COVID Stories: The Impact on Language Professionals – Ted’s Story

In 2020, MCIS allocated funds from its Social Benefits Initiative (SBI) to assist community organizations experiencing challenges related to the pandemic. The purpose of this was so these organizations could provide critical information that they would otherwise not have been able to without funding. MCIS’ SBI fund supports free/subsidized interpretation and translation services, such as a direct telephone line for COVID-19 related conversations and the translation of COVID-19 related information. We also interviewed these community…

COVID Stories: Life as an ASL Interpreter in the time of COVID

By: Anna Grunfeld I had an experience recently that I’ve been thinking about and wanted to share some thoughts. I was fortunate enough to receive my second dose of the COVID vaccine, having qualified for the early second dose. When I called to book my appointment, the lady on the phone asked me what qualified me for the early dose, and I explained that I am a Sign Language Interpreter who works in many high-risk settings…

MCIS Launches Online Training and Webinars Supporting Senior Victims of Crime

Toronto, Ontario – Every year on June 15, the United Nations marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day in which communities worldwide recognize elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. Earlier this year, MCIS developed and launched an online training, funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General, offering tips and tools to service providers of this target population. The training, Supporting Senior Victims of Crime, explores the complexities of working…

Chatbot and the Language Industry

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator  What comes to mind when you see the word chatbot? Siri? Alexa? Or the automatic replies you receive when you type in an online customer service chat box? Well, they are all a part of the big chatbot family. As the name indicates, chatbots are robots that can automatically generate conversations with humans and fall into the artificial intelligence (AI) category. When asked questions, chatbots generally come up with…

Feedback from the Community

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator For over 30 years, MCIS has been an active member in building and meaningfully supporting communities around us by providing language services including translation, interpretation, localization, language professional training and more. In the past month, we have proudly received numerous positive reviews and feedback from our customers. MCIS has been working closely with the health care industry for a very long time, and when the lockdowns put everyone to…

How to Become a Great Communicator

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist The definition of communication is giving, receiving, or exchanging ideas, information, signals, or messages through appropriate media, enabling individuals or groups to persuade, seek information, provide information, or express emotions. When I was in high school, I believed that communication was purely the exchange of words, either through verbal or written means. I wasn’t the strongest student within my English class, nor was I among the strongest presenters. I used…

Fictional Languages and Where to Find Them

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Late last year, with the airing of The Mandalorian, Tusken Sign Language was introduced to the public. Accompanied by the unbearable cuteness of ‘Baby Yoda’ and the attention it brought to the Deaf community’s contributions to the film industry, the series and Tusken Sign Language trended online, adding a new member to the family of fictional languages. Fictional languages, familiar to fans of sci-fi and fantasy genres, have a…

Vaccination and Protecting Oral Traditions of Indigenous Languages

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator In the past few months, as Canada started vaccinating the first few eligible groups of people against COVID-19, provinces, including Manitoba, have chosen to prioritize Indigenous knowledge keepers for the first batches of jabs. In Ontario, this prioritization applies to all First Nations, Métis and Inuit adults. The policy was well-received by local Indigenous communities, as knowledge keepers serve are vital in preserving their languages and cultures, which, until two…

Enhancing Productivity and Improving Attention Span

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist After a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals are still learning to live with the stress, anxiety, fear, frustrations, and uncertainty. People have to constantly adjust to the changes in rules and regulations and adapt to the personal circumstances occurring in their lives. Feeling less productive and having a shorter attention span is common during these times. Research shows that concentration, memory, and cognition suffer when people are under stress…

Struggles Only Language Professionals Can Relate To

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Among the thousands of languages spoken in today’s world, only around 100 can be translated using machine translation. When technology really can’t do it all for us, we rely heavily on human translators and interpreters for the huge volume of information exchange that’s happening every day. While thanking them and appreciating their commitment, it’s also important to acknowledge that translation and interpretation are not easy jobs. To honour the…