Monthly Archives: July 2013

Communication breakdown: hospital liability for failing to provide interpreter services –via Lexology



Federal law requires that health care providers make language assistance available to individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). Individuals considered to have LEP are those who do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to speak, read, write, or understand English. At the national level, the size of the foreign-born LEP population has grown 30.7% between 2000 and 2011, while the LEP population in Wisconsin has increased even more during that time period, expanding by 40.1%. When physicians cannot effectively communicate with LEP patients, there is danger of improper medical care, lack of informed consent, and impaired patient understanding of diagnoses.

Legal Requirements

While there is no specific legislation that mandates the use of language interpreters in the health care setting, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stipulates that no organization that receives federal financial assistance may deny benefits of the program or discriminate based on race, color, and/or national origin. Discrimination based on language is equivalent to discrimination based on national origin. Since most hospitals, managed health care organizations, and physician practices receive Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, they are recipients of federal assistance and therefore must comply with Title VI. In 2000, Executive Order 13166 required federal agencies to examine the services health care organizations provide, identify any need for services to help those with LEP, and develop and implement a system to provide those services so that LEP individuals would have meaningful access to them. To assist federal agencies in doing this, the Department of Justice (DOJ) established compliance standards, known as the Four Factor Analysis. A recipient of federal financial assistance can use these standards to individually evaluate the extent of its obligation to provide LEP services. The four factors include:

  1. The number or proportion of LEP individuals eligible to be served or likely to be served by the program or grantee;
  2. The frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with the program;
  3. The nature and importance of the program, activity, or service provided by the program to people’s lives; and
  4. The resources available to the grantee/recipient and the costs of providing language services.

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

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How German Sounds Compared To Other Languages — some Friday humor


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How to become an interpreter for US Government, United Nations, NATO and European Commission

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Due to popular demand, LanguageTime will be publishing a comprehensive paper on how to get interpreters jobs within the US Government various agencies, European Commission, United Nations And NATO.  This is a must keep document that will prove valuable for any interpreter that wants to broaden their career within these various different agencies.  Interpreter schools, language universities will find this invaluable for their students.

To get your free copy of the LanguageTime annual guide to Government and International Interpreter Career Opportunities, complete the contact form below.

Study: Medical interpreter use hindered by lack of reimbursement –via Fierce Practice Management


The healthcare industry is moving toward requiring more “cultural competency” training for doctors, but more needs to  be done to ensure accurate communication with patients of limited English  proficiency, Reuters Health reports.

Dr. Darcy Thompson, who studies low-income and immigrant families at the  University of Colorado Denver, told Reuters Health that medical schools and  residency programs are not providing adequate training on the use of  professional interpreters.

“I am not surprised that physicians are not using professional interpreters  as frequently as they should be,” said Thompson, in reaction to a new study, conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School  of Medicine and published in Pediatrics, that measured pediatricians’  use of formal language interpreters.

The study revealed that only 56 percent of pediatricians surveyed in 2010 said  they used formal medical interpreters with their patients, while 57 percent  relied on patients’ bilingual family members to help translate medical  information.

Read more: Study: Medical interpreter use hindered by lack of reimbursement – FiercePracticeManagement

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

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Players Leap Language Barriers –via NY Times


Players Leap Language Barriers

Game of War: Fire Age Translates Player’s Chat

What if everyone in the world could play a game at the same time?

Game of War: Fire Age is an ambitious mobile game that wants to make that prospect a reality — and, most notably, to enable every player to understand what the others are saying while they play.

The game’s most impressive feature is an instantaneous translation of text-based online chat. If someone writes “MDR” in French (for “mort de rire,” or “dying of laughter”), an English-speaking player sees it as “LOL.” Machine Zone, the company behind the game, says it will release Game of War in Apple’s App Store sometime this month.

Since the 1990s, a single, giant, global game has been the alluring promise of what are called “massively multiplayer” online games. By the middle of the last decade, at the peak of virtual-world fever, Edward Castronova, an economist at Indiana University, warned that we were facing the equivalent of an emigration crisis — the prospect that hundreds of millions of people would be leaving this world for digital ones, where they would spend the vast bulk of their time and money.

And yet, while these games have indeed proved to be immensely popular — World of Warcraft still has more than eight million subscribers — they have, for the most part, failed to follow through on the conceit that they are enormous global spaces. Nearly all massively multiplayer games would be better called decently large multiplayer games. To begin with, the millions of subscribers for a single title are divided among millions of computer servers called shards that create a multiverse of virtual worlds that do not intersect or interact with one another. For most of these games, only several thousand players compete alongside one another at a time in a single virtual place.

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

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