Diversity of Languages in the World

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator We all know it’s hard to learn a new language. Transitioning from one language to another is way more difficult than transitioning from using the system of a Windows PC to that of a Mac laptop. The realm of languages is so vast and diverse that it’s almost impossible for one person to master them all – the about 7,000 languages spoken in today’s world, and the 180 spoken…

Battling COVID-19 and Filling the Language Gap: Reflections on Language Advocacy Day

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator If there has been one common goal for people all around the globe in the past year, it would be to end the COVID-19 global pandemic. The disease doesn’t discriminate. Since last March, we have witnessed people from all walks of life with different social statuses and cultural backgrounds falling into its trap. A year has passed, and the virus still doesn’t seem to want to stop. What is…

Inuktitut Language Milestones

By: Ashley Tulio, Communication Specialist Inuktitut is an Indigenous language in North America spoken in the Canadian Arctic. It is just one part of what is known as “the Inuit language” spoken in Alaska in the west to Greenland in the east. In Canada, there are several Inuit regions aside from Nunavut, including the Inuvialuit region of the Northwest Territories, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, and Nunatsiavut in Labrador. In 2016, Statistics Canada reported 39,770 Inuktitut…

Highlights of Challenges Facing Ontario’s Language Services Sector

By: Craig Carter-Edwards The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stress test for many essential services offered in Ontario. It has brought to light the challenges, inequities and structural flaws within systems designed to support the health and well-being of Ontarians. These challenges, of course, existed before COVID-19, but this crisis has increased the level of public’s awareness of them. Among these are translation and interpretation services. Many Ontarians with limited knowledge of English and/or…

COVID Stories: Translators: The behind-the-scenes crew of the COVID-19 pandemic

By: Nicole Anichini, Translation Manager It has been almost a year since COVID-19 started spreading around the world like wildfire. In this time, the importance of language services has become more apparent than ever. ICES, a non-profit research institute that focuses on public health-related data in Ontario, published a report in September 2020 showing that, in Ontario, COVID is disproportionately affecting immigrants, refugees and newcomers to Canada. While immigrants, refugees and newcomers only make up…

Localization: The Secret Weapon to International Brands’ Success Revealed

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator When brands or companies want to expand their businesses to a wider audience or unknown international market, the first thing they should do is to localize their brands. This applies to everything: brand names, slogans, advertisements, product/service names, and sometimes, even creating products targeted to customers in the specific region to which they’re expanding. Localization is what makes a business abroad look local. It brings customers the familiarity of…

Closing out 2020: A message from Executive Director Latha Sukumar

How have we done during this extraordinary year?! In early 2020, I had just returned from India, we were all set to celebrate MCIS’ 30th anniversary at the Ontario Science Centre, and a team of us were actually bound for a conference in San Diego the day following the celebrations. Up until then, winter had gone by smoothly and everything had seemed like more of the same. How I wish that had been the case!…

Both Sides, Now

**Update** When MCIS first published this blog on February 19, 2020, the subject of the interview was in the process of appealing his refugee status. In order to protect him, and the confidentiality of his case, we did not publish his name. However, in November 2020, he successfully appealed and received refugee status. The judge in the case accepted the chapter translation of Colombia Diversa that MCIS provided free of charge, as key evidence to…

Parent-Teacher Meetings with Bilingual Families: Why You Need an Interpreter

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Located in Toronto, one of the biggest Canadian cities where over 180 languages are spoken, every year, MCIS sends our certificated interpreters to thousands of parent-teacher interviews with bilingual and multicultural families and parents with limited English proficiency both in-person and remotely. In these meetings, interpreters are the key to smooth communication between the teachers and parents, and their work is widely recognized as a crucial and irreplaceable part…

COVID Stories: An interview with Bow Valley Settlement Services

By: Sara Parker-Toulson, Business Development Coordinator As part of our COVID Series blogs, MCIS recently interviewed Jeanie Godfrey, Settlement Services Supervisor of Bow Valley Settlement Services. Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and in partnership with Town of Banff and Town of Canmore, Bow Valley Settlement Services provides essential support and information services to newcomers looking to settle in Canada. They connect immigrants and refugees with information about community services, language options, housing information,…