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…

The Progression of American Sign Language Throughout COVID-19

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language in which the brain processes linguistic information through the eyes. The movement of the hands, body, and facial expressions all play essential parts in conveying information. In spoken language, emotions and questions can be shown by raising the pitch of voices or adjusting the word order. However, ASL users express emotions and ask questions by raising their eyebrows, widening their eyes, and…

The Ongoing Hardships with Small and Medium-Sized Business enterprises due to COVID-19

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist Small and medium-sized businesses across Canada continue to face challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Small and medium-sized businesses have had to adapt to the circumstances by creating an online presence, developing new business models, reducing hours of operations, laying off staff, applying for government funding, and seeking rent relief. However, numerous businesses have been unable to fully reopen as they only offer partial service, alongside businesses that have…

Black History Month – A Reflection Backwards and Looking Ahead

By: Omega Menkir February is a month that the world has dedicated to reflecting and remembering the histories and contributions of Black people to society, as we know it over the centuries, decades, and including their most recent innovations and contributions. This month includes updating the curriculum for children to take some time to reflect on what Black scientists, businesspersons, activists, and more have added to the world we had to make it the world…

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…

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…

COVID Stories: An Interview with Project Abraham

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist As a part of our COVID Series blogs, MCIS recently interviewed Debbie Rose, Executive Director of Project Abraham. Project Abraham’s mission is to provide aid and assistance to refugees and immigrants who are in need and who are victims of war, persecution, unfair discrimination, or natural disasters. They does this by operating a sponsorship program to Canada. Once the refugees and immigrants come to Canada, Project Abraham’s mission is to…

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…

Covid Stories: Giving Voice to Victims of Human Trafficking

“Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.” (George Steiner). By: Dusan Matic, Training Department Manager Human trafficking, especially labour trafficking, remains a major problem in Canada to this day. Sometimes it can be difficult to process that in a progressive and open-minded country such as ours, thousands of foreign workers face victimization, abuse and trafficking. We tend to believe that labour trafficking happens somewhere far away from our homes. How many times have we…