A Year Working within the Language Services Industry

By: Ashley Tulio, Communication Specialist Last week marks the first anniversary that I have been working at MCIS Language Solutions. A lot has changed since my first day working at this company, including all the knowledge I have gained. Before applying to this job, I never knew the language service industry or its essential role in today’s society. I had never been exposed to the imperative work that language professionals do that changes and supports…

Part 1: ASL Interpretation in Today’s World: An ASL Interpreter’s Perspective

Anna Grunfeld is an American Sign Language-English interpreter based in Toronto. She works as a community-based interpreter in various settings, such as hospitals, schools (K-12 and post-secondary), mental health facilities, corrections, and many more. After the inspiring COVID story she wrote (which can be found here), MCIS decided to reach out to her and interview her for COVID Stories: The Impact on Language Professionals. While interviewing Anna, we realized the importance of understanding what it is truly…

Long-tail Languages: A Social Justice Perspective

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to long-tail languages worldwide. Apps and games are being localized into them, and critical information and government announcements have been translated. Although international travelling has been limited during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns over the past year, information exchanges across borders have never stopped, making languages that were once maybe considered non-essential decades ago now not only paid more…

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…

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…

In Recognition of Outstanding Women at MCIS

By: Deanna Nemeth, Communications and New Business Development Manager Over the past decade, there has been a push to celebrate women and their achievements on International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8 every year. However, the origins of International Women’s Day date back way earlier, right to the early 20thCentury, and stem from labour and socialist movements. Why, though, are we limited to officially celebrating women on only one day of the year? I…

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…

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,…