SeproTec Translator of the month: August 2021

noviembre 15th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

With some delay, we are more than happy to announce the winner of the August 2021 edition of our Translator of the Month action.

Translators are the driving force behind every translation company’s success. This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals.

We would like to introduce Anja Kehl, a patent translator with a brillliand career in front of her.

 

Hi Anja,

You are one of our most regular and trusted patent translators since 2018! How do you remember your first year as a Seprotec translator?

I started my freelance career in 2016, so when I started working for you, it was still in the first years of my career. Honestly, I can’t remember exactly what was 2018 like (life as we knew it before the pandemic has become something unrealistic to me).

What I do remember is that with every new client I learned something new. For example, how to organize myself better, how to disconnect or take breaks, etc.

 

You have been living in Spain for 13 years now… That is quite a lot! When did you realize that your heart belonged here in Spain?

About 6 months after coming to Spain as an au-pair, I realized that I wanted to stay and study here. What I remember and appreciate most is the way Spanish people welcome everybody with open arms.

 

What are the most common translation problems in the language combinations you work with?

The most common problem is not really a translation problem. It’s that people think that the German language is the same for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The same thing happens with Spanish, sometimes I’m asked to translate into Spanish for Latin America and when I tell the client, they think it doesn’t matter. But the different regions do matter.

 

How do you keep yourself active after so many hours translating in front of a computer? We have been told that you love sports…

Yes, I love doing sports. I workout regularly and I try switching my phone off at least 2 hours a day. Disconnecting the mind is important.

 

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of a career in translation?

I think the most challenging aspect is more or less the same for every freelance career. In the beginning, you don’t know what to charge, don’t know where to gain experience and clients always demand experience.

My tip is to specialize in 1 or 2 fields that you like. You can’t translate a text you’re not really interested in with the same enthusiasm as one in a field you really like.

Another challenging aspect for me was learning when to say no. It’s very important to take care of your health and not to overwork yourself (although it still happens to me).

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us and congratulations on the ‘winning award’.  It is certainly well-deserved.

 

 

 

 

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How to optimize and reduce costs in patent translation

septiembre 28th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Blog | Traducción | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

Translating patents is often a real challenge. To understand why, it is first of all necessary to understand what a patent is: it is the bundle of rights that allows us to register a new technological process or product in a country. Most national patent offices require that your application be filed in the official national language or, if it is a regional office such as the EPO or WIPO, you can choose between local languages (e.g. English, French or German). The stakes are such that we do not even need to explain how important it is that the translation of the patent is carried out properly and by a professional expert both in the technological field related to the patent and in the patent filing process.

What must be considered in order to reduce patent translation costs?

Intellectual property (IP) translation is a necessary process when we want to extend the exploitation rights over a product, process or technology to other countries. When trading with foreign companies, this translation also plays an important role, as it does if you want to manufacture in another country: this document will protect you against possible legislative problems.

The correct wording of a patent, especially the patent claims, defines what the patent does and the scope of what you want to protect, if, that is, the competent authority agrees to approve your patent application. The claims are the part of the patent that is reviewed by the courts in the event of a patent infringement allegation, which is why patent registration offices carefully examine each claim before granting a patent.

The importance of optimizing or reducing a patent translation

The importance of patent translation optimization lies in the need for all the documentation provided to be correct, while reducing waiting times. Optimization is, therefore, a key element insofar as time and final cost are considered. And a poor translation can increase one as much as the other, on the basis that patent registration often takes a year or more. The role of a professional agency, such as SeproTec, is also important in this respect.

Why outsource to a professional agency?

If mistakes are made, the translation of a patent can be ineffective, as it becomes completely obscure. It is common for registrations to be rejected because an application has not been properly completed. Which is why a professional patent translation agency always starts from an understanding of the invention to be registered. This is the first step required for making the wording in the translation as clear as possible, with the exact and appropriate words being used combined with a thorough check of each term.

The role of a professional agency can, therefore, be honed down to three basic aspects.

  1. The first is to clarify the substance of the document, which is both legal and, at the same time, highly technical.  Given the importance of terminology in the patent translation process, at SeproTec we only handle these projects with approved translators who are experts in the technical field related to the invention.  Furthermore, we possess the highest quality certifications, ISO 9001 and ISO 17100, to ensure the quality of the final result.
  2. On the other hand, the text must be natural, but respecting all the content of the original, avoiding, under all circumstances, ambiguity and providing total clarity.
  3. By outsourcing the patent translation process to a professional language service, rather than relying on a third party provider, you will ensure effective communication, coordination, consistency and quality assurance at every step of the patent translation process.

 

In addition, the cost of translation can represent up to 60% of the total validation cost and up to 20% of the total lifetime cost of a patent. SeproTec works with skilled professional resources and effective CAT- and AI-based tools to increase efficiency and reduce costs while ensuring quality. The latter include translation memory tools and glossaries that are used to identify repetitive text, thereby reducing time and costs during the patent translation process.

Using a professional language provider who also has extensive experience in patent translation pays off from the word go. The risk of submitting cheap poor quality translations when filing an international patent completely cancels out the potential savings made from using a non-professional provider.

If you want to know more, contact us on this link.

 

 

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SeproTec Translator of the Month: July 2021

septiembre 20th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Blog | Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

We are more than happy to announce the winner of the July 2021 edition of our Translator of the Month action. 

Translators are the driving force behind every translation company’s success. This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals. 

We would like to introduce Justyna Kwiatkowska, a polyglot and literary translator who has become a “must have” within our team of translators based on her good work. 

 

SeproTec Translator of the Month: July 2021

You have a Master’s Degree in Swedish Philology, that is awesome! Also, you studied German Literature at Heidelberg University in Germany. Did you know that you wanted to be a translator before taking those paths?

I believe I did. I always enjoyed learning foreign languages and started producing translations already in early high school. I could spend hours trying to figure out how to translate my favorite parts of German or English songs and books. Over time, as I started learning Swedish, my passion for languages and literature continued to grow and I realized I wanted to dedicate myself to translation. The studies I chose equipped me with the tools that made that possible.

As a literary translator yourself, do you consider reading a training to continue to improve your translation skills? Which books did you enjoy the most?

Of course. I read other people’s translations and as well as books in Polish and other languages I speak. It inspires me and furnishes interesting solutions to problems I encounter myself. Right now I’m absolutely fascinated by Marcin Wicha and Therese Bohman.

You are also a plant lover! It is said that having plants around the office greatly improves people’s moods; you probably have plenty of them! As a translator, how do you keep a healthy mindset?

You’re right. I own many plants, my favorite ones are peace lily, pilea, spider plant and fern. Taking care of them or just looking at the green windowsills is very relaxing. But my translation OSH consists also of going to the pool – after all, the spine is one of the most important translation tools.

Do you have a life motto?

“Live long, read lots.”

Have you ever encountered an ethical or moral dilemma on a translation project? How did you handle it?

As a professional translator I deal with all sorts of text in diverse subject areas. When I notice that they differ from my closest-held beliefs, however, I sometimes have to reject them – which rare but can happen!

 

Thanks so much Justyne for your time and good work. We really enjoy working with you! Enjoy your SeproTec hoodie.

 

 

 

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SeproTec announces the acquisition by Nazca Capital of a majority stake in SeproTec

septiembre 16th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Blog - (Comentarios desactivados)

SeproTec announces the acquisition by Nazca Capital of a majority stake in SeproTec and its subsidiary SHIP Global IP, promoting the companies’ technological development and international growth

Nazca is associating with the CEO, Juan Julián León, and the Corporate General Manager, Fernando Ruiz de Assín, who will spearhead the growth plan and continue the international expansion of both companies.

SeproTec Multilingual Solutions announces that the private equity firm Nazca Capital has become the majority shareholder in the multinational language services provider, as well as in SHIP Global IP, SeproTec’s subsidiary specialized in industrial and intellectual property management services.  The terms of the transaction, which was concluded on 14 September, 2021, including the share acquired by Nazca, the sale price and the valuation, have not been made public.

Leading Spanish private equity firm Nazca Capital has acquired a majority stake in SeproTec, a technological company specialized in multilingual services, and SHIP Global IP, which is specialized in the provision of industrial property management services through a software platform. Alongside Nazca, Juan Julián León (CEO and founder) and Fernando Ruiz de Assín (Corporate General Manager) have also reinvested in both companies and will continue leading their development.

 

Both SeproTec and SHIP Global IP have experienced high growth, doubling their joint turnover over the last 3 years, with an estimated 2021 EBITDA of 7 million euros. This growth is based on the scalability of the business.

The management board of both companies have drawn up an ambitious growth plan that includes the possibility of acquisitions to accelerate the growth and technological development of them both in the highly active markets in which they do business.  Juan Julián León and Fernando Ruiz de Assín have identified Nazca as the partner best placed to support the implementation of this plan in the long term. The firm will contribute its experience in developing international growth projects and with IT service companies.

Carlos Pérez de Jáuregui, a NAZCA partner, remarked “Our investment in SeproTec and SHIP Global IP is a great opportunity to participate in the technological transformation and growth happening in the industrial property and translation services sector. We are very enthused and feel certain that, with the support of a great team led by Juan Julián and the company already positioned in high-added-value niches, the project will be a success.

For his part, Juan Julián León, Chief Executive Officer and shareholder in SeproTec and SHIP Global IP, stated that “Nazca’s investment in SeproTec and SHIP Global IP is a major milestone in the history of both companies.  Having Nazca as majority shareholder is a great opportunity to lead the technological change and growth that is happening in the industrial and intellectual property and translation  markets. “

“Both the Intellectual Property and Language sectors are experiencing rapid technological evolution, and we firmly believe that we have a vital part to play in that technological development. Here at SeproTec & Ship  we are determined to play a major role in this so that we continue to innovate and lead the markets in which we operate,” Juan Julián León commented.

AZ Capital, PwC, Roland Berger and DLA Piper have provided consulting services to Nazca in this deal, while KPMG and Garrigues provided consulting to SeproTec and SHIP Global IP.

  

About SeproTec
SeproTec Multilingual Solutions is a Multilingual Service Provider ranked among the Top 30 Language Service Companies in the world.  With more than 30 years of experience in providing high-quality, cost-effective solutions in translation and interpretation, SeproTec distinguishes itself by utilizing the most advanced technology and translation management technology, specifically designed to maximize customer satisfaction. SeproTec is proud to have achieved certifications for international Corporate Social Responsibility, Quality Control, and Environmental Management (UNE-EN ISO 17100, ISO 13485, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001). SeproTec has more than 385 employees and 11,500 freelancers collaborators within Dedicated Account Teams that provide 24/7 coverage for our clients’ multilingual needs wherever in the world they may be.
www.seprotec.com
 
SHIP Global IP
SHIP Global IP is an Intellectual Property portfolio management company with the goal of bridging the gap between Inside Counsel and the services they procure. Utilizing a comprehensive network of qualified Foreign Firms, in conjunction with SHIP’s in-house licensed IP paralegals, we help companies centralize and consolidate their activity and budgets in relation to patent and trademark life cycles, through a proprietary cloud-based tool specifically designed for IP processes.
www.shipglobalip.com

About Nazca

Nazca is a private capital management firm specialized in the Spanish middle market. Nazca leads its market segment both in transaction volume and in return on investments. Since 2001 Nazca has totally invested Funds I, II and III, valued at 100 million, 150 million and 230 million euros respectively, having concluded 80 transactions: 36 direct investments in companies, 22 additional acquisitions of companies from their subsidiaries and 22 disinvestments.
 Currently it is simultaneously managing the Nazca IV Fund, worth 300 million euros, and the Nazca V Fund, worth 150 million euros, to invest in small businesses. Both funds are backed by domestic and international institutional investors. Nazca has a portfolio including 14 Spanish companies: FoodBox (Catering), Distribuciones Juan Luna (Food), Phibo (Dental Implants and Prosthetics), Herbex (Fresh Aromatic Herbs), Terratest (Special Foundations and Tunnels), Diater (Biopharmaceuticals), One Shot Hotels (Hotels), Cinelux (Audiovisual Equipment Rental), IDP (BIM-based Engineering Services), Filmin (VOD Platform), Eurocebollas (Food), Laboratorios Almond (Vegan and Ecological Food), Zunibal (Fishing Technology) and Nutris (Nutraceutical Ingredients and Gummy Vitamins). For more information, visit www.nazca.es

 

 

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SeproTec achieves a triple quality certificate for translations of medical devices

agosto 31st, 2021 | Posted by admin in Blog | Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)

SeproTec Multilingual Solutions has made another breakthrough in its medical translation services, becoming one of the few agencies on the market to receive ISO 13485, ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 certifications.

As a company that provides high-quality multilingual services, at SeproTec we highlight the importance of certifications with different ISO standards, such as 15485, 17100 and 9001. These are essential to validate the translation of medical, scientific and technical content that we offer, showing that they conform to the most rigorous and recognized standards that exist. Below, we explain in detail of what these certifications consist, as well as what each standard includes and what it contributes, both to us and to our clients.

SeproTec achieves a triple quality certificate for translations of medical devices

What does it mean to have these certifications? 

SGS, a world leader in inspection, verification, testing and certification, has awarded SeproTec Multilingual Solutions ISO 13485 certification for its translation services in the field of medical devices.  Health sciences is one of the sectors in which SeproTec is most specialized. We carry out translations of medical content with the highest level of precision, fully aware that errors cannot be tolerated. Lives are at stake.

Having these validations is a guarantee that our work meets the highest standards imposed by the Quality Management System.  This includes the ISO standards that must be met for a maximum service guarantee. In our case, we comply with three of these standards in terms of quality, and one in terms of the environment, ensuring, in each of our projects, the highest level of dedication, effort, precision, responsibility and safety.

ISO 13485 standard for medical devices

The standard ISO 13485 is a quality management system used by manufacturers, importers and distributors of medical devices. A medical device is any instrument, apparatus, device, machine, equipment, reagent for in-vitro use, computer program, material, or other similar or related article, which is intended by the manufacturer to be used on people for a health-related purpose.

It is a standard that is aimed not just at manufacturers of medical devices, but also at the suppliers with whom they interact throughout the medical device’s life-cycle.  Translation becomes associated with the medical device as soon as it is exported to other countries, with the need arising to translate its labeling, user instructions, and other marketing materials, to give just a few examples.

This ISO 13485 standard effectively embraces the quality processes that must be followed with clients from the medical and diagnostic device industries, as well as the hospital and dental clinic supply industry. It is a system guaranteed by the rigors of an independent external audit, and it focuses on issues of great importance such as safety and excellence. Both of these issues are of particular relevance in the medicine industry.

ISO 17100 and 9001 Standards

These two standards are even more important in translation services. The first one, ISO 17100, specific to the translation sector, lists what requirements for each issue must be met as regards the minimum qualification for translators, management of central processes, availability of resources, data protection and confidentiality.

For its part, the ISO 9001 standard ensures a good relationship between supplier and client through a universal language, as well as the ability to provide a service. We always meet both external and internal requirements within our organization, in addition to following cycles of continuous improvement and respecting other labor issues.

These are all advantages for clients

The benefits of working with an ISO 13485 certified language provider include easy integration of supplier and client quality systems, cost reduction and risk minimization in client audits, and the ability to shorten the qualification processes, significantly reducing the allocation of resources and overhead for monitoring suppliers.

 

Obtaining this latest ISO certification confirms SeproTec’s commitment to the most rigorous and recognized QMS standards applied in the health sciences industry.  Over the years, SeproTec has worked with many leading health sciences organizations, including pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, medical device manufacturers and CROs, and we currently have 110 active clients in the sector, while in 2020 we translated more than 109 million words for the industry, our best endorsement.

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SeproTec Translator of the Month: June 2021

agosto 4th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Blog | Chatting with... | Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

Jacek Szoblik is a ‘must translator’ when we deal with a technical translation into Polish, a cat lover and the winner of our June edition of the Translation of the Month  action.

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

 

Dzień dobry, Jacek.

You are one of our most regular and trusted technical translators. How did you become interested in this specific field of the industry? Name 3 skills you think are needed to be a good technical translator.

Honestly, it was sort of necessary for me to get interested in this field. I worked at SeproTec Kraków as a reviewer so I had to learn quick to be able to get my job done. When it comes to the 3 skills… These are not really skills but let me answer this way: I think you need a great technical dictionary around at all times. Then, you need to be extra observant when you work to get into this technical texts’ vibe and patterns. When you’re good with the above two, you need to practice and get experience. Then you should be fine!

What are the most common translation problems in Polish, your mother tongue?

I’d say that for me it’s that sentences in Polish can get really long. Sometimes you need to build really elaborate phrases to communicate something that was really concise in English. I wouldn’t call that a flaw in general, though!

Sometimes you enjoy running away to the countryside or woods… That’s so necessary! Do you usually take your work with you or prefer to leave it at home?

Absolutely not! It happens way too sporadically to disrupt my free time with a PC or particularly with work! Probably I shouldn’t even take my phone with me.

We are in love with your cat! It is good to be able to spend time with your pets while working. Can you think of any other benefits you get from being a freelancer?

Well, it’s nice to have some more freedom during the day which obviously isn’t possible when working full-time. On the other hand, sometimes you need to sacrifice your weekend… I’m still wondering which work model is better!

What advice would you give to beginner translators?

Leave your home as often as possible! Work from different locations, move, don’t settle in one place. It may sound like wasting time for moving around but for me it’s refreshing and makes me interact with people.

 

Thanks so much Jacek for your time and good work. We really enjoy working with you! Enjoy your SeproTec hoodie.

 

 

 

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When a professional translation is ordered for a website or other medium that has been designed for a specific language, it is typical for problems to arise when fitting the new text into the allotted space. In each language a different number of words may be needed to express the same idea. That is why ideas that we want to convey in French or Arabic usually take up more space than in English or Chinese.

Expansion and contraction of texts

This effect is known to translation professionals, and is called expansion or contraction depending on whether more or less space is taken up. For example, when translating a text from English into French, we know that the translation will expand by about 15% compared to its original version.

Although it is very hard for the translation and the original to end up with exactly the same number of words, the effect can be more noticeable depending on the language of the target readers. Generally speaking, Romance languages use more words and Germanic languages use fewer to convey the same concept.

How do contraction and expansion affect design?

Currently, we live in a highly visual world, in which the text on websites, social media, catalogs and brochures are designed to create a sensation and capture people’s attention within seconds. As result, when we have a very noticeable expansion or contraction phenomenon, the end-product may lose its efficacy and adjustments may be needed to conserve the original emotional impact.

At SeproTec we work with localization experts who help our clients to achieve a balance between translation and design. Their work ensures that the original communication goal is preserved, but they may use more appropriate cultural formulas, considering not only the concepts, but also the feelings they engender or the use of a vocabulary that is more familiar to the target readers.

Thanks to their work we are able to guarantee that the product that the end-client receives is true to the original, not just in terms of content, but also intent and appearance. A very graphic example of this are translations into Arabic: images and text boxes are ordered inversely so that they make sense in relation to the direction in which the text is read.

Other factors to bear in mind

In addition to the unpredictability of the amount of characters in a translation, additional factors, such as compound nouns or character width complicate the management and layout of the text.

Languages like Finnish, Dutch and German represent what in other languages would be a sequence of smaller words as a single long word.

For example, the Spanish phrase “Seguro de Responsabilidad civil de automóviles” becomes “Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung” in German. Although in Spanish that phrase can be adjusted to fit two lines, in German it cannot be automatically adjusted, which can present a layout challenge.

Regarding character width, for example, “plans” in English becomes “しょくぶつ” in Japanese, occupying much more horizontal space.

How does the work done by localizers affect prices?

Most of the language combinations are priced based on word count in the source text (the original text).  Nevertheless, there are times when pricing is based on the word count in the target language.  Since the variation in word count for a given translation cannot be known beforehand, generally conversion ratios are used depending on the project languages. These are established based on the average increase or decrease of the terms.

The final cost of a project will also depend on other factors, such as the subject and the modifications made by the localizer or layout team.  These are usually estimated in work hours. Nevertheless, it will always be faster and more economic to use our specialists than to hire a separate graphic designer for each language to which a document needs to be translated. Our in-house layout teams ensure that your designs are appropriately adapted, taking expansion and contraction into account.

In conclusion, we can say without a doubt that a good professional translation service will always give clients the results they’re looking for. It isn’t just about quality texts, but also good adaptations of the end-product.

 

 

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SeproTec Translator of the Month: May 2021

julio 7th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

We announce the May winner of our Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

On this occasion we would like you to meet Julio Amago a well-known translator of this house for the last 15 years and we invite you to read a brief interview with him.

 SeproTec Translator of the Month_May 2021

You have been working with us 15 years now! That is a lot, you are such a veteran. What do you enjoy most about working with SeproTec?

I’m not sure how I feel about being called a veteran. Sometimes it seems like I’m still just starting out, and I keep studying and learning every day—about translation, about running a business and about my different subject matters.

What I enjoy the most about working with SeproTec is the varied nature of the jobs I get through the agency.

You work with many different languages: Catalan, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. That is impressive! Is there any language you can’t handle?

There are many languages I can’t handle. To start with, all those languages you mentioned are concentrated around Southern Europe, and that’s only a small corner of our big world.

I lived in South Korea for two years as an English teacher and I really wanted to learn the language, but it proved to be extremely difficult. There were no courses for foreigners in the small city I was living in, so I studied with some books I bought and was always taking notes in a little notebook I carried everywhere. I tried really hard and I could get along with basic needs and conversation, but nothing like the way I can communicate in French and Portuguese, for example, which share so much with Spanish and even English.

This was twenty years ago now, so although I still remember the basics and many of the names of the terrific Korean dishes I have lost most of the vocabulary and grammar that I learned with so much effort.

You were an English teacher before working as a translator. That is awesome! When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in translation?

While travelling you always find yourself translating, trying to decode a menu or to find your way in an underground system, and that got me thinking about what it would be like to do it professionally. When I got back to Spain after my time in Korea, while I was working as a teacher of business English, I found a job offer in a company specialising in pharmaceutical and patent translation and I thought that with my background in biology that would suit me just fine. They loved the test I did for them and that’s how I got started as a full-time translator. The switch to freelancing came later.

Although you specialise in medical translation, as a multifaceted translator yourself, you might have other fields of interest. Is there any other field you enjoy working with?

I enjoy many fields, especially those that are technical and science-related, and I would love to work with extreme sports since I enjoy rock climbing and paragliding in my spare time, but I haven’t yet looked into doing it professionally.

You are also passionate about traveling! Is working remotely while traveling easy? What is your next destination?

I always work remotely, even when I’m at home, so that’s not really the challenge. The challenge depends on your destination and mode of travel, since you are totally dependent on the internet for work. So it’s easy if you just rent a nice Airbnb with a super-fast connection for a weekend or longer, but it’s nearly impossible if you are roughing it.

I was travelling overland in Mexico a few years back and at times I had to reject jobs or ask not to be sent jobs with urgent deadlines if I was moving between different places, because I could not guarantee whether I would have a good connection or not until I got to my destination. I remember one time when there were problems with the connection and I was late with a job with an important deadline. Both the PM and I were tearing our hair out! That was very stressful so I try to be more careful now about translating on the road. It’s also nice to take a break every now and then!

I’m not sure about what my next destination will be. I would like to start by going back to the UK after almost 8 years away from Europe, but for now I’ll just keep enjoying the little corner of the Pyrenees that I’ve been calling home for the last 10 months.

 

Thank you so much, Julio.  Have a great summer ahead!

 

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City of San Antonio Interpreting Services

junio 28th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Blog | Interpretación | Interpreting - (Comentarios desactivados)

SeproTec is, since 2017, the interpreting service provider of the City of San Antonio, Texas. It is critical to get to know a little bit more about the city in order to understand the importance and need of language services.

San Antonio is part of the Bexar County and is located in the South Texas region. It is also one of the top 10 largest cities in the USA. A wealth of history and culture are integral parts of this city where the Alamo is located, which is famously known by the battle for Texan independence from Mexico in 1836. Additionally, this is city is proud of housing 4 military bases: Randolph AFB, Lackland AFB, Fort Sam Houston, and Camp Bullis. The Alamo City is a hub of patriotism, culture and diversity.

City of San Antonio Interpreting Services

City of San Antonio Interpreting Services

This city’s demographics are Hispanic (64.2%), White (24.7%), Blacks and African Americans (6.4%), but also count with American Indians and Alaska natives as well as Asians. It is estimated that out of 1.5 million inhabitants, 42% does not speak English as first language in the households. In addition, San Antonio is a tourist destination inside and outside the United States. Consequently, the government bodies of the city need all the content to be made accessible to this part of the population. Furthermore, the federally funded programs need to be made accessible as well based on the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

SeproTec Multilingual Solutions has been helping the City of San Antonio to close the gap between the government and the people of Limited English Proficiency for some time now and once again has been recently awarded with the interpreting services contract. Currently, SeproTec is servicing the City’s different departments: Government and Public Affairs, Development Services Department, Housing Commission, …

This type of interpreting is what we call community interpreting, or in other words; the interpreting services provided to communities with a substantial number of people with Limited English Proficiency. Currently, SeproTec is bridging the gap of communication during the City Council and other important meetings for the aforementioned departments resulting in an improved reach and engagement from these communities.

As these programs evolve, SeproTec Multilingual Solutions will continue servicing and developing roots with the local governments and communities. As firm believers of language accessibility, we promote a more inclusive society in which the language barrier does not limit the people understanding and interaction with their local, state and federal governments. We thank the City of San Antonio for placing its trust and confidence in SeproTec Multilingual Solutions.

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According to the UN, over 280 million people 3.6% of the global population lives outside their country of origin, both legally and irregularly, and there are 26 million refugees.

The role of linguistic-cultural mediators, also known as intercultural mediators , is essential when it comes to welcoming migrants who come to a country after fleeing critical situations. When we travel abroad, we not only encounter a language barrier, but a cultural barrier as well. And these difficulties are accentuated when people are traveling out of a need for asylum and refuge, that is, people who are persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion, often in conflict contexts.

The role of cultural mediators in the asylum and refugee processes for migrants

 

The role of cultural mediators

Interpreters and cultural mediators are professionals with different abilities. Not all interpreters can perform cultural mediation, and not all cultural mediators have professional interpreting skills.  A cultural mediator is a person who facilitates mutual understanding between, for example, a person or a group of people who are migrants or applicants for refuge and asylum and the professional from the receiving country who is offering them assistance (a doctor, for example, a border official, the police, or a psychologist or social worker), interpreting and taking into account cultural elements. The cultural mediator facilitates the reception and integration phases of migrants and can advise both parties on appropriate cultural behaviors.

To better understand the figure of the cultural mediator, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of immigrants. Most of them arrive fleeing an extreme situation following a path that, on many occasions, involves equally harsh and traumatic conditions. This means that people arrive in poor physical and mental condition, making it necessary for the help of essential services to be sought.

Doctors, psychologists and social services alike need the trust of the migrant for their work to be carried out successfully. Cultural mediation helps these people, who have been victims of torture and abuse, to feel welcomed and understood at such a remove from their place of origin.

At SeproTec we provide cultural mediation services in different countries and in very different situations as we work with different NGOs, at points of arrival in ports, refugee camps, centers for unaccompanied minors, hospitals and health centers, and we also provide assistance in medical and paramedical services, health promotion, psychological services and legal advice. Although this is not always the case due to the circumstances surrounding each arrival point and the volume of migratory flows, normally, the cultural mediator is of the same nationality as the asylum seeker, someone who speaks to them in their language, who is familiar with their culture, and explains their rights and options to them at each stage of the process. They are also in charge of anticipating what is going to happen and, ultimately, of ensuring that the exchange of information is relevant and fruitful.

Beyond interpreting

Although the service we provide to refugees uses language as a vehicle, the work of mediators goes beyond mere interpreting. The aim is to facilitate integration through a better understanding between two cultures. For example, in a medical visit, doctors are advised on how to proceed with their examinations to avoid situations that would embarrass or disturb the patient.

Furthermore, if the mediator considers it important, they will not limit themselves just to the information offered by the migrant or professional and will instead offer an explanatory context regarding details and reasons. In other words, the work of a cultural mediator is oriented more towards integration than the simple transmission of information. The added value of this type of service lies more in the ability to overcome cultural barriers than in ensuring 100% correctness in the language.

Follow-up of each case

After each service process, it is important that a follow-up be performed on the asylum and refugee claimant by the professionals and the mediation facilitators. Once again, the job of the mediator is to contextualize the aid and the evolution, taking into account the specific situation and the customs of the place of origin.

In addition, while serving immigrants who are requesting asylum or refuge our help can also go one step further. If necessary, we help them fill out forms and we explain the meaning of the information we are giving them.

Our work as cultural mediators is one of the most rewarding applications within the translation and interpreting field, as it allows us to be of assistance in humanitarian emergencies. At all times we aim to act as a bridge for refugees, between the life they are starting, and the life they have left behind.

 

 

 

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