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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…