my mom was like, ‘Take the class.’ Because of my interest in drama and theater, I liked how expressive the language was, and that was the bait that got me hooked.”

Ladson is an associate interpreter at Rochester Institute of Technology, his first job after graduating there in 2008 with a bachelor’s in American Sign Language and Interpreting Education. More than 1,300 deaf and hard-of-hearing students attend RIT, which is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

“I love the bicultural aspect of my job,” said Ladson. “There’s a cultural mediation process that goes along with interpreting because ASL is very different from English. It’s more explicit. You have to take all this information, bring it through that process, and explain it in another language — in real time.

“That’s the beauty. That’s the challenge.”

To read more of this article courtesy of Democrat and click the link below.


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