Neighborhood Services News

LINC uses technology to bridge language barrier.

LINC uses technology to bridge language barrier.

Posted: 09-02-2012

LINC is now leveraging technology to facilitate bilingual meetings! At the August 16th I Believe I Become meeting in the West Zone, English and Spanish speakers had an easier time with translation in break-out sessions using wireless transmitters. 

Translators from the Interpreter Network in Grand Rapids spoke into microphones that worked like a radio signal with wireless headsets. Interpreters translated from Spanish to English in real time in a low voice so as not to disturb the full group discussion, helping the conversations to move more smoothly. English speakers in the room wore the headsets that picked up the signal as he or she spoke.  The extra sensitive signal made for a clear, crisp understanding as the meeting moved forward.

This technology allowed for a clearer understanding on both sides, as people were able to hear the cross-cultural issues for themselves. In past meetings, where the residents are overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking, the residents were separated according to language. Now residents can go into whichever group they choose and still get to fully participate.

The headsets made it possible for everyone to contribute and offer ideas on how to move forward as a community. This technology truly makes it easier for everyone to understand, participate, and simply connect.