Sunday, June 22, 2008

From Our Lips Update

Many of you just received an email update that went out to readers who have either contributed to the From Our Lips project or asked me to keep them apprised of important developments. Just to make sure the word gets out far and wide, I'm including a brief synopsis here too.

In a nutshell, the email update was to make everyone aware that this project is now represented by an agent. While I had originally planned to self-publish the book, many friends and colleagues suggested that the book had great potential mass appeal, and it turns out that this is so.

With little more than word-of-mouth publicity, this blog has been visited by nearly 6,000 visitors (all unique) in countless countries around the world since the project began, and the project website has generated even more impressive traffic.

The book is well on it's way and pushing forward steadily. Projects of this nature always take time, but this one is moving full steam ahead, now with the help of an agent.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Interpreting is a 2.5 Billion-Dollar Business

As many of you know, I began working as a senior analyst with syndicated market research firm Common Sense Advisory in May 2008. The company is widely known in the industry for its research, consulting, and its annual ranking of the Top 25 language services companies.

As announced in May, the firm has expanded its coverage of the translation and localization industries and is now publishing market research on the interpreting space as well.

One of the first major publications by Common Sense Advisory on interpreting is a pair of companion reports on telephone interpreting. The reports separately address supply and demand.

Some of the key findings mentioned in the press release about this report include:

- The outsourced interpreting services market hit US$2.5 billion in 2007
- In 2007, the global telephone interpreting market was worth US$700 million
- Of the former amount, an estimated US$500 million was generated in the United States
- The market for outsourced telephone interpreting services is estimated to reach US$1.2 billion by 2012.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ireland: No Emergency Interpreter Assistance

I recently had the chance to visit Ireland and speak with members of the Irish Translators and Intepreters Association (ITIA) about telephone interpreting, which is becoming increasingly popular there.

While in Dublin, I spoke with a reporter for Metro Eireann who did a story on the lack of interpreters for emergency services (9-9-9) in Ireland. That story is available here.

So many of the telephone interpreters I've spoken with over the years have shared truly heart-warming (and sometimes tear-jerking) stories about helping people in times of emergency. Interpreters are often invaluable in high-risk settings, such as police and medical situations. As time goes on, Ireland will probably adopt processes to ensure that such services are available. Until then, tourists and immigrants (Ireland has seen tremendous growth in multilingualism due to immigration in recent years) remain at greater risk than they would be with language services in place.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Who Spends $3.5 Million Annually on Interpreters?

Boston Medical Center (BMC), that's who. The interpreting services department boasts 9 staff interpreters who help 194,000 limited English proficient patients each year. BMC also offers telephone and video interpreting.

Some other interesting stats:

-BMC has three video-conference machines, each worth about $7,000.
-Video interpreting costs around $3 to $4 per minute.
-Staff interpreters start at $18 per hour.
-Regular contractors make $75 per hour.
-Difficult-to-find languages can earn $150 per hour.
-High-demand languages include: Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

Read the full story from Eduardo A. de Oliveira here.