The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the language industry is a complex and sometimes surprising one. A recent article spotlights the challenges faced by many US states where linguistic minorities may not be able to receive proper, thorough information related to the pandemic, due to a lack of interpreters for their languages.
But the article also points out another challenge. Even if an interpreter speaks a certain language, they also need to be familiar with the culture or subculture that the person in front of them comes from. In fact, that may be the most important thing.
For instance, an interpreter may speak someone’s language but not be aware of what it’s like for them as an undocumented immigrant, who will view healthcare and doctors differently than someone with US citizenship.
Read on to learn more about the challenges of translating coronavirus information and interpreting for those who need a voice in these frightening times – as well as the solutions certain states have put into place.