Different types of Dialects

By: Ashley Tulio, Communication Specialist As a student growing up in Toronto, Canada, learning French was mandatory in the educational system since French is an official language of Canada. During my educational journey, I studied French in elementary school, and when I attended high school, I took French courses up to grade 12. My high school French teacher spent a significant time in France, and she would always tell me how the French language we…

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…

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…

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…