No Interpreters? No First Thanksgiving! November 26, 2015


Two interpreters played key roles in helping create the first Thanksgiving feast.

The National Geographic Channel (NatGeo) and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) both aired excellent shows regarding the first Thanksgiving in what would become the United States. NatGeo’s “Saints & Strangers” offered a human interested focused version of the history with full production quality and excellent acting, while PBS presented a more detailed and nuanced historical view of events that included the first Thanksgiving celebration but also incorporated background explaining why the Pilgrims left Europe and explained their story through to the end of the Plymouth Bay Colony. But were you aware of how important interpreters were in creating the opportunity for a first Thanksgiving feast?


Missed by most was the important role interpreters played in the successful engagement of these two distinct and foreign cultures. Two interpreters in particular also highlighted many of the reasons why modern professional language interpreters follow stringent codes of ethics and conduct while performing their valuable work.


Shortly after the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod and begin building their Plymouth Plantation upon the ruins of a decimated Indian village, Patuxet, a powerful chief of the local Wampanoag people named Massasoit decided to explore a relationship with his new neighbors but needed to understand their true intent before committing. Not speaking their foreign language or understanding their culture, Massasoit sought the service of a visiting Abenaki tribal leader named Samoset to approach the settlers and use his skill in speaking their foreign tongue (learned from European fishermen […]

3 Options To Improve Access To Medical Interpreters November 6, 2015

Every individual seeking health care in the United States deserves equal access to high quality care regardless of their English proficiency. With an excess of 25 million immigrants with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) across the United States, the time has come to increase the availability and proficiency of the medical interpreters supporting our health system. 


Nancy Miles of the Stanford University Medical School has written a fantastic policy paper on the need for a national policy on medical translators and interpreters. In it, she outlines three options to improve the use of medical interpreters in clinical practice:


Option 1: Ensure Federal reimbursement for language services
Option 2: Create a national medical interpreter certificate program
Option 3: Combine Federal funding with national certification


Ad Astra aggressively uses certified medical interpreters or translators, and offers comprehensive training programs to the professional interpreters we engage with to ensure our customers receive the highest quality language services possible. Our clients and the LEP patients they care for deserve nothing less. We believe the combination of Federal funding and a national certification program offers the most efficient and effective means of reducing medical errors and improving care outcomes in the LEP patient population.


You can access Ms. Miles' paper by clicking here.




We Are Back, And What Is Old Is New Again! October 27, 2015

Hi Everyone.


We have heard you and listened. Unfortunately, we decided to step away from our consistent blogging for a few years and many of you reached out asking us to start sharing compelling information regarding medical interpreters, translation services, localization services, the language industry, linguistics, issues impacting the deaf or hard of hearing, interpreter training, national certifications and the fun quirky things we come across during our work helping a wide variety of companies, organizations and invidividuals everyday.


We chose to remove our earlier blog posts as they had become a bit outdated, but fear not, we saved the most popular ones and will occassionally bring those special gems out of our "blog vault" to share them with you once again. Additionally, we have decided to implement a new "comments" section powered by Disqus in order to ensure the commentary under our blog posts remain appopriate to the conversation at hand. You will need to use a social media account to log-in to Disqus, or create a Disqus account, in order to comment on our posts.


Ad-Astra believes business should be a pleasure. We hope you will find our new blogs to be informative and pleasurable. Please let us know how we are doing, and don't forget to connect with us on your favorite social media channel!


The Ad Astra Team