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Importance of Translation and Interpretation Services in a Pandemic



In a pandemic such as the one we have now, the COVID-19 pandemic, we usually hear about front line professionals such as doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, and other workers such as supermarket employees, couriers, volunteers, and etc. But we don’t usually hear about translators and interpreters and their role in the fight against COVID-19 do we? 

With this article, you’ll get to know how translators and interpreters are so crucial in preserving the one thing that must be preserved and continued at all times in any crisis; communication. But first, you should know how important translation services and interpretation services were in times before the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll then be able to develop a rounded understanding of their crucial role in a crisis, especially one on a global scale like this. 

The Role of Translation Before COVID-19

The global economy that we live in today simply could not have been possible without translation nor could businesses have the size and reach they are now. Contemporary globalization is a result of many factors such as liberal trade policies, international peace, technology, increased cultural exchange, and so on.  However, would they have been possible without translation?

Could ancient globalization or even the progress of human civilization be possible without acknowledging the need to overcome language barriers? Communication leads to trust which then leads to progress and peace. Of course, human history hasn’t always been like that but you get the gist. 

Indeed, the methods to render translation have changed with modern-day technologies such as machine translation, translation management software, glossaries, and etc. But the importance of translation in our society has always remained the same. To cut it short, global businesses and also organizations and entities of all sizes including governments all require translation services. 

As to what they need to get translated, essentially every piece of paperwork and digital media that will be read by multilingual audiences. From manuals, websites, apps, emails, software, books, to critical documents such as academic research, financial documents, legal documents, nearly every, if not all text (print and digital) can and has been translated. 

The shift to translation as a commercial service was a rather recent development. Back then, translation was rendered by academics and polyglots which comprised only a handful of individuals. But as the pace of the global economy quickened, so did the demand for more and more translators. Statista reports that within just the last decade, the market size of the global language service industry has doubled reaching $46.9 billion in 2019! But with the COVID-19 pandemic massively disrupting the global economy and major industries, what’s in store for translators now? 

The Role of Translation Under COVID-19

It could without saying that the global business community has changed in less than two months since the start of the outbreak in China. But even when the outbreak was largely still contained in China, the world was already feeling the rippling effects of reduced Chinese tourists and Chinese economic activity. But, the global economy is now on its knees as the pandemic has now hit home forcing governments to impose quarantine measures, social distancing, and the closure of all non-essential businesses and activities. 

It goes without saying that many businesses and organizations who have been hit especially hard, with some at the risk of bankruptcy, would not go about their usual order for translation services. But, the need for translation still goes on since a global health crisis requires a globally coordinated response. 

For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) routinely issues press conferences, briefings, statements and advisories regarding the global state of the pandemic. A global organization such as the WHO needs to ensure that all of their communications are translated to most major languages to ensure everyone around the world can access their information.

Other than the WHO, governments and organizations in countries with multilingual citizens and residents also need to translate their communications. They need to ensure that everyone has access to the proper information and the latest public advisories in their own native regional language. But other than public communications, a globally-coordinated response also must require global professionals such as scientists to work together. Translation, specifically medical translation, is what allows them to coordinate together, n. 

What is Medical Translation? 

Medical translation is a highly specialized form of translation within the medical industry. Not every translator can provide medical translations since they have to undergo more training and earn the proper certifications for them to be certified as such. They have to be extensively knowledgeable with medical terminology, medical practices, code of ethics, and other relevant medical subjects. 

Medical translators are usually responsible for translating the medical documents of patients. But their other roles include translating medical research and documents associated with medical devices. Taking into account the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scale in which the entire world has been infected, one can only imagine the amount of pressure medical translators now face. 

During pre-pandemic times, there were already shortages of medical translators in the US, even for widely chosen language pairs (English to Spanish, Spanish to English). But the pandemic is already more strain in a very limited but specialized workforce. 

Medical translators now are focusing their efforts on key areas; COVID-19 research and the medical device industry. COVID-19 research is now the highlight of the efforts of medical translators. The perplexing nature of COVID-19 is confounding many scientists around the world which continue to complicate their search for a viable treatment and vaccine. Scientists are working hand in hand with their foreign colleagues at an unprecedented level of global coordination never before seen. Medical translators act as their bridge so that they can immediately stay updated with the latest findings and build upon each other’s work. 

As for the medical device industry, they’re now struggling to keep up with the worldwide demand for medical personal protective equipment (PPE) from surgical masks, face shields, protective suits, to complex machinery, particularly ventilators. Since demand is coming from numerous infected countries in nearly all continents, medical translators have to work overtime to ensure that all documents such as manuals are accurately translated for the intended target market.    

The Role of Interpretation Before COVID-19

Like translators, interpreters service plenty of industries and organizations that require live language interpretation on-site or remotely via over-the-phone or remote video interpretation services. Interpretation services are not only common and necessary in the travel and tourism industry but in all global industries and businesses that communicate with multilingual stakeholders. All in all, if there’s a multinational event such as a press conference with multilingual audiences and participants, then an interpreter is necessary. 

But what makes interpretation different and unique to translation? The truth is that not all translators can be interpreters. That’s not to say interpreters are superior to translators since they both serve different forms of language service needs. In fact, not all interpreters can and even want to be translators.  

Translators mostly work at home alone and some interpreters aren’t too keen on having a career with that lifestyle. Likewise, not all translators enjoy the environmental pressure of providing on-site language translation. Suffice to say that being an interpreter requires a different set of nerves and the ability to cope with intense on-site pressure. 

Interpreter training is also different to translator training. While translators have the liberty to rely on language resources such as glossaries and even machine translation (MT) to augment their productivity, interpreters don’t have the liberty. They can only rely on their skills and experience to perform effortless and spotless interpretation on-site. The pressure increases tremendously if they’re involved in high-stakes negotiations. 

The Role of Interpretation Under COVID-19 

With most travel restricted along with the cancellation of international crowd-centric and even small group events, it’s not a surprise that many interpreters, compared to translators, are out of the job—at least for now. But that doesn’t mean they’re completely out of the job. Interpretation can still be rendered remotely i.e. over-the-phone and remote video interpretation. In 2019, the size of the phone and video interpreting market in the US reached $1.2 billion so there is a sizable market for remote interpretation services. 

Although, there are no recent data as to how much that market has been affected due to the pandemic. Still, interpreters will always be needed in a pandemic, particularly medical interpreters. You’re already familiar with medical translation so there’s not much difference with medical interpretation except for how it’s done and which clients are medical interpreters servicing. Medical interpreters are actually needed more than ever in this current pandemic. 

Tens of thousands of multinationals and tourists as of this moment are still stranded in countries around the world. Although governments are chartering flights to bring most of the home, there are others who choose to stay after considering the risk of returning to their affected homes. For instance, the US is now the most infected country with over half a million cases and climbing! Many American citizens are now choosing to stay abroad temporarily. But if they happen to have medical complications abroad, then medical interpreters are there to service them. 

Even multilingual residents who are more comfortable in using their foreign language will need medical interpreters. For instance, there are millions of Spanish speakers in the US with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). In that case, they will naturally need Spanish medical interpreters. Like medical translation, any mistranslation can complicate diagnostic and treatment efforts so medical interpreters have to ensure everything is interpreted accurately. 

How Do You Find a Translator or Interpreter if You Need One?

Two of the most common places to look for translators and interpreters are either in freelance network platforms or translation companies. Many translators and interpreters are listed in freelance platforms such as Upwork and ProZ with the latter being an entirely dedicated platform for language specialists. You can easily find quality and reputable translators and interpreters in freelance platforms in which case many clients hire them all the time. 

However, the trouble with freelance platforms, in general, is that if your translator or interpreter suddenly encounters a setback such as a medical or personal emergency, then your project will be in limbo. You’ll have to find another translator /interpreter to fill in and that takes more time. In that case, a translation company can give you more security since their translation project managers will take care of everything in case an emergency happens, saving you the time and hassle. 

Also, if you have numerous documents that need to be translated with care and precision, then a translation company is the way to go. They naturally keep track of the quality of every project as a matter of company policy. That’s not saying hiring any translator from a freelance network is a poor choice. 

If you’re not sure of the quality of the translator you’re looking to hire, then why not look at their past work and even get in touch with their previous clients to make sure that they fit the bill. Hiring one from a translation company will be pricier since overhead costs are added to your bill. But whether you choose to hire from either a freelance platform or a translation company entirely depends on your project needs and budget at hand. 

But with medical translators and interpreters, the highly specialized work means you’re better off with a translation company with a proven track record and a trusted network. It’s just a matter of looking at the translation company’s website as to whether or not they provide medical translation and interpretation services. If you’re looking for medical translators that specialize in coronavirus research, then it would be better to ask a company support assistant if they have such specialists within their network. 

Final Takeaway

I hope all of what you’ve just read here will make you have a deeper appreciation of translators and interpreters. That their services are highly crucial in both times of prosperity and crises. Perhaps you may even be inspired to become a translator or interpreter yourself if you think you got that knack for it! If you have a love for languages and think a translation or interpretation career is the one for you, then go for it! Once the economy and our society recovers, an exciting and even noble career await you once you step into the world of languages. 


The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Raising Money For Breast Cancer



The Ellen Hermanson Foundation hosted their Summer Gala 2024 fundraising event, on Saturday, July 13th, from 6:30PM-11:30PM at Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club in Bridgehampton, NY. Oceanside cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the deck, dinner, dancing and an auction, with an after-party with a beach bonfire and s’mores followed. The gala raised over $350,000

The Foundation honor Dr. Fredric Weinbaum, medical doctor extraordinaire and former Chief Administrative Officer/COO of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and The Honorable Rebecca A. Seawright, Member of the New York State Assembly whose 3-D screening bill signed into law expands access to cancer screenings without cost sharing, to include 3-D Mammagraphy. These are two brilliant people who have done so much to make our community a healthier place.

Jean Shafiroff, noted philanthropist and author, is the Gala Chair, along with the Young Professional Committee, Host Committee and The Board of Directors.

Notable guests were Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Martin Shafiroff, Kenneth Fishel, Ann Cirdullo, Lucas Hunt, Jane Scher, Gayle Brophy, Keith and Carol Grupman, Victoria Schneps, Alexandrea LaFata, Mady Schuman, Monty Farber, Amy Zerner, Allison Silver, Julie Feldman, Rakesh Nigam, Elizabeth Dew, Scott, Lori, and Justin Levine, Paulina Berse, Julia Haart, Rakesh Nigam, Elizabeth Dew, Daniel Padnos, Andrea and Maynard Hellman, Michael and Bernadette Olsen, Vinay Tack, Edna Kapenhas and Michael Valdes, Roger and Ilene Schiel, Minerva Perez, Tien Ho So, Rita Bonicelli, Rachel Goldberg, Cathy Norman, Norman Yojy, Leslie Grand, and Linda Bieniewicz, Liz Derringer, Phyllis Chase, Dr. Paul Trotta, Dr. Gary and Karen Boxer, Jody and Jack Wasserman, Howie and Sherri Lippman.

Photo’s taken by Roger Sichel

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Auctions Off Jackets To Save Women’s Lives Part 3



We told you about the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, annual Summer Gala to raise funds for women and breast cancer. Tomorrow night is the auction of denim jackets painted by famous artists. We told you about Shani Grosz and Roger Sichel who have created rocking jean jackets. Today Jane Elissa whose jackets are a staple in the Broadway community.

Jane also donated a pillow and painting.

Jane Elissa is a New York based artist creating artwork on canvas combining elements of paint, created appliques, collage, beads, vintage materials and tapestries. Each unique piece tells a story capturing the imagination, emotions and point of view that is uniquely hers. She has many celebrity clients and her work has been featured on national morning shows as well as QVC and HSN.

Eddie Redmayne’s jacket Jane did for him fro Cabaret

For the past 30 years, Jane has been voluntarily raising money for cancer and leukemia research through her benefits and designs. We are honored to add Jane Elissa’s collectibles to our product line as a percentage of each sale will be donated to charities.

Jane Elissa

The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center is designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  The Center offers a wide spectrum of breast health services, including education, early detection screenings and breast cancer treatment and support. The Center utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques, including computer-assisted mammography, ultrasound and a breast biopsy system that locates breast abnormalities and obtains tissue samples.

Breast cancer is a mind-numbing experience, not only for each patient, but for their families and friends. In a time of tremendous stress, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Ellen Hermanson Breast Center offers a comprehensive patient-centric approach. Under the leadership of our fellowship-trained breast surgeon Dr. Edna Kapenhas, the Center includes Board-certified radiologists, pathologist, oncology nurse, radiology nurses, patient navigator, and certified technologists. Satellite diagnostic services are also located in East Hampton and Hampton Bays.

Did you know early breast cancer rarely has symptoms. Self-examination, an annual clinical examination and, depending on your age and family history, an annual mammogram are key to detecting breast cancer as early as possible. While most breast changes are not cancerous, it’s important to have them evaluated promptly. If you discover a lump or any of the other warning signs of breast cancer, especially if the changes persist after one menstrual cycle or they change the appearance of your breast, see your doctor immediately. If you’ve been treated for breast cancer in the past, report any new signs or symptoms right away. Symptoms may include:

  • A lump in the breast or a lump in the armpit that is hard and often does not hurt
  • Change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast or nipple (redness, dimpling, or puckering that looks like the skin of an orange)
  • Fluid coming from the nipple

In the event of a breast cancer diagnosis, and once definitive surgery has been completed, the patient may be referred to a medical and/or radiation oncologist for further treatment.

The Ellen Hermanson Foundation

To bid on the jackets and see more click here.

For more information

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Auctions Off Jackets To Save Women’s Lives Part 2



Yesterday we told you about the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, annual Summer Gala to raise funds for women and breast cancer. Ellen Hermanson was an articulate, courageous and indomitable warrior in the war against breast cancer. Her personal battle with the disease began when she was diagnosed with breast cancer while still nursing her six-month-old daughter. Ellen fought against her disease medically by undergoing surgery and aggressive chemotherapy. She also fought against breast cancer by becoming an activist and advocate. A journalist by training, she used her prodigious talent as a writer to give voice to the needs of breast cancer survivors and to educate her readers about the importance of being well informed, the challenges of living with breast cancer, and the availability of resources to help with the myriad problems that arise as a result of breast cancer. Her remarkable accomplishments attest to her extraordinary inner strength and selfless generosity. Ellen lost her hard-fought battle with breast cancer at the age of 42. She was working on an article exploring the then new and exciting potential of the Internet as a source of information and sharing for patients and their families. Ellen left a legacy of dignity, courage, determination, grace and love to all who knew her. To honor her memory, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation has been established to support and continue the important work she began.

Julie Ratner along with her sister her sister Emily Levin co-founded The Ellen Hermanson Foundation in honor of their younger sister, Ellen. The foundation has distributed more than $4 million in grants. Julie is a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and the New York State Breast Cancer Network.

Roger, Julie and Roger’s jackets

Part of the way they will raise money is to auction off denim jackets painted by famous artists. We told you about Shani Grosz and now Roger Sichel has created rocking jean jackets. One for adults with his famous photo of Janis Joplin. He also did a second jacket for kids with his newest art….Puppy on Futuristic Mars.  Rogers art was at Coachella this year and is on the moon. His art is in several galleries in Beverly Hills, Palm Beach and The Hamptons.

To bid on these jackets, attend the Gala or just donate go to #EHFGala2024

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Auctions Off Jackets To Save Women’s Lives



The Ellen Hermanson Foundation, is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering people affected by cancer. This Saturday they will host their annual Summer Gala to raise funds. The event on  July 13, is from 6:30 to 11:30 PM at Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club. Beside oceanside cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dancing, and an auction, followed by an after-party beach bonfire and s’mores. 

The foundation will honor Dr. Fredric Weinbaum, medical doctor and former Chief Administrative Officer/COO of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and The Honorable Rebecca A. Seawright, Member of the New York State Assembly whose 3-D screening bill, signed into law, expands access to cancer screenings without cost sharing to include 3-D Mammography. 

Part of the way they will raise money is to auction off denim jackets painted by famous artists. Three of the artists are friends of T2C and we want to highlight their work as well as give you insight on how to bid for a really good cause.

Shani and her jacket

First up is Shani Grosz. Her denim jacket combines fashion and Shani’s passion for painting she created a fantasy hand painted garden themed denim jacket trimmed with a lace bustle for drama and sprinkled with Swarovski crystals . All created with a magical vibe and a theme quote painted in the back of the jacket that reads “ the darkest Nights produce the brightest stars. “ … with the theme that women going through tough times such as cancer treatments are the true bright shining stars.

Shani is a graduate of Parson’s School of Design, and has established herself as an important and internationally recognized designer with over two decades as the President and Designer of SHANI Collection. She has won many prestigious design awards for her well executed vision of “Wearable Art”. Over the years, she has dressed various celebrities, news anchors, Broadway stars, television personalities and developed numerous wardrobes for both film and TV and as a teacher within the Designer Critic Program at FIT, Shani works closely at developing up and coming talent. Shani designs for the modern woman, celebrating her multi-faceted lifestyle that allows her to be both feminine and strong.


To know Shani is to know that she is a girl’s girl, so it’s only logical that her designs are about feeling free and comfortable in your skin. Shani’s designs are like the perfect little black dress –something every woman needs in her wardrobe that she can always count on to let her look her best. Her dresses are available at Please follow us on Instagram at

To bid on Shani’s and the other artist were highlighting read more tomorrow.

On February 15, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation awarded $363,000 in grants to further its mission of assisting people being treated for breast cancer. The funding advances the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where no patients are turned away for lack of insurance, as well as its local satellite locations and Ellen’s Well, a psychosocial support program for patients. Grants were also awarded to members of The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Community Partnership to support bilingual outreach, social support, and breast care education for women without ready access to health care.

This year, funds raised will go toward acquiring a cutting-edge tomosynthesis mammography machine at the center, providing breast screenings and diagnostic procedures, allocating Ellen’s Well micro-grants for transportation and social services, supporting the Phillips Family Cancer Care Summit and paying a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a nurse practitioner, and an oncology nurse patient navigator at Ellen’s Well.

For more information visit

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Summer Streets Returns



Summer Streets is returning the last weekend of July (27th) and the four Saturdays of August (3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th). Summer Streets is where miles of NYC across the five boroughs are closed off to cars.

This year, the DOT is expanding the program’s hours to 7 am to 3 pm (previously 7 am to 1 pm). During the hours that the streets are closed exciting programming and activities take place along the designated routes, such as dance and musical performances, fitness classes, and interactive workshops.

The 2024 NYC Summer Streets schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 27:

  • Queens: Vernon Boulevard between 44 Drive and 30 Road
  • Staten Island: Broadway between Richmond Terrace and Clove Road

Saturday, August 3, 10, & 17:

  • Brooklyn Bridge to West 125 Street
  • Lafayette Street and Park Avenue between Brooklyn Bridge and East 109 Street
  • East 109 Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 5th Avenue between East 109 Street and Central Park North
  • Central Park North between 5th Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard
  • Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard between Central Park North and West 125 Street

Saturday, August 24:

  • Brooklyn: Eastern Parkway between Grand Army Plaza and Buffalo Avenue
  • The Bronx: Grand Concourse between East Tremont Avenue and Mosholu Parkway
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