Voiance Recognized as a Finalist for ICMI 2014 Global Contact Center Awards

Image

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) announced Voiance Language Services as a finalist for its 2014 Global Contact Center Awards in the Best Use of an Emerging Channel category for the company’s innovative Video Remote Interpretation service.

Voiance’s Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) enables both public and private organization to access highly-trained interpreters over video within second. Handling video calls within the company’s multiple interpreter contact centers, Voiance supports client requests for over 20 languages, including American Sign Language.

“We are honored to be recognized along with other cutting-edge contact centers that have added new and challenging channels,” said Jeremy Woan, Chairman and CEO of Voiance. “This was an innovative model: staffing interpreters in dozens of languages within US contact centers and building a technology platform that seamlessly integrated voice and video calls. Our position as a Finalist testifies to the innovative effort and hard work our IT, operations, and interpreter employees.”

Voiance’s parent company recently announced the addition of its newest interpreter contact center in Houston, Texas. At over 60,000 square feet, the new center is the largest yet and will house more VRI interpreters.

“It’s always so exciting to see the passion that our community has for the contact center and customer service,” said Sarah Stealey Reed, ICMI’s content director and the head of judges for the 2014 ICMI Global Contact Center Award Selection Committee. “It’s one thing to say that you are dedicated to the customer experience, but it’s entirely another to prove it. Our finalists this year have absolutely proven themselves to be shining examples of exemplary support and leadership in the contact center industry.”

Winners will be announced at the Annual Global Contact Center Awards Dinner on May 7th in San Diego.

About Voiance

Voiance Language Services, LLC is a leading Phone Interpretation provider to contact centers. Operating a network of secure interpreter contact centers with over 1,500 seats, Voiance offers 24/7 Phone Interpretation in over 200 languages, Translation and Localization in over 100 Languages, and Video Remote Interpretation. Voiance’s parent company CyraCom International, Inc. has been in business since 1995 and is the largest provider of Phone Interpretation with operations solely in the United States.

About ICMI

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) is the leading global provider of comprehensive resources for customer management professionals — from frontline agents to executives — who wish to improve customer experiences and increase efficiencies at every level of the contact center. Since 1985, ICMI has helped more than 50,000 organizations in 167 countries through training, events, certification, consulting, and informational resources. ICMI’s experienced and dedicated team of industry insiders, trainers, and consultants are committed to helping you raise the strategic value of your contact center, optimize your operations and improve your customer service. For more information, visit www.icmi.com.

ICMI is a part of UBM (www.ubm.com), a global live media and B2B communications, marketing service and data provider.

Is that a Dialect or Language?

Image

At Voiance, one of our major claims is that we provide Phone Interpretation services in over 200 languages. However, if you were to look closely at our list of languages, you might see that we have some listed that are traditionally classified as dialects of each other, such as Cantonese and Mandarin.

What constitutes a language is hotly contested, even amongst linguists, so let’s check out what they mean.

What is the difference between a language and a dialect?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a language is “The method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.” And the definition of a dialect is this: “A particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group.”

The Oxford Dictionary keeps these definitions decidedly vague because even sociolinguists can’t decide on an exact difference between the two. One could argue that if two speakers have mutual intelligibility, i.e., they can understand each other, then the tongues that they speak are actually dialects, not languages.

However, Danish and Norwegian speakers have pretty close mutual intelligibility, but very few people would dare to argue too strongly that Danish and Norwegian are dialects of each other. The Economist explains why: One of the criteria for deciding the difference between languages and dialects is “social and political: in this view, ‘languages’ are typically prestigious, official and written, whereas ‘dialects’ are mostly spoken, unofficial and looked down upon.”

To suggest that Danish is just a dialect of Norwegian could be considered offensive to the Danes because it would take away from the Danes’ cultural identity.

In truth, the difference is actually more of a point of view than hard science or clearly defined categories. The sociolinguist and Yiddish scholar Max Weinreich said,“A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” This is the reason why Cantonese and Mandarin are considered dialects of each other by the Chinese government even though they are not mutually intelligible: China considers itself one country made of Chinese citizens.

So even though there are some in our list that could technically be defined as a dialect over a language, we have kept them on as necessary languages for cultural reasons, and because they may not have universal mutual intelligibility across all dialects.

80% of foreign-born Americans speak a language other than English. Voiance Language Services provides multilingual support in over 200 languages to business and government. Our employee interpreters receive 120 hours of training, including language testing and instruction in listening and recall. Organizations use Voiance’s telephone interpretation to facilitate communication with customers. Voiance is a subsidiary of CyraCom International, Inc., the largest provider of Phone Interpretation that operates solely in the United States.

Internal Bilingual Employees and Outsourced Interpreters

Image

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) recently surveyed contact centers on “The Impact of Multilanguage Support on Customer Experience.”

Contact centers sometimes believe they must choose between either internal, bilingual agents or outsourced interpreters.

Is one choice better than the other?

First of all, ICMI’s data suggests that using either bilingual agents or outsourced interpreters produces great customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores: 72% said support in a customer’s native language increased their satisfaction with customer support, while 58% said it increased loyalty to the brand.

But is outsourcing multilanguage support through interpreters worthwhile?

Well, according to the white paper from ICMI:

82% of contact centers … say that CSAT scores for their external interpreters are better or equal than for their internal bilingual agents!

CSAT graphAn Illustration of the ICMI data

What explains high CSAT scores for interpreters?

Well here is one theory: contact centers often recruit, train, and monitor their bilingual agents in English. Those bilingual agents may have poor language skills – but how would you know?

Interpreters, on the other hand, know the language and imitate your training. Interpreters are professional language conduits. Basically, their job is to accurately mirror all the great training you give to your agents but in a different language.

If you do not have an interpreter service – or you want a company like Voiance that has a minimum of 120 hours of interpreter training – perhaps it’s time you tried.

80% of foreign-born Americans speak a language other than English. Voiance Language Services provides multilingual support in over 200 languages to business and government. Our employee interpreters receive 120 hours of training, including language testing and instruction in listening and recall. Organizations use Voiance’s telephone interpretation to facilitate communication with customers. Voiance is a subsidiary of CyraCom International, Inc., the largest provider of Phone Interpretation that operates solely in the United States.

Voiance’s parent company, CyraCom to Create Over 425 Full-Time Jobs in Houston, Texas

Image

CyraCom, the Tucson-based interpreter and translation services provider, announced that it will be expanding into Houston, Texas and opening a new 62,000 sq. foot contact center.Houston-Contact-Center-1_sized The company plans to hire over 425 positions there in the next year, with over 200 hires planned over the next few months. CyraCom currently has over 1,200 employees, three locations in Tucson, and locations in Phoenix and Las Cruces, NM.

CyraCom is one of the 50th largest private companies in Arizona and the 32nd fastest-growing job creator in the nation as ranked by Inc.’s Hire Power Awards. “CyraCom has experienced incredible growth over the past six years and we are proud to continue to create US jobs in an industry dominated by off-shoring,” said Chairman and CEO Jeremy Woan. “We decided to open up a new contact center in Houston because of its central location and its multicultural, international population from which to recruit bilingual residents across a wide range of languages.”

“We applaud CyraCom’s decision to establish a new facility in the Houston region,” said Greater Houston Partnership President & CEO Bob Harvey. “Their selection of Houston confirms the presence of our uniquely talented, international, and diverse workforce as well as a strong customer base that includes access to the region’s thriving healthcare industry. The Greater Houston Partnership helped CyraCom in their decision-making process by providing location assistance, cutting-edge workforce data and demographic analysis.”

In a growing multi-ethnic market, studies have shown that businesses that speak their customer’s language increase sales, loyalty, and customer satisfaction. CyraCom’s new employees will be providing language interpretation services, which are essential for healthcare, utilities, finance, insurance, county government, and other organizations interacting with the growing population of Limited English Proficient people in the US. The company currently provides services to over 30 businesses in Houston.

Applicants need to be proficient in two languages and will receive 120 hours of paid training to become professional interpreters.

About CyraCom
CyraCom is the largest provider of Over-the-Phone Interpretation (OPI) operating solely in the US. OPI is a three-way call between an interpreter, an English-speaking representative, and a non-English speaking customer. In addition to OPI, CyraCom offers Document Translation, Video Remote Interpretation, On-Site Interpretation, and Interpreter Assessment and Training services. In 2013, CyraCom received a Stevie Award (American Business Award) for Company of the Year in Business Services. CyraCom provides over 200 languages and has more than 3,000 clients, including some of the largest healthcare, insurance, and financial services companies in the US.

Lost in Translation: the importance of accurate translation for every business

Image

Accurate translation is necessary for seamless business functions. One of the most common mistakes a business can make is to treat language translation of materials as an afterthought.

“Companies with great products/services that have a lot of potential in foreign markets take two steps backward because they had a lax attitude toward translating their product information correctly,” said Jerry Pacheco, director of the New Mexico International Business Accelerator.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) experienced several issues with the launch of its Spanish website, CuidadodeSalud.gov, namely that of accurate translation. The name of the site itself translates to “for the caution of health.”  In this case, the erroneous English-to-Spanish translations appeared to be computer-generated and caused delays in Spanish speaking citizens being able to sign up for the new health care. Around 12% of the 317 million people in the US only speak Spanish, but only 4% have called about enrollment.

Tips to avoid this kind of embarrassment:

  1. Avoid computer-generated translations because they overlook the context of a word AD Blog picor phrase. It is difficult for a machine to capture the correct meaning if a word has more than one. Machines also cannot pick up on any cultural or social contexts within a document.
  2. When working with translators, provide clear instructions and submit well-organized files to be translated. Inform the translator about what the subject is. The more detail provided to the translator, the more accurate the translation will be.
  3. Proofread the material for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Spelling or grammar mistakes can cause incorrect word translations, possibly affecting the overall meaning. Punctuation itself can change the meaning of sentence as well, so it is important that the translator receive the material after being proofread in the original language.

The best way to have materials translated is to use a certified translator with verified references. Translators are able to identify named entities and concepts a machine would overlook. They can also translate non-standard speech and language-specific puns.

Voiance specializes in translating documents that are true to your company’s image and messaging, while remaining sensitive to your customers’ needs. We work with any type of file format to deliver complete documents within your budgetary and timeframe requirements. Our expert US-Based project managers know what printed translation requires in virtually every industry and department in organizations of all sizes.

Voiance Underwrites Groundbreaking Research on Multilanguage Support in Call Centers through the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)

Image

Voiance, a leading language services company, has underwritten major research on call centers’ use of various forms of multilanguage support and its impact on customer experience. Designed and conducted by ICMI, the research and forthcoming report stand as the most comprehensive study of the topic ever conducted.

Information from the report will appear in the February 2014 issue of Fortune magazine, and the nearly 50-page report from ICMI is now available.

Commenting on the report, Voiance’s Chairman and CEO Jeremy Woan said, “We are extremely pleased with the quality of the report and believe it will help customer service organizations make more informed decisions about the increasingly important role multilanguage support plays in their contact centers.” ICMI’s research reveals that 86% of brands have non-English speaking customers, though only 66% have any kind of support in place.

21% of the US population speaks a language other than English at home according the 2011 US Census, and nearly 1 million immigrants come the US each year with varying levels of limited English proficiency.

Mr. Woan went on to add, “We were especially glad to confirm that the majority of contact centers view Phone Interpretation as equal or better for customer satisfaction when compared to in-house agents.” ICMI’s research revealed that Phone Interpretation is one of the most popular non-English support options.

ICMI surveyed 443 contact center leaders on their usage and intentions of Multilanguage customer service, particularly as it applies to the customer experience. Respondents represented every major industry, every contact center size, and came from regions around the world, although the preponderance are US-based companies supporting US-based customers.

—–

ABOUT VOIANCE LANGUAGE SERVICES

Voiance Language Services, LLC is a leading Phone Interpretation provider to contact centers. Operating a network of secure interpreter contact centers with over 1,000 seats, Voiance offers 24/7 Phone Interpretation in over 200 languages, Translation and Localization in over 100 Languages, and Video Remote Interpretation. Voiance’s parent company CyraCom International, Inc. has been in business since 1995 and is the largest provider of Phone Interpretation with operations solely in the United States.

ABOUT ICMI

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) is the leading global provider of comprehensive resources for customer management professionals – from frontline agents to executives – who wish to improve contact center operations, empower contact center employees and enhance customer loyalty. ICMI’s experienced and dedicated team of industry insiders, analysts and consultants are committed to providing uncompromised objectivity and results-oriented vision through the organization’s respected lineup of professional services including training and certification, consulting, events and informational resources. Founded in 1985, ICMI continues to serve as one of the most established and respected organizations in the call center industry.

Interpretation or Translation?

Image

The words “interpretation” and “translation” as they are used casually in the English language have completely different definitions in the language services industry.

For example, if used casually, the word “interpret” sounds like a rough explanation of theSitting-Female-Interpreter---Elizabeth original and far from being an accurate word-for-word translation. In actuality, for their professional definitions, these words have less to do with the level of accuracy and more to do with the mode in which they are done. Interpretation is the word used for spoken and sign languages and translation is exclusively used to refer to act of translating written works.

Additionally, more than just the definition, these two professions require completely different skill sets. This blog post will explore some of these critical differences.

Direction and fluency

In interpretation and translation, the official terminology for the language of the original spoken or written message is called the Source language. The language to which the message is being interpreted or translated is called the target language.

Properly trained interpreters, including Voiance interpreters, have the ability to interpret back and forth between both the source and target languages. Translators on the other hand, rarely translate both directions: they usually translate from their learned language into their native language.

Delayed versus real time

Translation takes a lot more time to deliver than interpretation because what is translated has to convey the exact tones, meanings, and nuances as the original text. In their work, translators usually have access to glossaries, dictionaries, and even experts to make sure the meaning is translated exactly as the author intended.  According to the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), “a translator may translate 2000-3000 words a day, while an interpreter has to keep up with around 150 words a minute.”

There are many ways to interpret, but the most commonly used forms of interpretation are:

  1. Simultaneous interpreting; “providing the target-language message at roughly the Standing-Female-Interpreter---Elizabethsame time as the source-language message is being produced.”
  1. Consecutive interpreting; “waiting until the speaker has finished before beginning the interpretation.”

In simultaneous interpretation, interpreters do not have time to look up words or phrases and must rely on their own prior knowledge. While simultaneous interpreters strive to retain the exact tone and meaning as the source message, they may not have time to include nuances or render absolutely perfect interpretations.

At Voiance, our interpreters use consecutive interpreting which allows them to consistently and accurately convey the tone, meaning, and nuances of the original message.  Our interpreters’ high accuracy rate is in part due to rigorous note-taking, listening, and memory skills. Using consecutive interpretation, our interpreters are also able to look up terms, request repetitions and verify critical information to ensure accuracy.

Translating and Interpreting

While there are many similar aspects to the work done by interpreters and translators, as you can see, the qualifications and skills needed are completely different and interpreters and translators do not swap jobs easily. To read more about the skills needed by an interpreter, go to our blog post here.

 

Five of the Top Ten Ways to Create Loyal Customers (Part Two)

Image

How do you create customer experiences that will amaze every customer every time?

In our last blog entry we shared five tools that Shep Hyken gave us in our webinar for creating loyal customers. As promised, here are the other five.

What is customer amazement?
Truly amazing organizations are always, predictably and consistently better than average. customer satisfaction“When you manage that customer experience to be better than average every time, you are in that zone of amazement.”

Here are the final five tools from Shep Hyken to help your organization amaze your customers every time and create loyal customers:

6.Ask extra questions.
Ask questions that the customer might not think of to ask. This will ensure they get all they help they need in one call or trip to your company.

7.You can’t be good at everything.
Know what you are best at and emphasize those strengths. You can win over customers with great customer service, even if you are a little more expensive.

8.Tell your story.
Provide great customer experiences that people can’t help but share. Let your story be told through your customers.

9.Debrief on Moments of Misery and Moments of Magic.
Be sure to review your successes as well as your failures. Learn from your mistakes so they don’t continue to happen.

10.Create demanding customers.
Provide such great customer service, that your customers begin to see your level of service as the standard.

Five of the Top Ten Ways to Create Loyal Customers (Part One)

Image

What makes the difference between satisfied customers and loyal customers?

Customer service speaker and bestselling business author Shep Hyken answered this amaze book_smallquestion and more in a recent webinar with Voiance. Shep shared 10 ways to create loyal customers, and you can find five below and five more will come in February’s blog. Of course, you will get the most details from out Shep’s book, Amaze Every Customer Every Time.

Satisfied vs. Loyal Customers
Studies have shown that 40% of satisfied customers won’t return to your business. This is because “satisfactory” isn’t good enough to create loyal customers. You have to be better, you have be what Shep refers to as “amazing”.

Here are five of Shep’s top ten tools to help your organization amaze your customers every time and create loyal customers:

1. Act like you own the place.
Take responsibility for what you do. Empower your employees to act like the owner and make good decisions for the customer.

2. To be the best place to buy, be the best place to work.
Creating a work culture that is focused on the customers as well as the employees. Make the environment such that the employees feel excited to work there.

3. One to say yes, two to say no.
Traditionally you have to get approval from a manager to do something special for a customer. This is flipping that around and saying you should only have to get permission when you can’t do something for your customer. You figure out what it’s going to take to make that customer happy, and do it.

4. Know the value of your customer.
Knowing your customer’s worth to your organization, will help you decide the best way to take care of them.

5. Avoid Loyalty Killers.
• “It’s against company policy.”
• “It’s not my job.”
• You’ll have to talk to [fill in name], and he/she won’t be back until tomorrow.”

Immigrant Population Shifts Outside Traditional Areas

Image

When you think about where immigrant populations usually live, which states do you think of? California, New York, or Texas?

While that may have been true in the past, over the past decade there has been a gradual shift away from these obvious destinations. More and more immigrant populations are moving to states and cities that would have not been traditionally considered a hub for immigrant populations.

Where Are They Going?

Over the last decade, the limited-English population has grown by more than 25% in 21 states. And according to the US Census, “61 counties crossed the threshold of having a population of more than 5% limited-English speakers.”

The top ten states with the highest growth rates of LEP populations are:

  1. Nevada
  2. North Carolina
  3. Georgia
  4. Arkansas
  5. Tennessee
  6. Nebraska
  7. South Carolina
  8. Utah
  9. Washington
  10. Alabama

A Change in the Landscape

We will still continue to see major immigration to the usual destinations, but those destinations are expanding further and further across the United States. The Washington Post created a map that highlights where 10% or more of the population speaks a language other than English at home. The map shows where immigrants have settled and are continuing to settle beyond states like California, Texas, and New York.

pop map 2

According to the Migration Policy Institute, “While many LEP individuals are still attracted to the historic immigrant-destination states of California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Illinois, significant numbers are opting to settle in nontraditional destinations in the Southeastern, Southwestern, and Northwestern United States.”

Why are they going?

The short and sweet answer: jobs.

William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer, has studied the immigrant migration within the United States. “The fast growth of construction and low-skilled jobs, plus the general affordability of parts of the South for upwardly mobile Hispanics, has made the South a key destination,” Dr. Frey said.

Audrey Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, also noted that while immigrants are still attracted to the traditional immigrant hubs like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – mostly to join friends and relatives already settled there – more and more immigrants are following the jobs and moving to the South and West where the central cities are less dense.

—–

80% of foreign-born Americans speak a language other than English. Voiance Language Services provides multilingual support in over 200 languages to business and government. Our employee interpreters receive 120 hours of training, including language testing and instruction in listening and recall. Organizations use Voiance’s telephone interpretation to facilitate communication with customers. Voiance is a subsidiary of CyraCom International, Inc., the largest provider of Phone Interpretation that operates solely in the United States.

More Immigrants = Better Economy

Image

Increased immigration indicates a positive economic trend. But Why?

Demographer William Frey from the Brookings Institution, who studies the trends in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, has some good news about the American economy. According to the trends of immigration, the economy is improving.

Frey says that immigration inflows and outflows reflect the state of the economy. He says that “last year we’d had the lowest level of immigration in quite a while… So the fact that immigration dropped off was an indicator of a really weak job market in the United States.”

The nearly half a million net increase in immigrants this year indicates that the labor market might be improving once again.

The Immigration Policy Center and American Immigration Council additionally concludes that immigrant inflows not only reflect the state of the economy, but they greatly contribute to it. Economist Giovanni Peri of the University of California, Davis, has stated that “immigrants expand the US economy’s productive capacity, stimulate investment, and promote specialization that in the long run boosts productivity.”

The type of immigrant coming to the United States has also changed this year.

2013 was marked by many Asians “com[ing] here for graduate school, for college. Many of them come here to take jobs that are high skilled jobs and of course bring their relatives with them.” As a result, there have been more Asian immigrants than any other group.

With immigrants taking higher paying, skilled jobs, we would expect to see a stronger economy than one which depends on unskilled, low-paying jobs.

In fact, according to a 2012 report from the Information Technology Industry Council, the Partnership for a New American Economy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, foreign-born graduates staying to work in high-skilled occupations create on average 2.62 jobs for American workers. The same report speculated the job creation derives from the innovation, research, and development that high-skill immigrants bring to their employers.

With this new shift in immigration, there is hope for the economy in the near future. Frey believes that “we have either bottomed out or are close to bottoming out of the kind of bad news story that we’ve been hit with over the last several years.”

—–

80% of foreign-born Americans speak a language other than English. Voiance Language Services provides multilingual support in over 200 languages to business and government. Our employee interpreters receive 120 hours of training, including language testing and instruction in listening and recall. Organizations use Voiance’s telephone interpretation to facilitate communication with customers. Voiance is a subsidiary of CyraCom International, Inc., the largest provider of Phone Interpretation that operates solely in the United States.

Driving Employee Engagement: Webinar with Stan Phelps

Image

Voiance recently sponsored a webinar with the author of What’s your Green Goldfish?, Stan Phelps. Stan gave several examples of “little extras” that employers can do to engage employees. goldfishRule

The problem that he addresses is that currently, 69% of US employees are either “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged”. As a result, finding ways to motivate and engage employees should be a concern for all employers and supervisors across all industries.

Providing “little extras” to engage employees can be simple, you just need to follow Stan’s “R.U.L.E.S”:

Relevant: make sure that the item or service is a true benefit to the recipient.
Unexpected: the extra benefit or gift should be a surprise.
Limited: something that is rare or unique to your business.
Expression: think about “how” it is given, as opposed to “what” is given.
Sticky: Is the little something extra memorable enough to tell a friend or three thousand?

Stan provided examples from companies all over the world that do “little extras” that help motivate their employees. Here are 15 ways you can engage your employees and maintain a high level of engagement.

  1. Recruiting/Onboarding- Create a sense of inclusion right away.
  2. Food and Beverage- Free food or potluck days to bring people together.
  3. Modern Family- creating benefits that extend to all family members of the employee.
  4. Shelter- create a work space or break space that allows bonding and creative thinking.
  5. Wellness- have work out programs or incentives for employees to stay fit.
  6. Time Away- encourage employees to enjoy their time off and take vacations.
  7. Flexibility- create flexibility in the times and hours that employees are required to work.
  8. Team Building- have company events to bring the team together.
  9. Transparency- allow employees to know all the ins and outs of your company.
  10. “Attaboys” and “Attagirls”- give small gift or awards for good behavior or work.
  11. Retirement- have retirement plans set up for employees to allow them.
  12. Take Note: Best Things in Life are Free- simple notes and a “thank you” go a long way.
  13. Training and development- create opportunities for employees to learn skills outside their job description.
  14. Paying it Forward- allow employees to participate in community service events.
  15. Empowerment- foster an environment where people feel comfortable stepping out of the box. 

The whole idea behind the Green Goldfish is to implement small changes that can make a big impact for your employees. Stan said it best when he said “Love your customers and employees as yourself. Give more than expected. Be remark-able.”

-Sarah

Voiance Language Services provides multilingual support in over 200 languages to business and government. Our employee interpreters receive 120 hours of training, including language testing and instruction in listening and recall. Organizations use Voiance’s telephone interpretation to facilitate communication with customers. Voiance is a subsidiary of CyraCom International, Inc., the largest provider of Phone Interpretation that operates solely in the United States.

Voiance’s Parent Company CyraCom Recognized as a Top 50 Privately Held Company in Arizona

Image

CyraCom was recognized as one of the top 50 privately held companies in Arizona by the Phoenix Business Journal as part of the Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) Awards.
The ACE Awards were created to recognize the largest private companies in Arizona for their investment in the state. These companies are very important to the economy of Arizona and to the families of their employees; they generate revenues of over $15 billion per year and employ over 40,000 employees in the State of Arizona and over 56,000 worldwide.

CyraCom employs nearly 1,000 people in Arizona, with most of these jobs having been created in the last three years and the company was recognized as the second fastest private job creator in Arizona in 2012, by Inc. magazine’s Hire Power rankings. CyraCom is one of the largest language service providers in North America and has been able to develop this important sector of the economy by drawing from Arizona’s linguistic diversity. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that language services, particularly interpretation, are growth areas for careers and business for the next ten years.

About CyraCom International, Inc.
CyraCom is the largest provider of Over-the-Phone Interpretation (OPI) operating solely in the US. OPI is a three-way call between an interpreter, an English-speaking representative, and a non-English speaking customer. In addition to OPI, CyraCom offers Document Translation, Video Remote Interpretation, On-Site Interpretation, and Interpreter Assessment and Training services. CyraCom has four locations in Arizona and is headquartered and founded in Tucson. In 2013, CyraCom received a Stevie Award (American Business Award) for Company of the Year in Business Services. CyraCom provides over 200 languages and has more than 3,000 clients, including some of the largest healthcare, insurance, and financial services companies in the US.

Languages and the Need for Speed

Image

Sometimes when using an interpreter, the speed and length of the interpretation may seem to vary wildly from what you said or heard.

For example, you say a sentence consisting of twenty syllables and your Vietnamese interpreter only uses a handful of syllables to respond: did the interpreter even say the same sentence? In another instance, your client seemed to jump from one word to the next very quickly, but when the interpreter provided the English version, the words were slow and simple.

Some languages seem so fast compared to English. Is there a difference between the speed of languages? Is your interpreter really acting professionally?

The answer is a resounding “yes!” to both questions. Some languages are spoken faster than others, say researchers from the Université de Lyon in France who published their study findings in the journal Language last year. The researchers recruited 59 volunteers who were native speakers of seven languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese. Each participant read 20 different texts in their native languages into a recorder.

According to the Time Magazine article, the researchers found that some languages are spoken faster than others. They found Spanish and Japanese, often described as “fast languages,” clocked the greatest number of syllables per second. Spanish possessed a low-density syllable rate of .63, but sped along with a syllable-per-second velocity of 7.82. Japanese, which surpassed Spanish with its 7.84 velocity, had a minimal density of .49.

The “slowest” language in the set was Mandarin, followed closely by German. Mandarin, which topped the density list at .94, only had a velocity of 5.18 syllables per second. English was also on the lower end of the spectrum, with a high information density of .91 and an average rate of 6.19 syllables per second. Results showed that each text, no matter what language used, was told in relatively the same span of time despite sounding slower or faster.

So while you might believe you hear a discrepancy from an interpreter, your keen ears may simply notice the speed and density differences of the languages spoken.
——-
Voiance’s employee interpreters complete a 120-hour, in-class interpretation course – 80 hours longer than other interpretation companies – helping to ensure consistent quality and accuracy of interpretation amongst hundreds of interpreters.

Tips for Interacting with Non-English Speakers

Image

Currently, one out of every eight Americans is foreign-born and 9% of the population is Limited English Proficient (LEP). Inevitably, you and your staff members will interact with Limited English speakers.

What kind of LEP training should your staff receive? The Diversity Council suggests the following for communicating effectively with LEP individuals, with or without a Phone Interpreter:

When speaking to an LEP person:

  • Slow down a little, but not too much. Your natural inflection and intonation helps the listener understand your meaning.
  • Do not raise your voice.
  • Enunciate.

Chose your words carefully with LEP individuals:

  • Use small, ordinary words. Avoid business jargon, cultural references (I need your John Hancock), slang, and idioms (We need to wrap this up).
  • Omit extra words (Why don’t you try putting this there? Vs. Put this there.)
  • Repeat what you are trying to say in different words.
  • Avoid sarcasm or irony.

Avoid negative questions:

When you ask someone, “You don’t mind if I sit here, do you?” you expect the answer to be “No.” However, an LEP person will frequently answer “Yes,” meaning, “I agree with you; I don’t mind if you sit here.

When LEP people respond:

  • Wait for an answer when you ask a question. It may take some time for an LEP individual to mentally compose a response.
  • To check comprehension, ask the LEP person to repeat back to you or demonstrate what you have explained.

Act sensitively and respectfully to LEP individuals. The Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated – remains the best tip for human interaction, regardless of native language or culture.

-Sarah

  

Voiance Language Services provides multilingual support in over 200 languages to business and government. Our employee interpreters receive 120 hours of training, including language testing and instruction in listening and recall. Organizations use Voiance’s telephone interpretation to facilitate communication with customers. Voiance is a subsidiary of CyraCom International, Inc., the largest provider of Phone Interpretation that operates solely in the United States.