Remote Interpreting for the Increasing Chinese Population in California
There’s no question that demographics in the United States are rapidly changing. Although many focus on the rising Hispanic population, other demographic groups have increased in proportion to the U.S. population. In particular, the Chinese population, especially in California, has greatly increased in recent years. One industry that has been particularly affected by these demographic changes is the Chinese remote interpreting services industry. We can see this by examining the effect these changes have had on legal interpreting services and elearning translation.
The legal world is one of the most important sectors facilitated by remote interpreting. Given the fact that legal matters have the potential to radically change a person’s life, it is essential for interpreters to be available. This is especially the case for Chinese speakers in the coronavirus era. According to a report from Los Angelino, only 80 Mandarin and 30 Cantonese court interpreters are available in the entire state of California. To put this in perspective, there are over 1,400 Spanish interpreters in the state court system.
This Chinese court interpreter shortage flies in the face of the fact that court cases involving Chinese languages, such as Mandarin, have increased in recent years. The same Los Angelino report mentioned above points out that “the number of court cases requiring Mandarin interpreters has doubled.” The same article also tells the story of one interpreter who had to travel to three different courtrooms in Los Angeles County to interpret for five different cases, a staggeringly difficult undertaking for one person. Clearly, the growing Chinese population has put considerable strain on the interpretation industry in California– and should spur other states to invest more heavily in telephonic and video remote interpreting services for those who speak Chinese.
Demographic changes have also presented new challenges for the Chinese elearning remote interpreting industry, especially in the coronavirus era. Because Chinese foreign exchange students form a large portion of the American university population, universities will need to invest in superior video remote interpreting services in order to keep them connected even if they decide not to come to campus. Universities in China have already invested considerably in video technologies in order to facilitate this switch to remote learning. For instance, in 2018, Zhejiang University built a number of classrooms with remote interpreting capabilities, making the transition to remote learning much easier following the coronavirus outbreak. In spite of demographic change, solutions exist to solve these challenges and provide superior language services to people who need them.
About Language Connections:
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