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August is Mandarin & Cantonese Language Month!

The 2011 U.S. Census ranked Chinese speakers as the third most populous behind Spanish and English speakers. And given the steady increase of Chinese speakers in the U.S. over the past decades– the number now is more than four times greater than that of 1980– it’s safe to assume that Chinese will remain immensely prevalent in the decades to come. The highest concentrations of Chinese speakers, whether speaking Mandarin or Cantonese, can be found in major cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, though large populations can also be found in cities such as Chicago and Washington D.C.

In recognition of these languages, we’re offering 10% off any IEO course, test, or Skype lesson for both Mandarin and Cantonese during August!

And don’t forget, our buy 3 single topic units get 1 free deal is going on until August 15th. Check out our STUs here!

*Language month discount and free STU offer cannot be combined.

Buy 3 single topic courses, get a 4th one free!

Due to popular demand, we are having our winter holiday sale during the summer! When you purchase 3 single topic courses, you’ll get a 4th single topic course free!*

Are you a certified interpreter who needs continuing education? Our single topic courses for medical, legal, and ASL interpreters are approved for CEUs. You can mix and match, purchase your courses now and take them later, and even use your free course towards your CE requirement!

Choose from the following:

Legal Courses

– Autopsies
– Controlled Substances
– Firearms
– Intellectual Property (IP) Law
– Physical Evidence
– Traffic and Vehicular Accident
– Types of Motions
– Court Interpreter Ethics
– CI Techniques
– SI Techniques
– ST Techniques

Medical Courses   

– The Cardiovascular System
– The Respiratory System
– The Reproductive System
– The Nervous System
– The Musculoskeletal System
– The Endocrine System
– The Digestive System
– The Healthcare System in the U.S.
– Healthcare Interpreter Ethics
– CI Techniques
– SI Techniques
– ST Techniques

*Free course must be taken without instructor evaluation.

Offer expires August 15th


Santa Promo

IEO + World Cup = Everybody Wins!

Are you disappointed that your team didn’t make it to the World Cup Final? Nervous about the outcome between the two teams that did — Germany & Argentina?

There’s no reason to be afraid of losing because IEO’s latest offer makes everyone a winner! Simply visit our Facebook page and tell us who you’ll be rooting for in the World Cup Final.  And if you purchase anything from our website during the month of July, you’ll get 10% off!

It’s that easy!

July is French Language Month!

With Bastille Day taking place on July 14th, it’s only fitting that July is French Language Month at IEO!

Behind English, French is the second most  widely-learned foreign language, and while its ranking amongst the world’s most widely-spoken languages is not entirely clear, its far-reaching presence is undeniable. Belgium, Benin, Cameroon, Canada, France, Haiti, Lebanon, Madagascar, Switzerland, and Togo are just some of the countries where it is spoken. Despite its ranking today, with the growing population of French speakers in Sub-Saharan Africa, some speculate that French’s prevalence will increase dramatically in the coming decades, perhaps making it the world’s number one language in terms of the amount of its speakers.

In celebration of the French language, we’re offering a 10% discount for any course,  test, book, or Skype lesson for French!

Translating Science

Just as being well-acquainted with the law serves in legal translation, or having experience in healthcare ensures a better translation of a medical document, it’s imperative that those translating scientific research are well-versed in not only the source and target language, but also the relevant scientific field.

Because the lingua franca of science is English, any non-native speaker will need their work translated if they want to reach a larger audience. However, translating scientific research is difficult and costly; esoteric terminology, paper structure, and specific syntax are just some of the things that make it so. A good example of mistranslation that occurred with research reports written in Arabic on treatments for male infertility. The procedure of making sperm from bone marrow stem cells, when translated, came to mean that women would no longer need men to reproduce. Even the term ‘bone marrow,’ phrased in Arabic as ‘the brain of the bones,’ was mistranslated as ‘bones of the brain.’ A more widely-known translation blunder occurred in the 19th century when Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli described lines on Mars’ surface as ‘canali.’ The word in Italian means ‘channels,’ but was mistranslated as ‘canals,’ which of course do no occur naturally, leading people to believe that there was indeed extraterrestrial life on Mars. There’s an element of comedy in both of these examples, but they should not undermine the importance of accuracy in translation, especially when it comes to scientific work, which calls for precision and should leave no room for interpretation.

The following article addresses this problem in addition to offering some solutions:

goodterps poster

Interpreter Film Parodies

Ever wonder what it would be like if famous movies were based on interpreters? In this latest post, you’ll be able to find that out! Check out some of the parody titles that we came up with below!


GoodTerps (based on Goodfellas)

Henry Hill is a small time interpreter who shares assignments with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other interpreters who have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners manage to pass the certification exam and slowly start to climb up the ranks of the interpreting community. Henry, however, can’t pass the certification exam, but will he stoop low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy?

Memorable QuoteAs far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be an interpreter. – Henry Hill


On the Multilingual, Culturally Diverse Waterfront (based on On the Waterfront)

on the mulltiling waterfront poster

Terry Malloy grew up speaking more than one language and doing pro bono interpreting for the dockside workers and other LEP members of his community. Unfulfilled, he longs to become a professional interpreter, but gets caught up in conflicts with the union bosses.

Memorable Quote: I coulda gone to class. I coulda been an interpreter. I coulda been SOMEBODY. – Terry


Simultaneous in Seattle (based on Sleepless in Seattle)


After losing his simultaneous interpreting partner, Sam Baldwin, a Seattle native, pours his heart out on a national radio talk show about his desire to have another great interpreting side kick. Annie Reed, a Baltimore-based interpreter, hears the story and falls in love with Sam and goes to great lengths to meet him.


Total Recall (based on Total Recall)

total lexical recall

Douglas Quaid is a world class conference interpreter sent to Mars. It’s the assignment of a lifetime, but can he remember all the relevant terminology? Will he be able to remain emotionally unattached when the stakes are so high?

Memorable Quotes:  You got a lot of nerve showing your interpreting skills around here, Quaid.Tony   

                                        Look who’s talking.  – Quaid


Interpreting Now (based on Apocalypse Now)

interpreting now poster

In “Interpreting Now,” Captain Willard is sent down the Nung river to interpret for Colonel Kurtz, a retired Special Forces Officer that has made a home in the Cambodian jungle amongst locals that do not speak English. But when Willard gets there, he comes face to face with more ethical dilemmas than he expected.

Memorable Quote: I love the sound of interpreting in the morning. – Kligore
Can you think of any famous films that would make great interpreter movies? We’d love to hear your ideas on our Facebook page!

What Can Happen When Children Are Used As Interpreters

Gia’s family left Vietnam with the intention of going to Hong Kong but became lost at sea. After seven days, they were rescued by the Malaysian navy. Because they knew very little English, Gia’s parents used their children as interpreters in order to communicate with government officials. Gia recounts her time as a little girl working as an interpreter as one of the scariest experiences of her life.

Check out the video below of Gia Nghi Phung describing her experiences as a child interpreter.


How do you feel about children being used as interpreters?

Online vs. Classroom Training: Which is right for you?

Thanks to the expansion of the Internet, interpreters today have access to more educational opportunities than ever before. Here are some things interpreters should consider when deciding between online and classroom training programs:


According to the National Center for Education Statistics, undergraduate tuition for public colleges has risen about 55 percent since 2001, bringing the average cost of college to $16,789 at a 4-year institution. Even if your onsite school isn’t a college, online courses are still significantly less expensive. This difference is especially visible when you factor in the potential savings associated with housing, transportation, books, and lost wages. In addition, because online training allows you to work while you’re taking classes, you’ll be less likely to take student loans and incur debt.


For students who work or who have obligations at home, leaving their job or family to attend class isn’t always an option. While traditional education is developed around a set agenda, online education allows students to cater their courses and homework around their family and work schedule. Thus, taking an online course will allow you to better yourself without having to sacrifice your priorities at home or taking days off from work.


To attend a brick-and-mortar school, one has to relocate or commute to campus, carry books from classroom to classroom, reduce their hours at work, or even put their careers on hold. In contrast, online education allows you to access your course and materials in a more convenient setting. With just a computer and Internet connection, you can attend your online course on your own schedule and from the convenience of your home or office.

So, online or classroom training? Which do you prefer? We’d love to hear about your experiences with each!


You say “soccer”, I say “football”. Let’s call the whole World Cup off.

It’s played by a quarter of a billion people in over 200 countries, making it the world’s most popular sport. A relatively simple game, it serves as a source of both national pride and agony for many nations.

So, what are we talking about? Well, it depends whom you ask!

Commonly referred to as soccer or football , this global phenomenon has an interesting history that goes beyond the field, or pitch, and into the linguistic arena.

While many may consider soccer to be an American word, it actually has roots in England, which is where the modern rules of soccer were established in the 1860’s. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, soccer came about in the late 1880’s as a shortened form of Assoc., which is an abbreviation of association from Football Association. Over time, the “A” in Assoccer was dropped and we were left with soccer.

But, why does soccer have the suffix -er? This ending,  known as the Oxford -er , was a colloquial suffix that was popular at Oxford University in the 1870’s, which is where soccer is believed to have been first used. This also explains why soccer was primarily used by the English upper classes.

In modern times, Americans, however, aren’t the only ones to use soccer. The Japanese refer to it as サッカー (sakkā), in Afrikaans it’s sokker, and it’s sacar in Irish.

Football, on the other hand, has a less complex history. Football was used as early as the 1400’s and has led to derivations in other languages such as fútbol (Spanish), futebol (Portuguese) Fußball (German), and футбол (Russian).

Italians use neither soccer nor football and refer to the sport as calcio (calcho). Other languages have calques of football and their speakers use equivalent terms that combine their words for foot and ball. For example, in Greek it’s ποδόσφαιρο (podósfero), in Arabic it’s كرة القدم (Korat Alqadam), and in Polish, piłka nożna is used.


What’s the word for soccer or football in your language? Share it with us in the comments below!


2014 Testing Dates For The California Court Bilingual Interpreter Exam

Formerly known as the  “Oral Exam” or “Oral Interpreting Exam”, the California Court Bilingual Interpreter Exam is offered twice a year. This year, it is available September 23-25.

This test measures language knowledge and fluency in both languages and the ability to successfully render meaning from target to source language in each of the three modes of interpreting that are required of court interpreters — SI, CI, and ST.

Interpreters who pass this test will demonstrate that they are considered minimally competent to interpret in California’s court system.

More information on the test can be found here.

While the exam may be three months away, it’s never too soon to start preparing for it. IEO’s Advanced 8-Unit Course for Legal Interpreters can help you do just that. The Advanced course contains glossaries to help you become familiar with commonly used legal terms and expressions, along with their translations in the target language. In addition, the course contains exercises in the simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation modes. IEO’s exercises are based on actual transcripts or other court documents in order to simulate actual court interpreting.

Have questions or would like to schedule a tour of the course? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

World Cup 2014

world cup brasil The World Cup kicks off in Brazil in six days! And with 32 nations represented, interpreters are sure to abound! In an effort to make the event more accommodating to all of the visitors from other nations, FIFA has even put together a large team of volunteers, many of whom specialize in language service. Here’s hoping that everyone is understood, no matter which team they support.

Let us know who you are rooting for! Also, here‘s an article that lists some Brazilian “Futbolese” that you may overhear.

Judgement Overturned for LEP Defendant Who Was Provided With Inadequate Language Services

The Indiana Supreme Court has vacated a judgement against an LEP individual because the rights he waived were inaccurately interpreted.

Victor Ponce, a non-native English speaker who pleaded guilty under terms of an agreement, appealed the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Ponce contended that the Spanish translation of the rights he was waiving by entering the plea was so inaccurate his plea of guilty was not entered knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily.

The Indiana Supreme Court agreed and reversed the judgment of the post-conviction court.

In Victor Ponce v. State of Indiana, an 11-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Rucker wrote:

Had the trial court uttered the words relayed to Ponce by the interpreter, we doubt that a court of review would hesitate to declare that Ponce had not been given his Boykin advisements. Thus, we are of the view that an advisement from the mouth of the court-appointed interpreter instead of that of the trial judge to be a distinction without a difference. In sum, we conclude that Ponce has demonstrated that his 1999 guilty plea hearing was not conducted in accordance with the mandates of Boykin.


Do you think this case will lead to more certified interpreters, not only in Indiana, but across the U.S.?

Interpreter Throwback Thursday

We were looking for some star power in our interpreter-style Throwback Thursday this week and stumbled upon Audrey Hepburn playing an interpreter alongside Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s 1963 film Charade.

 hepburn interpreter 2







Know of any other examples of interpreters in movies (besides the obvious ones, e.g. Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter)?

CHI Performance Exam Test Dates

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) offers its CHI performance exam during select time “windows” throughout the year. The next window will be from July 21st to August 9th. After August 9th, the exam won’t be available until October 20th through November 8th, which makes now a great time to enroll in IEO’s 12-Week CCHI Preparatory Course. The course not only familiarizes you with healthcare interpreter ethics and the relevant medical terminology, it also allows you to practice interpreting in all three modes and meets the required 40 hours of training for the exam.

Students have access to the course for 12 weeks, however this does not mean that it cannot be completed in time for the exam. Completion time depends entirely on how many hours per week that you spend studying. You can find out more about the course by clicking here.

You can also see in what cities the exam is available by clicking here.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a Skype tour of the course!

June is Vietnamese Language Month!

With roughly 1.4 million speakers, did you know that Vietnamese is the sixth most spoken language in the U.S.? The largest Vietnamese populations are located in California, Washington, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. As such, Vietnamese interpreters are commonly needed in legal and medical settings. Vietnamese is also one of the languages available for certification by NBCMI.

To commemorate this language, IEO is happy to announce that June is Vietnamese Language Month! Receive 10% off any Vietnamese course, test, or Skype lesson!

2014 NCIHC Annual Membership Meeting

The NAJIT and ALC conferences went great, but IEO isn’t stopping there! Next week it’s onward to historic Charleston, South Carolina for the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) 8th Annual Membership Meeting!

As it is put on by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, it’s an especially good opportunity to spread the word about IEO’s new membership program, IEO Plus, and its package specifically designed for hospitals. IEO’s own Jinny Bromberg will be in attendance, so feel free to say hello!

A weekend of productive networking, language access seminars, and interactive panel discussion awaits! For more information on the NCIHC Membership Meeting, click here.

Welcome to our new site!

Interpreter Education Online is happy to announce the launch of its new and improved website! Designed with a fresh new look, built with a user-friendly layout, and updated with the latest information about our products and services, IEO’s website is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but is easier to navigate as well.

In addition to our training courses, books, tests, and Skype lessons, visitors to our website will now be able to join IEO Plus – a membership program for individuals, language service companies, and healthcare providers. IEO Plus is a great way to save money and take advantage of many benefits such as discounts on IEO products, free shipping on bookstore items, free access to courses, and much more!

We hope that you will enjoy browsing our new site, finding more training options and information each time, and take advantage of our IEO Plus membership program!

And if you have any questions, or just simply want to say hi, you can contact us here. We’d love to hear from you!

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