Acting Techniques for the Interpreter

We’ve drawn a parallel once before of the similarities between the skill sets of actors and the skill sets of interpreters. While the two are very different fields, many techniques used by actors can be utilized by interpreters. There are many occasions while interpreting that either suppressing or conjuring emotion may be helpful. Also, vocal techniques and physical adjustments can aide the interpreter in getting the job done as healthily as possible.

There are many famed acting technique teachers, all with their own methods. Uta Hagen, for example, uses “substitution” as a main technique, which can be incredibly helpful for interpreters. It involves recreating a memory in the mind that is the opposite or the same (depending on the circumstance) of the situation for which one is interpreting, in order to bring the emotion (or lack of emotion), of that memory into the interpretation.

There are also several public speaking techniques that can be useful to interpreters. One trick for successful speaking in public is admitting nervousness. Both in acting and public speaking, we tend to let nerves get the best of us. When we acknowledge the nervousness, we can often use it to our advantage instead of letting it be our downfall.

Emotional life is a difficult thing to have a handle on. Whether it’s interpreting in a courtroom or running a successful business, emotions are a part of human life and will always creep in when least expected. There are many articles and blogs on how to manage emotions in the workplace, but it is surprisingly easy to achieve emotional management when one puts acting techniques into play.

Interpreter Education Online will be unveiling an all new set of courses in the coming months that feature in-depth studies on these techniques as well as other focused lessons. Keep your eyes peeled, and in the meantime, join the conversation on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages!

Save Your Voice

As interpreters, it is exceedingly important to know and understand our voices. Singers are taught that the voice is their instrument. It is the same for anyone who spends long amounts of time speaking. All too often, a little tickle in the throat will go ignored, only to result in the loss of voice. How can we be of any service to the people for whom we are providing interpreting if we can’t speak?

There are many articles, blogs, and books about successful voice techniques. But we’d like to sum a few up for you. One thing that is agreed upon across the board is the avoidance of spicy, fatty, or creamy foods. Though these can often be the tastiest, they can erode and or coat your vocal cords in a way that makes speaking more difficult.

According to Live Science, it is very damaging to clear your throat often. While it may seem like a temporary relief, it actually rubs the vocal cords together, and can create long term damage over time. Instead of clearing your throat before speaking, think about taking a sip of water and a deep breath. Also, dryness has a serious effect on your vocal ability, so invest in a humidifier at home, and make sure to avoid smoking at all costs. Smoking is one of the most damaging things you can do to your voice.

These may seem like common remedies, many that you may already be familiar with. However, did you know that stress is a huge factor in your vocal wellness? It’s true! The more stress you have in your life, the less you are able to project and protect your voice. So remember last week’s article on stress relief? Try practicing some of the techniques we talked about then. Meditation, working out, and yoga are all very healthy ways to relieve stress and strengthen your voice.

Interpreter Education Online is going to be unraveling some courses centered around specialized techniques just like these, so keep your eyes peeled. And as always, there is no time like the present to keep up to date on your interpreting knowledge by taking one of our courses! Join the conversation on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages!

The Stress of Stress

We have all been there. One more phone call or email seems like it might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. On edge, tired, and not looking forward to the day ahead. We’re human, and we deal with stress. Whether you are a certified interpreter, an interpreter in training, or the head of an organization that utilizes language services, you can relate. It is important for everyone to learn how to reduce stress, but it is particularly important in this industry, as miscommunication can lead to dire outcomes.

So we at Interpreter Education Online are giving you some ideas and resources to help you deal with your stress. Anxiety and stress is responsible for 70 million Americans’ lack of sleep, which can lead to diminish confidence and capability. Psychology Today offers five useful tips, the first being to remember that “this too shall pass”. Keeping that one phrase in mind can make a huge difference.

Another article from healthguide.org suggests that finding the cause of stress leads to easier stress management. If we can identify the source of the problem, more often than not, we can better manage the problem. We should look at our habits, our routines, and our basic mental outlook when trying to seek the source of stress.

We’ve probably all heard to simply “breathe” during a stressful situation, but did you know that breathing deeply can actually alter the state of your brain? WebMD shares ten tips for relieving stress and the number one activity they recommend is meditation, including deep breathing. It only takes a few minutes a day but can completely change your outlook.

One thing that will always cause stress in our lives is putting something off. That gnawing feeling of knowing there is something that has to be taken care of won’t go away until we do what we set out to. So if you have been putting off furthering your education, or testing your interpreters for language proficiency, don’t wait any longer! Take a course or proficiency test with Interpreter Education Online and join the conversation on our Facebook and LinkedIn Pages!

Passion and Productivity

It’s the age old question in business: does passion lead to productivity? There is no concrete answer. In fact, many businesses still debate the topic. What is not in question, however, is that passion for something implies that a person is enthusiastic about it. It would stand to reason, then, that someone who is passionate would be more productive, would it not?

Most businesses and organizations would say yes. When an employee is passionate, their work ethic increases. They are more apt to get things done on time and within scope. When a person feels strongly about something, he or she is more likely going to act in a greater capacity. While action does not necessarily mean the outcome is productive, it does mean there is an abundance of outcomes. More work, more choices, more solutions. That sounds like productivity.

Passion in the workplace can be determined by many factors. One that is widely agreed upon is culture. The culture of a working environment starts from the top and trickles down. Employees need to feel that they are doing work for someone who appreciates not only the work being done, but the cause itself. A passionate leader is more likely to have a passionate workforce. Among other methods to enhance workplace culture, fostering creativity is a proven way to get the desired result. Keeping up with information technology and training employees is another wise practice.

Culture is not solely dependent upon the leader, though. It takes a village, as they say, and employees have just as much at stake in contributing to it. An employee can easily choose to find at least one aspect of the workplace favorable, and build upon that aspect. It is our responsibility as leaders and workers to choose happiness where we can.

So what does all this mean to you? The answer is simple: find something small each day to be passionate about in your work or workplace. Whether it is a particular client that makes you smile, an employee that exceeds expectation, or the view from your office window, build upon that morsel. Keep employees up to date on their training (we can help with that at Interpreter Education Online), and find something to appreciate each day! For more information or to share your thoughts, visit our Facebook and LinkedIn pages today!

Learn as You Go

There is a certain point we reach in our lives when we think to ourselves, “hooray, I’m finished with school!” It may be true for some people, that after high school or college, education is not thought about again. But for the vast majority of us, regardless of our career fields, continuing education is a necessary element of productivity. According to Reference for Business, “Employers depend on continuing education as a tool for ensuring a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Individuals use continuing education for upward career mobility, job enhancement and personal enrichment.”

In short, continuing to learn after required schooling is not only a current business trend, it is a forward thinking way of life.

There are many reasons for seeking further education past high school or college. Many skill sets are not taught in schools, but are required for jobs. Much can be learned through hands on experience, but that experience opens doors to new questions and learning opportunities. Continuing education is also an effective way to increase focus, performance ability, and mental well being.

Many fields actually ask employees to maintain education in order to stay in their jobs. The healthcare industry is a prime example. Standards of practice and medical procedure must advance with the times to ensure all professionals in the industry are giving first rate care to patients. As we grow and change throughout life, so must our knowledge base.

And, as we have said many times before, we live in a technological era. New inventions and apps are being released daily. No schooling can prepare and train people for advances as they come along. It is the responsibility of not only a company or organization, but also the individuals, to further the educational process and help every industry to grow. Interpreter Education Online offers many courses for continuing education requirements, as well as courses for new interpreters and language testing for organizations. What will you do to ensure your future is full of knowledge? After all, knowledge is power! Join the conversation on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages!

Rise of the Interpreter

It’s a new year and a good time to look at what is trending in the job market. Whether you are looking for a language service provider or you are looking to become an interpreter, the language service industry is all the buzz. This week, The DC posted an article about immigration escalation and projections. The amount of foreign born people in the US from 1880 – 1970 increased by only 40%, while the amount from 1970-2060 will have increased by 715%! That is a jaw dropping number, and a good indicator that language services will continue to grow as the country does.

The industry on a whole is in a massive state of expansion. Technological advances make language services more accessible, and therefore businesses are starting to utilize them more. Interpreters and translators are among the fastest growing career paths in the country and that is predicted to continue at least for the next decade.

What does this mean to you? If you’re already an interpreter, it means work towards certification and maintaining your certification! If you’re a decision maker in a company, big or small, it means now is the time to enlist the help of these service providers to ensure your business stays on top of the game. It also means utilize and train those in your staff who may by multilingual. If you are an individual looking to get into the industry, it means taking the leap now. According to VistaWide.com, the expansion of cognitive and life skills is only one of many reasons to learn new languages.

The benefits of being part of the language service industry, in whatever way you can, are clear, and will only continue to remain so. At Interpreter Education Online, we encourage the growth of the individuals and the organizations looking to get the most out of interpreting by offering a wide array of courses and testing catered to your needs. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook today, and visit our website to get started!

Be the Change

The end of a year always brings with it a mixed bag of emotions. There is the gratitude for that which we have learned and gained. There is sadness for that which has been lost. There is hope for what is to be. It is a time of celebration, reflection, and overcoming. This year there have been many memorable moments for us here at Interpreter Education Online, as a company and as members of the human race. Some were wonderful and some were not. This year saw the welcoming of a new course administrator and a new presence in the language services community. The year also brought into question the basic rights of refugees and immigrants. We look back at what we have done, what we could do, what we will do, and what we know we are powerless to.

We want to hear from you, the community. We’re answering these three candid questions below, and ask you to join in on our social media platforms with your own answers!

  1. What challenges were faced this year that were more daunting than those of years past?

Our Answer: Technological advances both challenge and help what we do and how we do it. While technology advanced last year and the years before (and will continue to), its common use creates a new daily standard in the industry.

  1. What was your proudest personal achievement of the year?

Our Answer (from Bailey, our Course Administrator): For me, joining a team of people so skilled in their arena and being able to learn immensely from them was a huge gift. I have many accomplishments in my history, but they are in a different profession. The opportunity to see things as a newcomer, soaking in every word and nuance, and learning to understand something at once foreign to me, was not only an achievement, but an honor.

  1. What do you hope the New Year will bring?

Our Answer: We plan to develop more courses and more testing options in 2016. We also hope that more and more organizations and individuals will enlist our services, of course (shameless plug), but we also hope that tolerance will be taught. The world cannot be changed overnight, and our ancestors have been trying to initiate proper change since the dawn of time. But we can teach tolerance each and every day, individually, in our interactions with others. The change has to start with us: tolerance, appreciation, and unity are our goals for 2016.

So take a chance. Put yourself out there. Answer these three questions in the comments on our website, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages, and help be part of the change you wish to see in the world!

Put it in a Jar

We do it every year: make a New Year’s resolution that just fizzles out somewhere along the way. We get pumped up about making a huge (or even minor) life change, set our sights on it momentarily, and then seem to either forget about it or give up once the moment passes. Sound familiar? So this season, try something new. Rather than making “resolutions”, make “rememberlutions”, as Buzzfeed calls it. The idea is to fill a jar with your most memorable moments and achievements from the year. It’s creative, productive, and as science is discovering, healthy!

That’s right. According to Emotionally Resilient Living, “Acknowledging your achievements, even in a small way, increases positive emotions such as self-respect, happiness, and confidence.” When you take even a brief second to recognize that you have achieved a goal, no matter how large or small, you are acknowledging your own creativity and ability to succeed. The positive thinking that follows this tiny adjustment goes a long way towards sustaining your mental and physical health.

The Huffington Post says that in addition to a healthier outlook and more goal-oriented perspective, “the biggest benefit that positive emotions provide is an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life.” How about that? Changing your thought process from negative to positive can actually enhance your skillsets!

Research shows that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually achieve them. Only 8%! There are many reasons behind why so many fail to meet their goals, but it seems that consistently working towards goals rather than making lofty “wishes” in a dark and gloomy month is a solid way to go.

As you celebrate the holidays and reflect on the year that has been, remember to recognize your achievements. As you look on the year ahead, think about starting a jar of achievements and memories. You’ll be amazed when you open it this time next year! And as you start setting attainable goals for yourself, remember that Interpreter Education Online offers interpreting courses on your schedule, and at your price! Until December 31st, if you purchase 3 Single Topic Unit courses without instructor evaluation, you will get a fourth free! Leave your comments on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages!

Define Success

Success is a very challenging word to actually define. Albert Einstein said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” George S. Patton defined it as “how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” And Winston Churchill’s definition stands out as a favorite: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

But what does that word mean to you? A popular motivational site has given us 20 new definitions of success, including “Success is understanding you cannot keep what you don’t give away”, “Success is believing you can”, and our favorite, “Success is understanding the difference between need and want”. Even the Business Insider, which publishes many stories on the subject, has a staff with differing definitions. They’ve released an article which includes 9 very “successful” people’s definitions of the word. Everyone from the Harvard Business Review to individual bloggers like Marie Forleo continues to define and re-define the word.

So what does it mean to you? That’s the bottom line. We all are raised with a different idea of what it means to really “make it” in the world. Rarely do we find our childhood aspirations are the reality of our adulthood. Should that be followed with disappointment or self-loathing? That depends on how you measure your own accomplishments. Does being successful mean being rich? Or does the richness of your life itself count as success? Does owning a corporation and a private jet mean you have arrived? Or does raising a family hold an equal value?

When we change our own view of what success is, we allow ourselves to follow things in life that enrich us, fulfill us, and result in a personal success that cannot be defined. At Interpreter Education Online, we believe in the self-starter, in the businesses that want to use outside the box thinking for comprehensive training of their employees, and in the success of achieving personal goals. It’s why we offer courses that are available on your time, with your needs in mind. Take a moment this holiday to think about your definition of success, and if it may need tweaking. And remember to visit our website, LinkedIn page, and Facebook page for special holiday deals and to leave your thoughts and comments about success to motivate others!

Hiring in a New Era

We’ve talked a lot about the myriad of changes that have been made in society in the past few years. Technology continues to evolve, requiring businesses to do the same. Old practices are becoming passe and new traditions are being made daily. As a business owner or HR executive, what are you doing to ensure you are building the right team for the future of your company? On the flip side, as a job seeker, what should you consider?

Here are some helpful hints we’ve found:

1. Hiring based on a college degree or GPA is no longer as important as it once was. Google, one of the world’s most admired companies, is the leader in this trend. There are many reasons behind this strategy, but one example is the real life versus school life mentality. So when you are posting your next job opening or applying to one, think if a degree is as important as real world experience.

2. Hiring individuals who possess a strong creative side is proving favorable over a strong academic founding. Why? According to CareeRealism, creativity allows for new perspectives when approaching problems and their solutions. A creative mindset can often bring a fresh thought process to any team, and that can lead to moving in successful new directions.

3. Hiring based on skills and knowledge may not be enough to decide who the right candidate is. LinkedIn includes two areas of equal importance when evaluating potential employees: Personality Characteristics and Motivation. While skills and knowledge are necessary for the position, they can often be learned with proper training. Many organizations, like Interpreter Education Online, exist just for the purpose of furthering professional education. Motivation and personality characteristics are more deeply rooted, and can tell you more about a candidate than their skillsets. Advice to job seekers: let your personality shine.

These are the top three trends we found. Do you have any helpful tips from your hiring process? Post comments and insights on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages!