Entrepreneurship

Your Voice; Keeping it Healthy

Posted on
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 workday
  • Breaks between workdays”

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-risk 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 saltwater
  • 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

(more…)

Daily Life

the Great Escape

Posted on
Great Escape

The beauty of life is learning to enjoy each and every moment that we are on this earth.  More importantly, enjoying each and every moment you have with your family and friends.

We all deal with the day – to – day daily life struggles always feeling rushed, kids sports, work, bills, problems, but we all need to take a moment and GET AWAY!  A moment to enjoy life and the beauties mother nature has for us.

Many think that Getaways are expensive, but that’s NOT the case, at least NOT for me.  Why, How?

Well, I take advantage of my outings – for example when we have to take our kids to their sporting events, instead of sitting and waiting we take advantage of our day/weekend out and while the kids are prepping for their sport, we go out and explore and learn about the new cities, counties, states and/or countries that we may be in.

So, how do I do it? Well, we travel a lot with our 13-year-old son who’s an amateur boxer, we have to take him to his boxing events that sometimes are local, or out of town.  These events are all day events, meaning that we have to arrive very early and leave very late :).  Example: This past month my son was scheduled to fight in Sonoma and while he went through the routine of; Weigh-ins, seeing the Doctor and waiting to see if his opponent showed up from the Central Valley, my husband, daughter and I decided to explore the beauties of Sonoma County (sometimes our other children opt out on participating, they rather wait and mingle with their friends, which is perfectly OK). So, we had a couple of choices, we could either sit and wait for hours till the Boxing Showtime started, or we could go explore beautiful Sonoma.

So, we decided to go and explore #Sonoma AND it was all FREE, yes FREE!

Take advantage and find FREE SPOTS;  Beach is Free, Lighthouse tour was Free, Walk along the Beach was Free, the View was Free 🙂  We always pack lunch, drinks, snacks, so we don’t have to spend a fortune on eating out!

We started to drive and decided to jump onto HWY 1 and followed it all the way through and this is where it took us – to the end of the Pacific Coast, isn’t it breathtaking???

 

20171007_142935.jpg

We went and visited Bodega Bay and stopped by some of the other Sonoma County Beaches and enjoyed our walks in some of the most beautiful beaches.  We decided to take a walk and enjoy the warm and soft sand while enjoying every moment watching and hearing the sound of the waves.  We sat for a while relaxing and enjoying the fresh, and cool ocean breeze and reminiscing with our daughter our visits to Santa Cruz, Petaluma, New York, Las Vegas, etc…mean while my husband relaxed and napped in the beautiful sandy beach!

Words can’t describe the beautiful moments we spent on those beautiful beaches and seeing the blue water and sunshine and nothing around just the beautiful Pacific Coast waters.

The Point Reyes Lighthouse on the Sonoma Coast is the place to visit it’s surrounded by “33,000 acres of coastal wilderness is a wild seashore that should be on your must-see list.”

Follow me to see more of my adventures, or to see the products I use, or to learn on how to start your own business!

I learned so much since the closure of my Corporate Business, Life taught me so much after the Economy Crash, God gave me another opportunity after my multiple accidents and here I am enjoying life and it’s beauties with my little family while doing what I love!

(more…)

Entrepreneurship

What is the difference between Certified and Qualified Interpreter?

Posted on

What is the difference between certified and qualified?

understand that many businesses and corporations that require interpreting and translating services are not aware of specific qualification requirements or contracting laws; there are many interpreting agencies that do not follow strict guidelines in providing professional and proficient services.

A report done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics for 2008-2009 (old report) found that 22 percent of interpreters and translators are self-employed.

If that is true, are agencies requiring them to verify a business license, qualifications, and certifications?

I would like to explain a few things about this particular industry in order to help potential clients make the right choice in choosing an interpreting services company.

What is the difference between certified and qualified Interpreter?

When I was operating as an Agency I had established a contract, with characterization for these terms that correlate directly with a definition given by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Certified interpreter is a person who has passed the California Court Interpreter Certification Examination and who have fulfilled the corresponding Judicial Council requirements are referred to as certified interpreters. The state personnel board also provides a certification test for medical and administrative hearing interpreters for California. Qualified interpreter is a person who is not a certified interpreter and who speaks the language to be translated into English fluently and who speaks English fluently and that poses a minimum of 2 years of interpreting experience.”

Interpreting and Translation
Business Coach

Different rates are established by the court system and interpreters themselves based on their experience and the number of years they have been in the industry.

Unfortunately, many interpreters will increase their rates based on a fellow interpreters increase. Businesses must recognize rates should be based on NOT ONLY certification, qualifications, experience, type of appointment and also whether or not the client requires a certified interpreter vs. a qualified interpreter.

In most cases a certified interpreter is not required; therefore businesses should NOT have to pay a certified rate.  More importantly, businesses need to realize that many “Certified” interpreters are NOT DEEM QUALIFIED for all Venues.  Note: I’m NOT YET CERTIFIED, yet I’ve had to replace many “certified interpreters” that have been excused from their assignments due to the “Lack of Experience, Qualifications with the terminology”…

I have over 17+ years of Professional experience in a variety of venues – from Legal to Environmental, Political, Medical, etc…

I also have experience in both Consecutive and Simultaneous mode of Interpretation vs. many interpreters who ONLY have experience in one or the other.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics wrote: There is currently no universal form of certification required of interpreters and translators in the United States.Although different states have implemented oral and written tests to verify capabilities, there are still many interpreters that base their experience and qualifications from translating for family members and having grown up in a bilingual household.

I would also like to point out that the term “certified” can be misused by the interpreters and many will claim they are certified to gain a higher rate of pay or more assignments.

Believe it or NOT! When I used to search for their information in the databases to verify certification, sometimes I was unable to locate their name(s) on the Judicial Council websites.  Note: There is a list available to the public with the names of persons who are deceased, retired, or de-certified – no longer certified to interpret in the court systems.

Often times interpreters will continue to claim they are certified to maintain a high pay rate or to get more assignments and agencies are unaware that they are using an interpreter who claimed to be “Certified” when indeed they were either no longer certified, de-certified, or ONLY have a Certificate, etc.
As the industry continues to grow with the diversity of our nation, so do the problems, processes, and procedures when it comes to the contracting and hiring of interpreters.  Therefore, I had to implement a strict screening process for interpreters and translators that pushed this industry into level professionalism that it deserved.

A teacher within their first year of teaching does not have the same experience or rate of pay as a tenured instructor; the same should be established for interpreters and translators.

Now on another note, if there are counties that require a business license for independent contractors then it should be implemented and not overlooked by agencies, businesses, doctors, lawyers, etc. – Why? Because just like employees, there is more and more “Independent Contract Interpreter both Certified and Qualified”, claiming to be Employees of the agency or the contracting party, meaning that more and more Law Suit abuse is occurring within this industry. That is why setting standards is very important to our agency, although management takes high measures in implementing these steps “employees” will not always adhere, causing problems for the agency.

We try our best to be an agency – who will NOT overlook requirements just to attain an interpreter for an assignment, or just to cover an assignment. We go the extra mile to ensure that our clients receive what they deserve.

If you are looking for a Qualified, Professional, Experienced Interpreter / Translator for any of your events, documents, or venues – please don’t hesitate in contacting me

(more…)

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur Coaching

Posted on
Become your own boss

 

Looking to START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? If so, what’s holding you back?

STOP THINKING and START DOING!

BEGINNING

Put all those handwritten ideas and visions to work! Elite Services 4 You has spent decades researching, training, developing tools and strategies to help you create a solid business plan and the real-life experience to execute your plan flawlessly. I’ve been where you’ve been and have seen all the opportunities on the other side and have had the opportunity to work in a variety of industries to ensure you have all your bases covered from start to finish!

My passion is coaching, training, and languages – what’s your passion?

READY FOR TAKEOFF

So, you are officially in business, and it’s all uphill from here, right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, business owners run into various challenges along the way. Despite these challenges, the ultimate goal is for businesses to run an efficiently profitable business without losing the passion along the way.

With my coaching experience in operations, team-building, business start-up, contracting, managing, you will overcome even the most difficult obstacles. I strongly believe that with my experience I will help you get the best handle on your business day in, day out.

GROW YOUR BUSINESS

Lean on my business expert advice and work directly with me to develop a strategy to gain new business while maximizing the growth of your business. I will fine tune your operations, marketing, sales approach and strategy to help you improve your bottom line and before you know it, you will turn your passion into your life’s greatest work!

Do What You Love, each and every day!

motivational business quotes
Thrive for Business!

Sell Online:

Shopify

Amazon

Health and Fitness Coach

Become an Interpreter or Entrepreneur

(more…)

Entrepreneurship

"Day in the Life of an Interpreter"

Posted on
Entrepreneur Interpreter

20160510_093553

Are you like many who are bilingual and would like to start a career in Interpreting, but don’t know how?

  1. What are the hours of an interpreter?
  2. What type of settings?
  3. Is this Freelance or Employee?
  4. Is it professional, casual?
  5. How do you find jobs as an interpreter?
  6. How long does it take to become a professional interpreter?

Some of the many questions that I’m asked on a daily basis…

1cf35-images2b252842529

Now, the question I ask you – are you ready to become “Self Employed, Freelancer, Entrepreneur?…

Becoming a “Professional Interpreter” doesn’t happen overnight!  It takes a lot of hard work, training, skill building, dedication, etc…

TRUST ME!!!

I’ve been doing this for over 16+years and every day I learn something new!

Don’t get me wrong this industry is very rewarding, but also very challenging, but it has its perks!

For me, I love the flexibility, the challenges, the experiences, enjoy working and meeting people, love to travel, love the rewards that come with it!

  1. I pick and chose which hours/days I want to work
  2. I’m skilled in all settings #medical #legal #conferences #investigations #hospitality #generalbusiness #state #county #federal and much, much more!!!
  3. I do Freelancing work, although there are many employment jobs who hire in-house interpreters
  4. It’s a professional job!
  5. Many ways, methods to find jobs as an interpreter
  6. It all depends on your skills, qualifications and basic experience

Find out more about this wonderful industry TODAY!

Visit me TODAY FOR YOUR ONLINE TRAINING

(more…)

Entrepreneurship

Interpreter Role vs. Bilingual Advocate

Posted on

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