Daily Life

Your Voice; Keeping it Healthy

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If you work as an Interpreter, Dispatcher or even in a call center, your job depends on your “voice”, and you are considered an occupational voice user.
Meaning, you are “The Voice” and that is your tool and the most valuable tool you have in order to convey and get your job done.
So, whether your an Interpreter, Conference Interpreter, Dispatcher, or work in a call center, or as a scheduler, your voice is your only link with the customer, correct?
So, it’s important that you take care of your voice and that you maintain a healthy voice in order to get the job done.

Because just as neat professional attire is essential for face-to-face interactions, having a clear voice is essential for your day-to-day business operations.
A hoarse voice from an Interpreter, or call center agent (CCA), dispatcher carries the same negative impression as a worn-out outfit and can detract from building credibility and or doing your job the right way, do you agree?

 

Little Story: A few years back I was doing a Conference appointment for the State, I actually had a team interpreter (who was sick) and was coughing up a storm.  Having a sick interpreter onsite who’s unable to do his/her job (use their voice to speak) not only did it affect the overall assignment, but it was a major distraction and also put on more stress on me, because I had to complete the job myself because my partner was sick with laryngitis.

 

So a healthy voice is crucial, but because you are constantly talking and using your voice to do your job and if you don’t take care of your voice, you are at risk for damaging your voice and developing hoarseness.

 

A 2002 study on voice problems among CCAs reported voice problems in 31 percent of CCAs, with several negative outcomes, including:

  • Increased sick days
  • Fewer calls per hour
  • More breaks away from the phone
  • Needing to repeat themselves
  • Needing to force the voice out

Overall, Interpreters, Dispatchers, CCAs with voice problems are bad not only for the CCAs, Interpreters, Dispatchers, Schedulers, and those who use their Voice to work but at the end of the day it’s bad for business.

I’ve learned from some Voice experts who now think that voice problem is a form of repetitive motion injury because the vocal cords are being injured by overuse, similar to the way data entry personnel may develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Did you know that when we talk, the vocal cords vibrate about 200 times a second for women and about half that for men? That can add up to more than a million cycles of vibration during a workday at a call center causing vocal injury this is also true for singers, interpreters, dispatchers, call centers, etc.

 

As a professional conference interpreter who’s constantly working and who uses her voice to work, it is so important to take care of your voice!

True Story: About 4 years ago (I was a major workaholic) 🤔😊working all day, every day and would not take breaks in between and didn’t like working with other colleagues (I had bad experiences with other agency interpreters), so I was working for a whole straight month non-stop during the Winter months and around November while working at a conference my Voice literally starting squeaking, I could NOT Speak, my voice started sounding horsy like, my chest started to hurt, my throat was just feeling horrible, I started to sweat, got dizzy and literally passed out! Apparently, I had walking pneumonia and laryngitis and was in the hospital! I failed to listen to my body, I was just so excited about the work, I love what I do and was just “Go-go-go” non-stop that my body finally gave out in the middle of an assignment!  This little scenario ended up costing me months being out of work until I was able to get my Voice back and recuperate from this horrible experience!

So yes, dear interpreters, dispatchers, CCAs, Schedulers and all of you who use your work to fulfill your responsibilities TAKE CARE OF YOUR “VOICE”!

Here are some recommendations and things that I do and have done so since this episode.

Posture

Taking frequent breaks and being able to move around is so important because it reduces the tension in your body and will prevent you from having other joint/muscle problems.

Breaks

Taking frequent breaks will give your voice muscle a rest, so try to rest your voice – meaning no talking, or drinking cold drinks.

Voice Pacing

Voice scientists advise those who use their Voice to work “to think of voice pacing on three levels:

  • Breaks within phone calls
  • Breaks between phone calls during the work day
  • Breaks between work days”

Tips

Besides posture, breaks, and vocal pacing, you must also practice good voice hygiene. These tips have helped me keep the throat moist and free from irritation so that my vocal cords are less likely to be injured:

  • Drinking lots of (room temperature) water (or non-caffeinated liquid) during the day.
  • Keep water with you at all times.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are drying to the throat.
  • Avoid excess coughing and throat clearing.
  • Don’t smoke! Smoking causes irritation and can lead to cancer and other health-related problems.
  • Don’t work if you have a hoarse voice due to a cold or upper respiratory infection.
  • Seek medical attention to manage any medical conditions that can cause throat irritation including acid reflux, postnasal drainage, allergies, asthma, and endocrine conditions, etc.
  • Avoid dry interior climates
  • Avoid high-rise areas they are known to cause damage to your voice.
  • Eat good and moist meals and avoid spicy foods, they cause acid reflux or GERD
  • Use a humidifier in your room or home, especially in dry climates.
  • Avoid mouthwash (it contains alcohol), if you need to gargle use lukewarm salt water
  • Take vitamins or eat fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, A, E, and C
  • Drink lemon tea with honey (instead of  coffee)
  • I made my own paste that I add to my teas and helps with phlegm and it also has helped me from getting sick; it includes:
    • Ginger
    • Honey
    • Coconut oil
    • Pepper, etc…I will include the paste recipe in my next food meal article.

Get Help Early; Listen to Your Body

Seek medical attention early don’t wait until you have lost your voice to seek medical help.
Pay attention to the signs that your voice is getting tired such as– dry throat, raw or tired feeling in the throat, increased mucus in the throat, feeling like talking takes more effort, feeling throat strain — in addition to a raspy or hoarse voice.NIDCD-TakingCareOfYourVoice-Figure1

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Interpreting

Don’ts when contracting a Translator

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Spanish Interpreting and Translation Services

Don’ts when contracting a Translator

To all my wonderful and potential clients,

Please keep this in mind when you are contracting a “Translator” for a Hearing, Medical assignment, Conference, meetings, etc.  Because I know how important and critical each venue can be, I want to make sure your contract ONLY but the BEST!

Tip #1: First and foremost DON’T search for a Translator

Because a translator deals with written material vs. an actual event.  The interpreter, however, deals with the “spoken word” that is the one conveying your message into another language and being “The Voice (TM)” and the one helping you “Bridge the Language Barrier in Communication.”

Tip #2. Second and foremost how to search for an Interpreter

You can always search on Google for an Interpreter, but it’s always better to ask someone with experience, someone who has used the services of that interpreter, someone who actually can tell you “Yes, I’ve used his / her services and he/she is great!”, or if you find the interpreter via Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., ask that interpreter for his / her expertise and experience.

You can also find an interpreter via an Interpreting Agency, but that can go wrong very quickly!  

Why?

Because many agencies ONLY want to book the venue and they don’t take the time to actually evaluate the event and match the skills with the interpreter.  

For example: In early 2000 I was called to do a “Client / Attorney” meeting (at least that is what the Agency told me). They said, “We have a Client / Attorney meeting to discuss a case”. I said “OK, I can handle that (I have years of experience doing Client / Attorney meetings for friends and family)”.

Unbeknownst to me, it was NOT a Client / Attorney meeting it was a Deposition, well at that time I didn’t have ANY EXPERIENCE doing those types of assignments.  

So, I told the attorneys that I did not feel comfortable moving forward with the assignment and their response was “Don’t worry, we are already running late, we can’t wait for another interpreter, we will proceed with you and if I see you are NOT doing a good job (one of the attorneys was bilingual) then we will STOP the Deposition”.  

Although I was VERY NERVOUS and hesitant I agreed to do it (per the attorney’s suggestion). Thank goodness, after all, said and done, I was able to finish the assignment with 100% approval from all parties involved, but till this day I think I was (one of the lucky ones), NOT many interpreters would have been able to pull this off!

Immediately, after completing my assignment the Attorney’s who contracted the agency called them right in front of everyone and fired their services and decided to contract my services directly for all of their upcoming assignments.

Tip #3

When your searching for an Interpreter or Translator PRICING can be a big factor to many companies; however, some say and think that by paying more, you will get better services because the saying says: “You get what you paid for”, but that is NOT always the case.  Unfortunately, many companies prefer to use the services of an Interpreting Agency, as well as of a “Certified Interpreter” and think that by paying more for a “Certified” interpreter they will receive better services. Unfortunately, that is NOT ALWAYS the case.

When looking for an interpreter make sure to ask for:

  1. The interpreter’s qualifications and experience
  2. Provide details of your appointment, such as;
    1. If it’s legal, is it a Deposition, Hearing, Trial, Mediation, etc…
    2. If its a personal injury case, immigration, civil case, probate, etc…
    3. The more information and basic details that you can provide the agency, or the interpreter the better service you will receive
  3. MORE IMPORTANTLY – Don’t assume that ALL interpreters are familiar with ALL TERMINOLOGY!  Just like a Doctor, he/she is ONLY familiar with medical terminology, but also they have their own specialization.  The same goes for Attorneys and Interpreters are NO DIFFERENT!
  4. Make sure to be specific of your needs and provide as much information and details of your appointment to better help the interpreter prepare for the assignment

LEARN MOREimages

Are you bilingual and want to become a professional interpreter? 

Learn what it takes to enter this wonderful industry!

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Business Services

Interpreter Role vs. Bilingual Advocate

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Interpreter Role vs. Bilingual Advocate

Advocate and when to

As an interpreter for over 15+ years, I’ve seen time and time again interpreters stepping out of their Role as a Professional Interpreter and into the Role of a Bilingual Advocacy…

As we all know, it’s a No! No!

Unless, the patient’s health, well-being, or dignity is at risk!

Advocate and Liaison

The Role as an Interpreter is to Bridge the Language Gap in Communication; We are just the “Voice”.The Role of a Bilingual Advocate is to help bridge the gap of inequality and power between patients and providers.

“Interpreters and Translators have existed for centuries, but Bilingual Advocacy is a relatively new practice that is in the process of being recognized as a “profession” in its own right.  

Bilingual Link workers/advocates, interpreters, community interpreters, and translators are all titles for bilingual workers who are most commonly employed and provide language support to the users (both from the minority ethnic communities and from the health and social care agencies).”

Therefore, keep in mind that these are Two (2) different Roles that SHOULD NOT be mixed and here’s why!  

Being bilingual is a great skill to have, but “Only qualified individuals should serve as interpreters.

Nevertheless, sexual assault victim advocates who are fluent in languages other than English are sometimes asked by police, prosecutors, and other professionals to provide interpretive services for victims.

In these cases, even if the advocate is a qualified interpreter, it can be difficult to maintain the boundary between the interpreter’s role and the sexual assault victim advocate’s confidential role. So, for example, just as a sexual assault victim advocate is accountable to the victim, a court interpreter is accountable to the court.

However, if an advocate serves as an interpreter, the advocate becomes a part of the investigative process and may end up having to testify against the best interest of the victim. Thus, an advocate must not serve as both sexual assault victim advocate and interpreter, and must explain the possible consequences to the victim before ever serving as both advocate and interpreter.”

If you are bilingual and want to Start a Career as a Professional Interpreter then I highly recommend that you Sign Up for my Introduction to Interpreting to learn the Do’s, Don’ts and the Good, Bad and Evil of the industry, if you want your Career and Business to Grow and Succeed, but more importantly Avoid Putting your Career and Business at RISK, or the lives of others!

Professionalism

It’s the LAW TO PROVIDE an Interpreter to Limited English Individuals!

Interpreter Advocate

Business Services

Translation Services by Faviola Valencia

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Language Translation Services

Accurate and professional translation of your documents goes beyond the conversion of words from one language to another.  It takes professional skills, qualifications in order to deliver the intended meaning to your intended audience.

 I will provide you with the highest professional quality translation from Spanish <> English 

Standard Translation – The translator guarantees to establish meaning and clear content of your documents.
Notarized Translations – A notary public guarantees that your document is legally authentic.
Certified Translations – A Translator guarantees that a translation to be true and completed from an original document.

 When choosing a translation service, it is only reasonable to select the one that offers you an attractive, low translation rate. However, in the world of e-business, low-priced offerings are not always the most cost-effective approach, especially when considering not only the task at hand but also the entire project that must be effectively managed. With the dramatic growth of Internet businesses in recent years, numerous translation services have emerged with price structures, competencies, and translation qualities that vary dramatically.

 Modern life has produced a staggering variety of documents, all of which require the same level of clarity and precision. When your office needs a form, contract, or documents to be translated into another language, Elite Services 4 You is here to help, regardless of the type of document..  Get FAST, RELIABLE, language translation services for:

  •  Employee Handbooks, Procedures and Contracts
  • Legal Contracts
  • Employee Manuals

  • School Certificates

  • Birth Certificate and Death Certificates

  • Marriage Certificates and divorce decrees

  • Medical Reports

  • Technical Manuals

  • Brochures, Catalogs, Collateral Material

  • Leases (residential and commercial)

  • Security deposits

  • Last will and testament/living will, Trusts and Power of attorney

  • Immigration forms

  • Real estate agreements and Deeds and;

  • All types of other General Business documents

Why Choose Elite Services 4 You for all your Translation Service needs?

Elite Services 4 You understands the specific needs of each industry, and I’ve worked with a variety of law offices, attorneys, and small to large businesses locally and abroad.  Elite Services 4 You has provided reliable translation services in Spanish and over 100 languages for more than 15+ years, so you can rest assure that you will be receiving the best service at all times.  Throughout the years I’ve had the pleasure to select and work with over 2500+ linguists giving me a nearly limitless pool of translation talent.

  • Before making the final choice of the translation service provider to which you will entrust your documents, consider the following points:
  • Will the quality of your translated documents match the quality of your products or services?

  • Will the documents be translated by a native speaker of the target language?

  • Will your technical, medical, or legal documents be translated by professionals who have relevant experience in these fields, or only by translators who have a general knowledge of the field?

  • Is the lowest bidder the most competent choice when it comes to providing you with translations of your documents or websites that showcase your company to your clients?

  • Does the translation service provider have quality procedures in place to assure that your documents are not only professionally translated but also undergo the appropriate post-processing procedures such as professional proofreading to make sure no typos, logic errors, or faulty grammar usage make it to the final product?

  • Does the translation service provider have multiple-language capabilities?

  • Does the translation service provider have procedures in place to assure your documents are being returned virus-free?

  • Will the document be completed within the time frame necessary to meet your deadlines?

  • Is the translation service provider capable of handling large documents that require dedicated project management?

  • Will the translated documents sustain scrutiny under liability considerations?

  • I can assure you that with Elite Services 4 You you will receive a YES to all of the above questions!

  • Remember: I offer onsite interpreter services schedule my services for all your Interpreting Service needs to ensure that the language barrier does not keep you, your client, or your audience from understanding each other.  I will help you break the language barrier of communication for all your business needs!