E.g., 11/20/2014
E.g., 11/20/2014

Communicating More for Less: Using Translation and Interpretation Technology to Serve Limited English Proficient Individuals

Reports
January 2011

Communicating More for Less: Using Translation and Interpretation Technology to Serve Limited English Proficient Individuals

As the immigrant population continues to grow in the United States, an increasing number of people speak a primary language other than English. While state and local governments and service industries most commonly use translators, interpreters, and multilingual employees to communicate with Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, technologies now play a vital role in meeting the language access needs of this sizable and expanding population.

Employing language access technology to facilitate translation and interpretation can be a cost-effective approach to reducing redundancy and saving resources. Still, many service providers remain uncertain about the functionality and value of these technologies or lack the time necessary to research their purposes, costs, and benefits. This report provides an overview of several commonly used translation and interpretation technologies,  including translation memory software. It aims to assist language access practitioners in understanding and identifying which systems would best meet their agency’s language access needs.

Individual agencies require language access solutions tailored to the unique features of their service delivery system—for example, the volume of clients to be served, the languages they speak, and the nature, length, and frequency of exchanges with them. This report should thus be seen as a catalogue of possibilities, with service providers deciding what best meets their particular needs.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. Advances in Interpretation Technology

A. Interpreter-Based Technologies

B. Automated Interpreting Technologies

C. Interpretation Service Vendors

III. Advances in Translation Technology

A. Translation Memory Software

B. Machine Translation

C. Translation Vendors

IV. Using Technology for In-House Translation/Interpretation Management

A. Managing Translation Services

B. Managing Interpretation Services

V. Conclusion