Why the asylum centres at Hemsedal use TikkTalk

Finance director Mark Howie at Hemsedal asylum centres explains why his centres use TikkTalk for booking interpreters.

 

Mark Howie from Hemsedal asylum centres use TikkTalk for booking interpreters

– We’re very pleased with TikkTalk. We save money at the same time as we know we’re getting qualified interpreters [from Tolkeportalen.no, level 1-5, ed.], says Mark Howie, finance director at Hemsedal asylum centres in Norway.

Howie is originally from Australia, and has worked with establishing asylum centres in Norway since the refugee crisis in 2015

– I was just speaking to everyone here about TikkTalk, and they only have good things to say. Everyone who books an interpreter gets a quick response, he says.

– The straight-forward booking system saves us time. And since everything is automated, the interpreters get a larger share of the fee for every assignment, instead of money going to administration costs.

Cheaper and better

Before they started using TikkTalk, the asylum centres in Hemsedal had tried two traditional interpreter agencies.

– They weren’t good enough. The first agency supplied interpreters without qualifications, and we could hear the interpreters doing other thing while interpretering over the phone, Howie explains.

In Norway, the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) is the only body authorised to grant official interpreter qualifications. Read more about the qualification levels for interpreters here.

– The second agency was disorganised. They sent us invoices for interpretation sessions we hadn’t completed. There was a lot of errors and not much information, he continues.

– So it was great that TikkTalk could deliver a better service for a cheaper price.

Reliable

The asylum centres in Hemsedal have already booked over 60 interpretation sessions from TikkTalk in just four months, and now only book qualified interpreters.

– How many interpretation sessions we have to book varies, but usually it’s between five and ten each week, Howie continues.

– The languages we need interpreters for are Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Kurdish and several others. And TikkTalk delivers for all the languages.

Porsanger municipality in northern Norway has also discovered the advantages of TikkTalk. Read how they use technology to help refugees here [Norwegian].

Overall, Howie has no complaints about TikkTalk’s digital marketplace.

– We’ll definitely continue using TikkTalk for booking interpreters, he says.

 

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If you want to learn more about how TikkTalk can help you, register here for free, or call us on +47 400 55 945.

Helse Førde and TikkTalk’s pilot project is now live

Hospitals in the Helse Førde region have started using TikkTalk’s system, in a pilot to improve access to interpreters when treating foreign language patients.

TikkTalk-tolk bruker skjermtolking med lege og pasient i Helse Førde

Innovative: The project allows for increased use of video interpretation, here demonstrated with a video link between Førde Central Hospital and Oslo Science Park.

In early July, the emergency room at Førde Central Hospital became the first department at Helse Førde to start using TikkTalk. Throughout the year, TikkTalk will gradually begin covering interpretation bookings for the hospital region.

Read more about the project here: TikkTalk and Helse Førde sign NOK 14 million innovation contract

The pilot is a public research project funded by Innovation Norway and Helse Vest. TikkTalk has worked closely with Helse Førde to continually adapt and improve the TikkTalk system to fit the hospitals’ requirements.

The pilot project has previously been covered by Norwegian national broadcaster NRK, IT magazine Computerworld, and health care magazine Dagens Medisin. The interpretation service at Oslo University Hospital also wrote about the project on their blog, and met with project leader Nyonga Rugumayo Amundsen.

According to the Norwegian government register of interpreters – Tolkeportalen.no – about 60 per cent of certified interpreters in Norway (level 1-3) live in and around the capital, with many also concentrated around other major cities. That leaves large parts of the country with little direct access to interpreters.

The pilot project therefore aims to help pave the way for improved access to interpreters in hospitals across Norway, particularly outside central regions.

Grafikk som viser fordeling av kvalifiserte tolker i forskjellige norske fylker

Centralised: Certified interpreters in Norway mainly live in and around the country’s largest cities. This creates challenges for interpretation in other areas of the country.

7 Tips for Planning a Career as an Interpreter

Planning a career as an interpreter? Here is what you should consider!

You love languages. You have relatives who speak two or more languages, you’re bicultural, and you have strong ties to a specific country. Or, you just love the challenge of meeting new people and becoming immersed in their culture. No matter the background, you’ve decided that you want to work with language. But how do you take the next step and become a professional interpreter?

  • Know what interpreting is. There is a difference between being bilingual, being a translator, and being an interpreter. This information sounds basic, but believe it or not, even in professional circles there is still confusion about what being an interpreter entails.

 

  • Interpreting is spoken. An interpreter is specially trained to communicate orally what is being said into the target language. Translation does the same thing, but it’s written. It’s easy to confuse, because in languages such as Spanish, the term “translation” is used to describe both spoken and written communication. Read more on the TikkTalk blog: The difference between interpreters and translators: don’t mix them up!

 

  • Becoming bilingual is only the first step. There are different levels of verbal proficiency, and it’s absolutely essential that an interpreter possess near-native or native proficiency in the language. You must be able to communicate on specific topics in different registers of language, be conscious of cultural differences, and have a flexible and growing vocabulary.

 

  • Get the proper education and certification for your country. In Norway, for example, the Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) is the only body authorised to grant state certification to interpreters. The certification is awarded for completing a demanding test conducted by the Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA).
    They can also take bilingual proficiency tests and introductory courses to interpretation techniques and ethics.
    Read more about the different qualification levels for interpreters in Norway here:
    Qualification levels for interpreters. In other countries, the formal education and certification process will be different, but will still include a series of higher education courses and tests.

 

  • Become an expert in your field. A professional interpreter also takes classes and receives training working in fields such as medicine, law, business or marketing. The learning process continues even after formal training and coursework have been completed.

 

  • Hone your near-native verbal proficiency. Know the cultural and linguistic differences within the region in which a language is spoken. A great way to accomplish this task is to study abroad in the area that speaks the language and dialect in which you want to specialise. That way you will both become as fluent as possible, and become accustomed to the cultural and linguistic nuances of all levels of the language.

 

  • The more critical the need, the higher the pay.  Interpreting wages vary drastically. They depend upon the country, the sector, how common the language is, and how easy it is to get an experienced interpreter. In the US, for example, uncertified, on-call medical interpreters in Spanish receive as little as 15 American dollars per hour. In Norway, the situation is different and public authorities should always use certified interpreters. With TikkTalk’s marketplace, interpreters can set their own price and interpretation users will choose the interpreter needed for their assignment based on qualifications, price and availability. That means that a highly trained and experienced interpreter can make a considerable amount per hour, particularly in critical situations such as interpreting in court, or an impromptu business meeting.

If you are interested in learning more about interpretation, register online and become a TikkTalker.

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk

The importance of a good TikkTalk profile

A TikkTalk profile is the most important tool you have when reaching out to an user of interpreter services. You might have a LinkedIn profile showcasing all your work experience, and a TikkTalk profile has the same purpose: It shows who you are, and what services you offer to potential interpretation clients.

Why should I spend my time improving my TikkTalk profile?

You may be a very talented interpreter, but if your qualifications are not shown on your profile, the client will have no way of knowing how good you are. In such a case, a client might choose another interpreter, with less experience and a more complete profile. First impressions matter, and a more thorough profile conveys a more professional interpreter. That’s why it’s important that the highest qualified interpreters take some time to properly fill out their profile.  

A TikkTalk profile is your unique opportunity to show the world how good you are and why you should be chosen for an assignment. It’s your direct link to the marked, and an easy way for you to promote yourself. However, you don’t have to write a lot or praise yourself too highly. More importantly, the content should be correct, short and to the point. You should clearly display your experience and qualifications, and write about what makes you a good interpreter. Avoid private information, spelling and grammar mistakes and awkward sentences.

Public profiles

TikkTalk has launched an optional public profile feature, which makes it possible for clients to find your TikkTalk profile on Google and other search engines. On your profile settings page, you can choose whether you want a hidden, partly hidden, or a public profile:

Hidden: A hidden profile means that you actively have to apply for assignments yourself. Your profile will not be visible to any clients, even if you meet all the criteria for an assignment they post.

Partly hidden: A partly hidden profile is visible to all users that are logged in to TikkTalk. This means that clients can contact you directly through your profile and invite you to assignments.

Public: A public profile makes you searchable on Google and other search engines. This means that your TikkTalk profile is visible for anyone, TikkTalk user or not. So if anyone searches for “interpreter level 1 from English to Norwegian” on Google, your profile will show up and the client can book you directly. A public profile makes you and your services more accessible and visible on the market.

Whether you have a hidden, partly hidden or public profile on TikkTalk, it’s important to make the profile as complete as possible. However, it’s not always easy to know what a good profile looks like, which is why we created the following examples of a low-quality, mid-quality, and a high-quality profile:

Note! The profiles below are only examples and do not show a real interpreter. They are only created for illustration purposes.

Example of a low-quality profile:

This profile only contains the most basic information, as well as standard pricing, and does not stand out in any way. The profile can easily be overlooked when a client goes through assignment applications.

Example of a poorly filled out TikkTalk profile

Example of a mid-quality profile:

This profile contains all basic information, areas of expertise, and a professional picture. At the same time, it lacks an extra touch that makes it stand out from the crowd.

 

An almost fully filled out TikkTalk profile

Example of a high-quality profile:

Here, the interpreter has filled out as much information as possible, and written a short text that contains some background information, as well as the interpreters’ strengths and why the interpreter would be a good choice for an assignment.

Example of a good TikkTalk profile

It doesn’t take a lot of work to create a good TikkTalk profile, and the benefits are plentiful. A strong profile will open more doors into the market, make you more attractive to future clients, and more accessible as an interpreter. Good luck! (If you’re not registered on TikkTalk yet, you can register here. It only takes a few minutes!)

 

Challenges of a police interpreter

Imagine a crime scene where the involved parties do not understand each other. When police officers faced with such a crime scene have to take a statement, interview a victim or suspect, or share news with a victim’s family, they often need specially trained and experienced interpreters.

Regardless of the situation, interpreting for the police is always challenging. We have therefore gathered a list of particular skills that police interpreters should possess, as useful reading for aspiring interpreters and police officers alike:

  • Flexibility: The police will often be in need of an interpreter on very short notice. In such cases the interpreter will most likely be contacted via phone or video in order to interpret ad-hoc. So being available on demand is a desired qualification to support the police.

 

  • The ability to stay calm: When the police takes a statement from a witness to a serious crime, the interpreter must be able to work well under stress. The interpreter has to remain unaffected by distractions on the scene and the emotional state of the witness.

 

  • Confidence: Keeping a cool head is also important, as interpreters might have to work in situations where they feel uncomfortable, such as interpreting in a prison. The interpreter should not become nervous, but should stay calm and conduct the session as usual regardless of the surroundings.

 

  • Near-native to native proficiency: A high level of language skills, essential vocabulary, fluidity, the ability to understand dialectical and cultural differences, and knowledge of slang or regional expressions, are required to ensure quick and correct interpretation.

 

  • Understanding of police terminology: The language needed when interpreting for the police is not a common part of the usual education program for interpreters. Those who plan on specialising in this area are required to learn particular police terminology in order to understand a situation completely.

 

  • Knowledge of law enforcement processes: In order to become familiar with interpreting for the police, a good starting point is to take training courses on interpreting for law enforcement. In Norway, Oslo University College offers the course “Interpreting in Complex Settings (Tolking i komplekse møter)” as a supplementary subject to their bachelor course “Interpreting for the Public Sector (Tolking i offentlig sektor)”. This course touches on the complexity of interpreting for the police. It will help to understand official processes and policies that are followed when the police arrests, interrogations, or interviews an individual.

 

  • Thorough preparation: When the police takes a statement after a serious crime has been committed, interpreters have to exercise total professionalism and ideally be prepared for a special and delicate situation. Depending on the case and the police officer in charge, the interpreter might receive documents upfront in order to set up the session. The interpreter should thus be prepared to study case material before the assignment to ensure a smooth session. After an interpretation sessions for the police, all documents have to be shredded, in accordance with confidentiality policies of the police and the code of ethics for interpreters.

Here are some pitfalls the interpreter must avoid, both when interpreting for the police and for others:

  • The terms “he says/she says” should be avoided: The interpreter is the voice of the witness, and must “speak from the first person (‘I'”) instead of saying  “he says that…” or “she says that…”

 

  • No changes to the language: The language should not be “cleaned up” by the interpreter. The interpreter should not change the original message by adding or taking away information.

 

  • The interpreter should not answer questions from the witness, but translate directly to the police officer: The interpreter’s job is to remain objective and only interpret what is said.

 

  • There should be no side conversations with the police officer or the witness: The communication must be kept transparent at all times. Both the police officer and the interpreter must put all their focus into the conversation.

 

  • When being remotely connected to the situation via video or phone these rules should also be followed in order to maintain professionalism.

Keeping all of this in mind, an interpreting session for the police can be conducted on a high level of professionalism. However, interpreters are not the only ones facing challenges. The police itself faces a huge bureaucratic effort to set up an interpretation session: one person books the interpreter, someone else does the assignment, and a last person takes care of billing. In order not to lose track, a systematic structure is required, and business accounts on TikkTalk for booking specialised police interpreters are a great opportunity to save time and avoid organisational hassle.

TikkTalk’s marketplace does not only provide the opportunity for police interpreters to find assignments, but also offers an Enterprise mode which is extremely handy for the police, as it fulfills all of their requirements. With TikkTalk, the police can gain quick access to a group of experienced, seasoned law enforcement interpreters.

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk

A normal day at the TikkTalk office

TikkTalk team

TikkTalk consists of seven full time employees, including the three founders, Gautam Chandna, Rodney Boot og Jørn Mikalsen. The rest of the team consists of 13 consultants and part time workers. At the moment, we also have an intern staying with us for three months.

A normal day at the TikkTalk office is usually very complex. We face new and interesting challenges every day. In this blog post, you will get an insight into who we are and what a normal working day at TikkTalk looks like.

Wisam is our intern and will be with us for three months. Wisam is originally from Sudan, and lives in Norway with her family, consisting of her husband and their two children. She is a mechanical engineer and has experience as a sales and project engineer. Right now, she is taking her masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Oslo. It is for this reason Wisam is an intern at TikkTalk, as her course requires three month’s work experience at a startup company.

“I feel lucky to have gotten an internship at TikkTalk. These are people with a lot of experience that you can learn a lot from. I also find the work atmosphere very friendly to work in. So, I learn a lot,” says Wisam.  

Wisam work with the clients, establishing their needs and wishes for interpreting services. And when I ask her how a normal working day looks like she says:


“Right now I’m in the phase where I gather information. Because of that, my day is full of online surfing. My aim is to find information about potential clients, (schools, surgeries, organisations, and so on). Then, I contact them to give them more information about TikkTalk and find out what they want in TikkTalk’s app: what they lack in today’s solution and what TikkTalk can offer them according to their needs.”

Wisam TikkTalk
TikkTalk StartupLab

TikkTalk is a tech company and we use our knowledge to help professionals do their job. One example is that we work to simplify and better the use of video during the interpretation session. There are many advantages of using video; it can raise the quality of the interpreting and it can save both time and resources. Several of TikkTalk’s employees has years of experience in video conferencing. We work with the top technology suppliers to secure high quality screen interpreting and to make sure video is used when necessary.

We are actively working to create more transparency in the sector by having created a direct link between interpreter and client, TikkTalk’s solution will make it easier for the client to find and book interpreters with the right qualifications, as well as it will be easier for the interpreters to find and get assignments.

Our platform secures this, which is why a lot of TikkTalk’s working day consists of maintaining and making sure the platform is working well. At the same time, we are constantly testing and developing it to form the perfect tool for both interpreter and client. To ensure that we are working in the right direction we have a dedicated team that works towards the customers, At the same time, our Community Manager, Aman, makes sure that all the interpreters’ wishes are maintained.

We are working hard to form the perfect solution for interpreter and client an wish to make their lives easier. Because of that, every working day at TikkTalk is different, TikkTalk consists of a small, but very dedicated team. We share a lot of knowledge between us. We come from different backgrounds, are of different nationalities and speak different languages. Still, we all share one dream: breaking language barriers everywhere, whenever needed.

TikkTalk's new offices in StartupLab in the Oslo Science Park

Our offices has been in Oslo Science Park since the beginning, and in the end of March we moved into StartupLab’s new offices at the first floor of the building. Things here are slowly coming together, and we enjoy our new office a lot!

How to integrate TikkTalk with Skype for Business and Cisco

TikkTalk is easy to use, which is why it can be integrated with your existing systems. TikkTalk is compatible with Skype for Business and Cisco, and it’s simple to start and run an interpretation session directly in your system using video or telephone. The TikkTalk system is built on well-known standards and because of that it is simple to integrate it with third-party solutions. Please contact us if you are interested in integrating TikkTalk with any other systems.

Here’s a few, brief instructions on how to integrate TikkTalk with Skype for Business and Cisco:

 

Skype for Business:

1. Go to the assignment page on tikktalk.com, or open the email confirmation, where you will find a link for Skype for Business.

2. Press the link. It takes you straight to Skype for Business.

3. You will find a PIN code on the assignment page. When asked, copy this code and tap it into Skype for Business.

4. You’re all set!

 

 

Alternatively, TikkTalk can be started directly from Skype for Business. The pictures illustrate how:

TikkTalk integrated with Skype For Business

 

 

Acano/Cisco:

1. If you have a Cisco device you can go to the assignment page on tikktalk.com.

2. Choose the contact method option called “Video conference”. Press the link (you will see an email address).

3. Copy the email address and paste it into your Acano/Cisco device.

4. Your device will ask you for a conference code, which you will find on the assignment page on tikktalk.com. Copy and paste the code into your Acano/Cisco device.

5. You will be asked for a PIN code, which you will find next to the conference code on the assignment page on tikktalk.com. Copy and paste the code into your device.

6. You’re all set!

 

 

TikkTalk integrated with Cisco Unified Communication Manager (CallManager)

If your business uses Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager), it’s easy to integrate TikkTalk as a service so that all users can book interpretation sessions linked with the business’ communication system – both on video and telephone. See pictures below for an illustration.
Please contact us if this is of interest to your business.
TikkTalk integrated with Cisco

Full instructions for booking an interpreter through TikkTalk

This video demonstrates step by step how you can post and accept an assignment on TikkTalk. Additionally, it shows you how to integrate TikkTalk with Skype for Business (ca. 3:10) and Acano/Cisco (ca. 3:52). The video displays both the client side (left screen) and interpreter side (right screen) of the process.

 

 

The above instructions will make it easy to integrate TikkTalk with your existing Skype for Business account or Cisco device. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email: support@tikktalk.com, or telephone: +47 400 55 945.

TikkTalk is approved by The Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Are you taking your driving licence and need an interpreter? Use TikkTalk!

Earlier this month, TikkTalk had a visit from The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) for inspection and approval of TikkTalk and our Safe Hub. The Safe Hub is a closed room where the interpreter sits during assignments. The NPRA was happy, and TikkTalk and the Safe Hub is now fully approved. That means that it is possible to use interpreters registered at TikkTalk for remote interpretation when taking the theory test at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office!

Read about: How new technology is changing the interpretation industry

TikkTalk and our Safe Hub is approved by The Norwegian Public Roads Administration for driving licence theory tests. The delegation from the NPRA with our Community Manager, Aman.

The Safe Hub exists to ensure that the interpretation session runs smoothly, without any interference. It also provides the interpreter and the client with a safe environment. The Safe Hub is sound proof and private, and protects all the potentially sensitive information that might be uncovered in the session. The Safe Hub is only used by one interpreter at the time, and the interpreter always follow a confidentiality code as well as the code of ethics for interpretation.

 

The video and telephone equipment used in the Safe Hub is of high quality and is compatible with the equipment used by the NPRA. The Safe Hub is also equipped with TikkTalk’s high quality video systems. Excellent internet connection provides high speed and smooth video connection, without any interference.

 

Read more about video: 9 tips for being professional on video

TikkTalk is easy to use. If you are taking your driving license and need an interpreter, you can simply visit www.tikktalk.com to publish an assignment. You can quickly set your requirements, type of assignment and type in other necessary information. The interpreters that fit your requirements will receive a notification and apply for the assignment. All you have to do is choose the best interpreter from the qualified applicants.

 

TikkTalk wants to help making it even better when using interpreters –  for both interpreter and driving licence candidate. Therefore, we are writing a terminology list containing specific terminology used in the process of taking a driving license. This make sure that all interpreters that are booked through TikkTalk are well-prepared for the assignment, and that they have solid knowledge of the words and phrases used in this particular field. This list gives the interpreter an even better starting point, and makes the assignment run more smoothly. This also gives both interpreter and candidate more security, as they know that the interpreter is fully up to date on all terminology. This list will be made in several different languages.

Using interpreters? Tips on how to work efficiently with an interpreter

 

TikkTalk wishes all driving licence candidates good luck!

TikkTalk at Dagens Næringsliv’s disruption conference

What does disruption mean in Norway? Wednesday 15 March, Norwegian business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv will try to answer the question. Business leaders in Norway, including our own CEO, Gautam, will discuss how new technology displaces old business models.

 

 Picture: DNKonferanse

 

Disruption in Norway

This week, Dagens Næringsliv is hosting one of its large conferences and the topic is disruption. Disruption isn’t common parlance in Norwegian yet, but is directly translated from English into Norwegian as “disrupsjon”. Regardless, the point is the same: to highlight what new technology and new business models mean for Norwegian businesses.

For startups such as TikkTalk, disruption simply means using new technology to solve old problems. Many service professions are for instance still dominated by old-fashioned methods for organising labour. People, cars, houses and other resources are not being used, even though there are people needing just those resources. And the only reason is that we have no good way of connecting those who can help with those who need help.

That is also the topic for Gautam’s presentation for Dagens Næringsliv’s audience. A lot of people speak more than one language, and a lot of people don’t speak the language they need in a given situation. Why not connect the two groups?

 

Disrupsjon: Gautam Chandna på scenen under Dagens Næringslivs Gasellekonferanse

Disruption for interpreters

The interpretation sector in Norway, and beyond, is a very good example of an industry that is organised in an old-fashioned and inefficient manner. Certified and educated interpreters are not used for interpretation assignments for police, hospitals, and other government institutions and private businesses. The certified interpreters are available, but proper mechanisms to connect them with interpretation users have never existed. This is the problem TikkTalk is now trying to solve.

Additionally, all across the world people sometimes need the help of a bilingual in a everyday situations. Just imagine how difficult it is to find your way to a meeting in a city you don’t know, full of people who don’t speak your language, or how tricky it can be to explain to a taxi driver abroad where you are going. The refugee crisis and increased tourism have only increased the number of these simple, yet also difficult, problems.

In these situations, TikkTalk also wants to connect people, here through a simple app. Then those who speak the same language can help each other understand others. That will not only make everyday life easier for many individuals; it will also create a broader understanding that can connect refugees closer to the people in the country they are fleeing to.

This is what disruption is all about: solving problems for individuals and societies as a whole, by using technology to make everyday life easier for everyone. We at TikkTalk think interpretation and communication across the world is ripe for disruption. We hope you agree, and we hope to see you at Dagens Næringsliv’s disruption conference Wednesday 15 March.

Learn more about TikkTalk's interpretation technology here

9 Tips for Being Professional on Video

In today’s world of advancing technology, the days of simple phone calls are ending. Business calls, meetings, doctors’ visits, job interviews and even interpretation sessions often take place on video. But how do you maintain professionalism and make a good impression?

Here are a few tips on how to be camera ready:

 

 

1. Make sure your lighting is bright enough to be seen clearly, yet not so bright that it creates glare. Adjust the angle so that there are no shadows or reflections when others see your face. Similarly make sure the light behind you is not overly bright. When this happens, the camera’s automatic adjustments can create a shadow.

 

 

2. Check your camera position. Set it at eye level, so that you are in the center of the frame and in focus. Aim to show yourself from the waist or chest up.

 

 

3. Conduct the video session in a professional setting such as an office or meeting room. Check your video frame to be sure your video partner does not see any personal items or private decorations.

 

 

4. Wear clean and tasteful clothes, with solid colours. Patterns can appear distorted on camera, and distract the other person.

 

 

5. Use a reliable, high-speed connection and test your speed before a call. A dropped call or frozen frame can be embarrassing and possibly disastrous in a business situation.

 

 

6. Running unneeded programs in the background might lead to slow and laggy video calls, or cause programs to pop-up during the call. If you are seen clicking during the session, your video partners will feel like a low priority. Close all extra programs before the call.

 

 

7. Test the volume of your microphone in advance. Set it at a level that you can hear clearly, but make sure it is not so loud that it causes feedback. Arrange to be in a quiet room with no distractions that might cause garbled or intermittent communication.

 

 

8. Run a test before you connect the call. Record a brief session, or simply practice what you plan to say. This way you can ensure that all your settings are correct, your lighting is good, and that you have an optimal camera angle.

 

 

9. When you make a lot of video calls it pays to invest in a high-end webcam because integrated cameras only tend to capture a minimum quality image. Order a good, high-definition webcam if you want your calls to have top-of-the-line resolution.

When it comes to translation and interpretation, video sessions are far superior to simple phone calls. Video conveys facial expression, hand gestures, and other body language that can be very important in determining the level of understanding.

TikkTalk offers the opportunity to conduct interpretation sessions via video, making the process as easy as possible for businesses as well as interpreters. Using these tips and the TikkTalk service, your next video session will be brilliant!

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk

TikkTalk og Helse Førde sign NOK 14 million innovation contract

In health care, high-quality interpretation can be a matter of life or death. That is why the innovative tech startup TikkTalk has entered into a big project by Helse Førde, a region of hospitals in western Norway. The project will use TikkTalk’s digital platform and video system to improve interpretation services. It has a budget of NOK 14 mill. and is supported by Innovation Norway and Skattefunn.

 

From the left: Martin Auraha (interpreter on the screen), Gregers Halvorsen (doctor at Helse Førde) and Alma (patient). TikkTalk and Helse Førde sign 14 million innovation contract for safer and better use of interpreter services in hospitals.

 

 

In Northern Europe, more people than ever have minority backgrounds or visit the region as tourists. This means that the need for interpretation services in health care has increased dramatically.

Interpretation services, however, are often provided through old-fashioned agencies, which are costly and time-consuming, as well as they offer little or no documentation of interpreters’ qualifications.

Recognising this problem, Helse Førde and the tech startup TikkTalk have signed an innovation contract on NOK 14 mill. to integrate new technology and process it into healthcare.

 

A transparent, digital marketplace

TikkTalk’s digital platform was launched last year to solve this exact problem. Applying principles from the sharing economy, the marketplace provides direct contact between interpreters and clients.

By using TikkTalk, hospitals (and other public institutions and private companies) can easily access interpreters that have clearly documented skills. TikkTalk also complies with all demands for data security, openness and straightforward payments.

 

Video interpretation

In rural parts of Norway, such as the Helse Førde region, most interpretation sessions are conducted over the phone today. This is not a satisfactory solution, as important information could be lost when body language and eye contact is missing.

With TikkTalk’s solution, phone interpretation can instead be performed via video, in the same way Helse Førde currently provides telecare. This secures good visual contact for interpreters in cases where he or she cannot be physically present.

 

Public sector and Tech startup collaboration creates future growth companies

Helse Førde are confident that the challenges they are facing when using interpretation services will be resolved in a more profitable and sustainable way through a public-private partnership.

“It would be great if an innovative interpretation solution could help build future growth companies. That’s what I call a “win-win” situation” says Administrative Director for Helse Førde, Jon Bolstad.

“So far in the collaboration, I can see that TikkTalk has a different approach than what we would have had alone in the public sector. I think that we are bringing in different perspectives by collaborating, and that this can help the company succeed in bringing this out more efficiently on a larger scale. This way, my sector gets access to a more dynamic solution,” Bolstad says.

 

Support through Innovation Norway

The project with Helse Førde is supported by Innovation Norway and Skattefunn though an innovation contract (formerly OFU).

TikkTalk has collaborated closely with Innovation Norway from when the company was started one year ago. TikkTalk’s marketplace can be tested on the website.

 

 

Qualification levels for interpreters

Three people sitting in an interpretation session

Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi)

TikkTalk verifies all information about education and authorisation based on the guidelines made by the Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi). IMDi grants a state certification letter to interpreters in Norway based on their test results. The test is held by Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA). You can see the schedule for tests here.

Every country has their own nationally or regionally recognised exams for becoming an interpreter. There are many other tests and exams that are available in the interpretation services industry, but only IMDi can grant state authorisation in Norway, and the tests conducted by the Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA) are the only nationally recognised exams for becoming an interpreter in Norway.

Interpreters in Norway can receive certifications from Level-1 to Level-5. This is done to divide formal qualifications.

All level 1-5 interpreters are authorised to perform interpretation assignments, although some assignments require the interpreters at the highest levels. In addition to this, there are courses for interpreters that work in specific sectors, like legal and medical interpretation.

 

If you are a business of a state organisation, TikkTalk recommends the use of certified professionals

Certified professionals are far better equipped than anyone else to provide interpretation services.Interpreters must follow a strict code of ethics and provide an interpretation that is completely neutral for both parties involved. Providing an interpretation service, whether simultaneous or consecutive, is not easy. It requires fluent native-like expertise in both languages, and in addition takes a significant amount of knowledge and training.

According to a report from the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality (BLD) there are 300 languages spoken in Norway, and according to https://www.tolkeportalen.no there are certified interpreters for only 66 of those languages. TikkTalk allows uncertified interpreters to sign up on the platform, as there are simply not enough interpreters in Norway. If you are a bilingual or have passed a language course, or studied at university in a foreign language, please consider taking an education in interpretation and join the hundreds of certified interpreters in Norway.

If you have a certificate in interpretation or are taking an exam in interpretation, ask your exam-giver if they are “state authorised”.

As a neutral platform for direct booking of interpreters, TikkTalk allows users to choose on their own – but highly recommends that users choose certified professional interpreters, as only they have the necessary training to provide proper interpretation services.

 

Everyone who books an interpreter should know who they have booked

On TikkTalk, all information about the interpreter’s qualifications is visible on their profile. Just like LinkedIn or other popular websites where professionals can list their own qualifications, TikkTalk allows users to view necessary information about an interpreter before hiring them. TikkTalk provides a “direct booking” mechanism allowing customers to book the exact interpreter they would like to hire. TikkTalk provides a calendar service for Interpreters, and this allows customers to adjust their schedule to book the best interpreter for their needs.

If you have any questions about interpretation levels, please do not hesitate to contact us on our website, by telephone: +47 400 55 945 or email: support@tikktalk.com.

You can also contact Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) or Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA), if you would like to take the certification exams necessary for becoming a certified professional interpreter.

 

 

 

You can read more about the different levels here:

Level 1: Level 1 interpreters are state certified and has a degree in interpretation at university level.

Level 2: Level 2 interpreters has the same state certification as interpreters on level 1, but they do not have a degree in interpretation from an approved Norwegian university or university college.

Level 3: Level 3 interpreters has a degree in interpretation from an approved  Norwegian university or university college.

Level 4: Level 4 consists of state certified translators that has passed basic interpretation training. Interpreters at this level translate text and documents professionally. In addition, they have passed the course “Tolkens ansvarsområde (TAO)”. TAO provides a basic introduction to interpretation techniques and ethics.

Level 5: Level 5 consist of people that have basic  interpretation training. Interpreters at this level has passed Tospråklig test for potensielle tolker (ToSPoT) / Tospråktesten, in addition to TAO. ToSPoT was replaced by Tospråktesten in January 2017, and is now an oral language test held by HiOA. You can read more about Tospråktesten here.

How to work effectively with an interpreter

Due to the internationalisation of daily life and business, the likelihood that you will need the services of a professional interpreter is growing every day. This is why it is essential to know how to work with them effectively in order to gain the most benefit.

Man and woman sitting opposite each other, and woman pointing to a sheet presumably choosing an interpreter.

 

Here are some tips on working with interpreters:

 

The selection process

When selecting an interpreter, look for a qualified and trained professional that can take on the challenges of your assignment.

 

  • Think about what you need for the assignment and make a shortlist of your requirements. For example: Do you need an interpreter with specific educational background, expert terminology in a certain field, such as medical or legal, or a particular cultural understanding?
  • If possible, interpreters appreciate that you book them well in advance of a meeting.
  • Log in to your TikkTalk account and use these criteria to filter TikkTalk’s database.
  • TikkTalk will provide you with a list of interpreters matching your requirements.
  • Now just select the one that suits you best.

Pre-session process

Before the actual session starts, you can take some steps to prepare for it so it goes smoothly:

 

  • If you have an in-person assignment, be ready before the session starts to meet the interpreter in time. Remember that, as a rule, the interpreter should not be left alone with the person you are speaking to.
  • If you use video, check your technical equipment in advance.
  • Provide detailed information about the subject of the session so the interpreter can be thoroughly prepared. For example, provide copies of written material you will use during the session.
  • Go over your confidentiality and privacy policies with the interpreter.
  • Plan the seating arrangements. For example, for an in-person meeting, arrange it so that the interpreter will be sitting close by without obstructing the line of view between the speakers.
  • If the interpreter is joining the meeting on a screen, a moveable stand or holder is a very useful tool for placing a tablet.

During the session

Now you are in the session. Here are a few ways that you can work with the interpreter and ensure a successful session:

 

  • Speak directly to your client in a normal manner and maintain eye contact. Even though you are using an interpreter, run the session as if you are communicating with each other.
  • Only ask one question at a time and wait for an answer before continuing with another question.
  • Don’t speak too fast or too loud, and pause after each complete thought. Allow time for the interpreter to consider the information and present it correctly.
  • Don’t involve the interpreter in the conversation by addressing him or her directly.
  • Use vocabulary that suits the client. Don’t use terminology they are unfamiliar with; but at the same time, don’t oversimplify either.
  • Avoid using idioms or complicated sentences.
  • If you feel that the client or patient has not understood something, restate it or ask them to repeat the key points. It is especially important during medical or legal interviews that all information is understood.

Communicating through language barriers is challenging. Being prepared is the key to success. It takes patience and good organisation. With TikkTalk’s reliable and state-of-the-art platform, you can manage the entire interpretation process hassle free, from finding an interpreter to holding a successful session. This saves you work and effort, giving you more time for the important things in your working day. Be more productive and efficient with TikkTalk!

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Open house at Oslo Science Park

On Thursday 2 February, Oslo Science Park is opening its doors. Across six floors, the park hosts some of Norway’s most exciting tech companies and research institutions.

Gathering of people at the Oslo Science Park

As one of the park’s growing tech startups, TikkTalk will speak at the event. We have long been connected to StartupLab, Norway’s leading tech incubator and one of the park’s foremost tenants. For the last few months, we have also been working from the medtech incubator Aleap, alongside Oslo MedTech. Ever since TikkTalk was founded, it’s been invaluable for us to be a part of such a knowledgeable and engaging environment.

From 2.30pm, our CEO, Gautam, will speak about how TikkTalk is using new technology to solve old problems. Every day, we work hard to find the best solutions for the interpretation sector in Norway and beyond. We want to tell people how we work with technology for interpretation, and also learn more from other innovative companies.

Man smiling

Gautam Chandna, TikkTalk’s CEO and one of the three co-founders. When Oslo Science Park opens its doors, Gautam will present TikkTalk’s work.

If you want to learn more about how TikkTalk works to transform the interpretation sector, we would love to hear from you. Please leave a message below or get in touch with us on Facebook.

We want to hear from you! Leave a message here.

8 + 8 =

Meet Aman, our community manager

Aman is TikkTalk’s community manager. Aman previously worked as an interpreter, and was also an active user of interpretation services during his time running an asylum reception centre in Otta, Norway. Here, Aman tells a bit more about himself and shares his tips for interpreters.

Man standing infront of TikkTalk logo smiling at camera

Aman Tesfamichael has worked both as an interpreter and he has experience using interpretation services. Now he is TikkTalk’s community manager, tasked with creating a community amongst the TikkTalk interpreters.

“My name is Aman Tesfamichael and I’ve worked for TikkTalk since November 2016. My task is to create a sense of community amongst our interpreters”, says Aman, “At TikkTalk, we know that freelance interpreters often miss a place to meet other interpreters, so we want to make sure they have one.”

“TikkTalk is not an interpretation agency, but a tech company. So the way we want to create a community is for instance through events or online discussions”, he says.

“Our internal Facebook group for interpreters, TikkTalkersis a great example of that. There, we give interpreters a closed forum so that they can share their experiences and help each other.”

Started as an interpreter

Aman does not have an official certification as an interpreter, but he has still worked professionally as an interpreter between Norwegian, English and Tigrinya for the health and asylum services in Norway.

“The fact that I’ve worked as an interpreter, means that I’m familiar with the interpreter working day”, says Aman, “At the same time, we know that there are major differences between certified interpreters, other professional interpreters and bilinguals.”

“One of the most important things we do at TikkTalk is to clearly inform clients about interpreters’ different qualification levels. That way, we can ensure that certified interpreters are always used when certifications are required.”

Aman’s tips for interpreters

The three most important things for those who use interpretation services:

After working as an interpreter, Aman began running an asylum reception centre in rural Norway. Suddenly he found himself on the ‘other side’, and started using interpretation services himself.

“When I ran the asylum centre, I frequently had to use interpreters”, says Aman, “It was definitely a new experience. And I soon learned that three things were particularly important when using interpretation services: availability, price, and quality when committing to an agency.”

“First of all, I had to have access to interpreters when I needed them”, he says, “We tried using interpreters during day time only, but in an asylum centre you sometimes need an interpreter around the clock.”

“Additionally, I was naturally concerned about price. I wanted to know how much of the money I paid went to the interpreter, and how much went to the agency”, he continues.

“Finally, quality and freedom were important. If I were to commit to a contract with an agency, I had to know that they provided quality. But what I really wanted was the option to use the interpreters I wanted, without any contracts or other commitments”, says Aman.

The three biggest worries for those who use interpretation services:

Aman explains that booking an interpreter could lead him to worry about many things.

“The worst case scenario was interpreters not showing up”, he says, “Booking an interpreter was not my main job at the asylum centre. It was a means to an end. So it was very important that the process went smoothly, so I could focus on my actual job.”

“The price could also sometimes be a problem. Of course, you have to pay to get quality will of course cost money, but if the relationship between what you pay and what you get isn’t right, it’s not a good thing”, says Aman, “If you get the quality you pay for, it’s absolutely worth it, though. A good interpreter can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.”

“Also, I sometimes encountered interpreters who were not serious about their job, and who wanted to do more than just interpret. That was bad. And some of the interpreters did not come across as neutral”, he says.

“An interpreter could for instance stop the conversation and tell me ‘he doesn’t understand this and that’ or ‘in our culture, it’s like this’. Then I had to take the interpreter aside and tell him or her to stop.”

Get in touch

Every day Aman talks to interpreters who want more assignments. The TikkTalk marketplace is still new, so the number of assignments increase with every passing month.

“I really want to hear more about what interpreters think about our digital platform”, says Aman, “We always try to improve our services. And the best way of doing it, is to get feedback from the people who use the services.”

If you want to find interpretation assignments through TikkTalk, you can register for free here. And if you have already signed up, or if you have questions about being a TikkTalker, please join our Facebook group.

Three quick questions for Aman:

  1. What do you do when you don’t work for TikkTalk?

When I’m not working, I spend time with my friends, travelling and exploring Oslo. A lot has changed since I last lived here.

  1. You have lived in Oslo, Harstad, New York, Asmara and Otta – which place did you like the best?

Of all the places I’ve lived, New York tops the list. There wasn’t enough hours in the day to do everything you wanted to do there. It was really exciting to see and do things you can’t experience in Norway. At the same time, I think there’s a lot of exciting stuff happening in Oslo right now. I see that people get a lot of inspiration from the US and New York.

  1. Who is your role model?

I don’t have one person I see as my role model. But I always work to reach my full potential and make use of all the opportunities I have. So in a way you could say that a version of me who uses his full potential, is my role model.

Meet Skiwo’s new employee Mohamad Kensas

We from Skiwo would like to introduce our new employee Mohamad Kensas from Syria, who will support the team as interpreter and quality assurance tester. In the following, you find a short interview about his flight from Syria to Norway, the challenges he encountered as a refugee and his plans for the future.

What country are you originally from? What is your background?
My name is Mohamad, I am 25 years old and from Aleppo in Syria. I studied Computer Engineering at the Information Technology Institute in Aleppo for more than two years. Due to the war in Syria I could not finish my studies. Young men were forced to attend military service which I did not want to join. I wanted to live in a safe place and therefore decided to leave my home country and fled to Turkey at the age of 23.

How long did you stay in Turkey, and how did you come to be in Norway?
I lived in Turkey for around about a year. From day one, refugees in Turkey have to work in order to finance their living. I wanted to find a job and continue studying but there was no support to learn the language properly and studying would have been very expensive. So, I decided to take a refugee boat to Greece and continue my journey from there. As I have relatives living in Norway, I bought a plane ticket to Norway after a month in Greece.

You came as a refugee to Norway. How did you find your first days and months?
When I arrived in Norway in October 2014, my personal documents and ID were checked by the police at the airport. Public authorities interviewed me in order to determine if I was allowed to stay in Norway. I was sent to a reception camp for refugees in Oslo, where I had to undergo some medical tests and received health care treatments. During that time, I was living with refugees from all over the world with different cultural backgrounds. We shared rooms and other facilities. Even though the circumstances were not so good in the camp, it could not stop me from learning Norwegian from the first day on. After various tests and interviews, I received a permission of residence in Norway, limited to three years. In the following month, I was transferred to a permanent refugee camp, 8 hours away from Oslo. The permanent camp was organised differently, for example I received a certain amount of money per day, so that I could purchase food and cook on my own. The officials also provided language courses and I continued to learn Norwegian.
After four months, I left the permanent camp, as I got a job in a mobile and computer repair shop through my cousin.

How did you feel about settling in a different country? Did you encounter a lot of bureaucracy in Norway?
I appreciate that Norway offers an introduction program of two years for refugees. During this program, public authorities develop an individual plan for every refugee, which outlines how they want to start their lives in the country. For me, the plan included language courses and my wish to continue my computer science studies. The authorities were checking my previous education and experience in order to determine if I could continue studying right away, or had to attend preparation courses. They also developed a schedule for me with different courses which I would have to complete before I can start a bachelor program in Norway. I plan to complete these courses and start a study program at a university in Oslo as well. In addition, I can attend language courses for free during this program. Sometimes, there are long processes because I have to align everything with the officials, but I value the opportunities that they offer to me.

Do you think language is the key to integrating into a foreign society?
Yes, I think, that learning the local language is one of the most important things if you want to live and work in a different country. For me, it was the best chance that I could learn Norwegian. I appreciate that the Norwegian government provides free language courses to refugees to support their integration. Thereby, they give refugees a lot more opportunities for their future in Norway. For example, it is much easier to find a job if you can speak the language. But it also simplifies everyday life and the whole integration into Norwegian society.

Do you feel integrated into Norwegian society?
Since I left my home country, I was looking for a place where I am free and safe. I appreciate that the people here are following the law and I can live in security. Also I receive support and have the opportunity to develop my skills.

What plans do you have for your future in Norway?
I want to find a permanent job in computer science or as a developer, and plan to continue my studies and get a degree in computer science or a related subject. It is also very important for me to help my family, who are staying in Turkey at the moment, and support them with money.

Do you want to return to your home country in the long run?
There is no place like home but it is very difficult to return under the current conditions. If the war in Syria would end and living there would be safe again, I would like to return to my country and help to build it up again.

How did you become aware of Skiwo?
When I arrived in Norway and during my interviews and appointments with public authorities, I became aware of the demand for interpreters. The government is in need of interpreters who support them in the refugee crisis to ease communication and official processes. During official appointments, I had an interpreter who was not trained properly for my situation. Therefore, it came to my mind to become an interpreter myself. After I had learned Norwegian, I was just googling different interpretation providers and applied as a freelancer. I was successful and immediately got a contract. I also joined Skiwo’s open marketplace and created my profile. Afterwards I was contacted by Skiwo and completed a test assignment as well as an interview where we discussed opportunities for me to work with Skiwo.

What do you plan to learn with Skiwo, and what will be your tasks?
I will work part-time at Skiwo as an interpreter but also quality assurance tester. I am full of energy and looking forward to working here. I also hope that I can build up a professional network.

Thank you for the interview Mohamad and all the best for your future!

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk

Simultaneous and consecutive interpreting – what’s the difference?

A long conference table with microphones and headphones

There are two main methods of interpretation: simultaneous and consecutive. As they are sometimes misunderstood, we’ve prepared this basic primer for you. Find out more about the difference between the two types, and the pros and cons of each one.

What are the two methods of interpretation?

Simultaneous interpretation requires the interpreter to translate the speaker’s words while the speaker is talking. For this to work effectively in large groups, interpreters often communicate via a microphone to listeners wearing headphones. Essentially, the interpretation is simultaneous to the native speech.

Consecutive interpretation is where the interpreter listens to the speaker, and then relays the speaker’s words in the target language during breaks or pauses. In other words, the original speech and the translation are consecutive.

When can simultaneous interpretation be used?

Simultaneous interpretation is the preferred method for meetings with large amounts of people, exchanges with more than one target language, or conversations where a great deal of information must be transmitted quickly. For example, the United Nations uses simultaneous interpretation for meetings.

There are both positive and negative aspects to this form of interpretation.Because the participants usually wear headphones, there’s no limit on the number of people involved. Simultaneous interpretation also transmits information as quickly as possible, and it provides smooth, fluid translation in which the speaker doesn’t need to pause.

However, simultaneous interpretation does require additional expenses and preparations to use the necessary audio equipment. And interpreters don’t get a break, so more than one interpreter may be needed for long meetings. Many people also consider it less personal than consecutive interpretation, because the participants are wearing headphones instead of listening to each other directly.

When can consecutive interpretation be used?

Consecutive interpretation is ideal for smaller groups or one-on-one situations, such as an interview, medical or legal appointment, teleconference, business meeting, or press conference. This method offers both benefits and drawbacks.

Consecutive interpretation conveys a more personal touch than simultaneous interpretation, and it is ideal for one-on-one exchanges between individuals. In potentially sensitive conversations or negotiations, consecutive interpretation allows more time for the participants to reflect before speaking.

But there are constraints on consecutive interpretation as well. Only a limited number of people (usually just two or three) are able to participate in the exchange. It’s much slower than simultaneous interpretation, and it can be difficult to use this method for exchanges where a large amount of information is being transmitted.

Though similar, these methods each offer their own set of challenges and strengths – and TikkTalk offers both.
TikkTalk allows you to easily post interpretation assignments and define the interpretation method you need so you can find your perfect interpreter. Do you have any questions? Or do you want to learn more about how TikkTalk empowers your business through cross-cultural communication?

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk

TikkTalk’s 2016 in numbers

Picture of TikTalk logo with the number 2016 underneath
It’s been a great first year for TikkTalk. We founded the company in February, went to market in July, and saw huge growth by December. It’s not easy being a tech company in a mostly non-tech industry, but we think we are doing well so far with changing the face of interpretation. We already have big plans for 2017 – but we’ve also allowed ourselves a quick look back at what made 2016 so good:

1. A record number of signups

Cake graphs showing how many interpreters has signes up to TikkTalk
Cake graphs showing how many customers that signed up to TikkTalk in 2016

With every quarter of 2016, we have had exponential growth of signups. It’s great to see interpreters and customers flocking to our platform.

From only a handful when we started in February, we now have a huge stable of interpreters, as well as customers from across public and private sectors.

2. A constant growth of new languages

Illustrations showing all languages and language combinations TikkTalk provide thorugh their platform at the end of 2016

Interpreters in Norway speak a huge range of languages. And we are growing the number of languages on our platform almost every week.

Most of our work is to and from Norwegian. But we also offer several languages to and from English – and even combinations like Turkish to Swahili or Russian to Vietnamese.

3. A global reach

Map of the world, countries where interpreters have registered with Tikktalk is marked in red

We are a global company. With video technology and a digital platform, interpreters can sign up and work from anywhere in the world.

So far, we have interpreters from 27 different countries, and we keep getting signups from new places around the world. This means that customers now have access to a much larger range of interpreters than ever before.

4. A consistent level of high quality interpretations

Cake graph showing assignments conducted (75% level 1-5 interpreters)

Interpreters that are used in Norway are unfortunately not always as qualified as they should be – even in cases where certification is required by law.

At TikkTalk, however, as much as 75 per cent of assignments so far have been performed by level 1 to 3 interpreters. And customers always know which level interpreter they are getting.

5. Tech, tech and more tech

Illustration showig fun facts of company: hours spent coding, hours spent on design, lines of codes written, tests done on site

We are a tech company at heart. We just happen to work with interpretation.

And just like for any other service that has gone digital – be it hotel booking, air travel, grocery shopping or anything else – there has been a lot of hard labour behind to scenes to make the technology work.

All that coding, testing, design and coffee, is what has made TikkTalk the great company it now is. And we couldn’t be more proud of it.

2016 was great, but 2017 will be even better!

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk

The difference between interpreters and translators: Don’t mix them up!

Many people use the terms interpreter and translator interchangeably. But although the two perform similar tasks, there is a vast difference in skills, training and between the professions.

A woman and a man looking at a computer screen

What is an interpreter?

Interpreters deal with spoken language and translate orally. They listen to a speaker in one language, understand the content and context of what is being said, then explain it for the target audience in a second language. 

Typically, they are engaged by public institutions such as hospitals, police and immigration agencies. But they are also used a lot in the private sector, for multilingual business meetings – in video or in person – by law firms, and in a range of international markets. And they are also used by individuals who need to communicate with others in a language they don’t speak.

Which skills do interpreters need?

An interpreter must possess extraordinary listening skills and be able to process and memorise the words that a speaker is saying, while simultaneously outputting the translation of the words the speaker said five to ten seconds ago. It is also important for interpreters to have social skills that enable them to read situations on the spot and keep their neutral standing at all times.

Since interpreters translate on the spot without dictionaries or other supplemental reference material, they must have thorough knowledge of the subject at hand, be intimately familiar with different cultures, and have extensive vocabulary in both languages. 

In Norway there is only one official certification for interpreters. Many interpretation agencies offer internal courses for interpreters, but these are very different from an official certification. You can read more about education for interpreters in Norway here (in Norwegian), and about TikkTalk’s openness about all interpreters’ qualification levels here.

Illustrations of a man and a woman greeting a female interpreter

What is a translator?

Translators converts written words from one language to another. They use dictionaries or other reference materials to translate original material clearly and correctly so the target audience will understand it.

A translator must understand the source language and culture of the country where the text originated, as well as the target language. Where interpreters are able to add additional explanations if something is unclear in a spoken conversation, translators only have one opportunity to get their meaning across.

Which skills do translators need?

Since the goal of a translator is to have the target audience read the translation as if it were the original text, the translator needs to write well and clearly, all while keeping facts and ideas accurate. 

Aside from all of the differences in skills, interpreters and translators both have a love of language and a passion for conveying meaning to people who would otherwise not understand the information at hand.

TikkTalk logo, slogan "let's tikktalk" and a picture of a smiling interpreter

So, many people have a misunderstanding as to what interpreters and translators are. The terms are often used synonymously without realising the difference between interpreters and translators.

Unfortunately, we don’t work with translators, but if you are an interpreter searching for new opportunities and assignments, take a look around the TikkTalk website.

With TikkTalk you can connect to businesses and individuals in need of interpretation services. Become part of our growing community of interpreters and exchange your ideas and expertise with colleagues: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1805933676347115/

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk

Slush 2016: TikkTalk joins Europe’s leading startups

TikkTalk is joining Europe’s leading startups at Slush 2016 in Helsinki this week. We look forward to two full days with some of the most exciting tech companies out there.

If you’re in Helsinki, let us know and we’ll see you at Slush! Nähdään siellä!

Slush 2016

Slush is one of Europe’s largest events for tech startups and investors. Last year, it gathered over 15.000 attendees from over 100 different countries – and this year is expected to be even bigger.

We’re sending our CEO, Gautam, to represent TikkTalk and spread the word about our interpretation services. We’re transforming interpretation with innovative technology, and Slush is a great place for making new contacts and getting inspiration.

Digital technology has already completely changed the way we travel, order food, and many other parts of our daily lives. And it’s exciting to see all the other sectors that are about to change – including interpretation.

Business interpretation

As a new face on the interpretation scene, TikkTalk was recently featured in Norway’s largest business newspaper, Dagens Næringsliv (DN), with a great article about our team member Mohamad.

The DN story also featured Gautam’s insights about what makes a good startups employee, including strong motivation and core values – and loads of flexibility.

For us, these are also important business values. They drive us forward and help us make TikkTalk the highest quality interpretation service, with the best interpreters at the best price.

We offer interpreters more opportunities for work. And we offer businesses the easiest solution for finding the qualities they need in interpreters.

If you need interpreters powered by the most innovative technology in the industry, sign up here today.

Be part of the future. Let's TikkTalk