COVID Stories: COVID-19 and the Limits of Machine Translation

By: Sara Parker-Toulson, RFP Coordinator Public displays of information on COVID-19 seem to be everywhere now, reminding us to wash our hands, keep six feet between one another, and to wear our masks. Information about how COVID-19 is quickly spread, about signs and symptoms we need to watch out for, and the latest data on infection rates and mortality is now widely available in a variety of formats. But what if you don’t speak one…

GALAConnected 2020 – The sublime, the ridiculous and everything in between!

By: Latha Sukumar, Executive Director “What if two people can have a flawless online dating experience but have complete language barriers offline”? A much-awaited annual event is the GALA conference. It is run by a small, but mighty team, at GALA (Globalization and Localization Association), a non-profit trade association for the translation and localization industry, located in Seattle, Washington. Their annual global conference brings together people from across the globe to network and share ideas….

What the World Has Done to Make Masks Communication-Friendly

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Since the end of May, Canada has officially suggested wearing face masks as an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Earlier in June, the WHO also raised a similar suggestion on the use of masks in public. Masks, whether we are willing to admit it or not, have become one of the phenomena representing the year 2020. Along with the masks though, there came the concern over…

Starting from “How Are You” – How Communication Barrier Goes Beyond Language

by: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Seven years ago, when I first came to Canada, the first culture shock I ever experienced was the question “How are you?” It was my biggest fear at the time, that someone would show up in front of me and burst out the words: “how are you?” I, feeling attacked, would have to answer in return, without having developed the conditioned response of replying with “I’m good.” Before I…

Working with MCIS using Interpreter Intelligence

by: Vendor Management Dear MCIS Interpreter, On July 1st, MCIS launched Interpreter Intelligence (II), an exciting new Interpreter Management System (IMS). This change came after a long period of research and discussion by MCIS’ Senior Management on industry trends, feedback from our customers and business needs. II has been implemented to ensure an efficient and productive freelance working experience for all our language professionals. In this blog post, we have simplified the functionalities of II…

Aphasia Awareness: No Matter What Language You Speak, Language Matters

June is Aphasia Awareness Month, which is as good a time as any to share how much it shocks me that so few people know about Aphasia. Consider that 1 in 3 Canadians who survive a stroke have Aphasia. The disorder is not uncommon, and it’s certainly something that cannot be ignored, especially as rates are expected to increase with Canada’s silver tsunami (i.e. ageing population). My first exposure to Aphasia was in the first…

African American Spirituals and the Slavery Connection: When the Song is the Message and More

By Gregory Bourne, Sales Representative As with many black families whose parents migrated from the West Indies in the late sixties, my sister and I were raised in a Christian household. My mother started hauling us to church when I was six. Dressed in my Sunday best, I wore a pint-sized suit, impossibly shiny black shoes, and the most annoying clip-on-tie. I looked like a cute, black but very angry ventriloquist dummy. As I got…