CEO Marina Ilari joins the Advisory Board of Enterprising Women

CEO Marina Ilari joins the Advisory Board of Enterprising Women

Terra Translations is thrilled to announce that our CEO Marina Ilari has joined the Advisory Board of Enterprising Women. Every year, Enterprising Women hosts the Enterprising Women of the Year awards and Marina was one of the award winners in 2020. The gala was originally planned to take place in March, but was rightfully postponed because of the pandemic. Gala or no gala, we couldn’t be prouder of our fearless leader!

What is Enterprising Women?

Enterprising Women Magazine is a national and global magazine for female entrepreneurs. The Enterprising Women Advisory Board is made up of a group of professionals who aim to give back to the women business owners’ community. Board members provide leadership and inspiration to female entrepreneurs worldwide. 

Membership is granted to top women business owners and corporate representatives from around the world, “Being invited to be a board member is an honor that I do not take for granted. I am so grateful to be among the company of such accomplished women in business,” Marina said. 

What the Role Entails

The board members of this great organization provide advice to the magazine’s staff regarding their specific areas of expertise. They help tailor the publication to meet the unique needs of the entrepreneurial women that read it. Alongside providing input to the editorial staff, board members have the opportunity to publish articles in Enterprising Women magazine. 

Board members also participate in the annual Advisory Board meeting, which is typically held the day of the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Gala. Before COVID-19, the board also gathered informally at professional events targeted to women entrepreneurs.

Alongside providing the editorial team with feedback on what topics and issues the magazine should cover, Enterprising Women staff also count on the board members to recommend outstanding women entrepreneurs for profiles in the magazine, as well as events and conferences worth writing about. Marina is especially looking forward to using her position to support female led businesses, “Terra is a female led business and we know first hand how invaluable women are in the translation industry and in many other industries. I am most excited about using my position to support talented and hard working women in business,” she noted. 

A History of Community Involvement

Marina consistently prioritizes community involvement, and alongside her role on the advisory board of Enterprising Women, she actively participates in other initiatives aimed to support women, such as Women in Localization. Terra, as a company, is certified by the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a women-owned business and by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a women-owned small business. 

Marina feels a core value at Terra is to support fellow women-led businesses. “I’ve been so fortunate to work with some incredible women who have acted as mentors and teachers. I want to pay their generosity forward. After all, when women get together to support each other, there is nothing we can’t achieve,” Marina explained.

Why the Translation of Medical Insurance Claims Matters

Why the Translation of Medical Insurance Claims Matters

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, can it also keep the medical insurance claims away? Nobody enjoys paperwork, but medical insurance claims are a vital part of the healthcare system. If patients don’t want to pay out of pocket, and medical providers want to receive swift payment, it’s important that everyone works together to properly file these forms. There is one major roadblock insurance companies can encounter. This process can be disrupted without the proper translation of medical insurance claims. 

What is a medical insurance claim form? 

Medical insurance claim forms are necessary when a patient needs to request reimbursement or direct payment for any medical services they’ve obtained. Basically, they are of the utmost importance for making sure medical service providers get paid. In order for these payments to come from insurance companies, either the patient or the provider must submit the proper medical insurance claims. There are two options for submitting a medical insurance claim. The first option is generally the most convenient. The medical services provider will directly submit the claim for the patient to the insurance company electronically. Another option is for patients to personally fill out a health insurance claim form and send in the paperwork. Most insurance companies offer electronic forms that patients can download and submit online. This process more commonly occurs if the health service provider is not in a patient’s health insurance network and therefore can’t file a claim on their behalf. 

What information does it contain?

Generally, medical insurance claim forms will include the following information. To start, the insurance policy number, group plan number, or member number is very important as it is required for identification purposes. As is identifying if the recipient of services is the primary insured member or a dependent. Dependents are generally children, spouses, or domestic partners of the primary insurance holder. The form may also clarify whether or not this policy is a form of co-insurance or offers dual coverage. And the reason for the visit will be noted as well. 

The importance of the translation of medical insurance claims

The stakes are high when it comes to the translation of medical insurance claims. If a claim form is not in the native language of the claimant, there is always the possibility of misrepresentation on the insured’s part. Or potentially, the misunderstanding on the insurance company’s part. Claim forms can be considered critical documents for health coverage access. Not providing translated claim forms into different languages can limit the ability of LEP-speakers to properly complete their forms for claim processing. Mistakes can be made and misunderstandings can occur. Once the claim is filled out by the LEP-speaker, the insurance company could require translation services to process it properly.

Insurance companies must comply with regulations regarding insurance forms, as many are considered to be critical documents. Critical documents that help obtain health insurance coverage or access to health care services can be required by state or federal law to be provided to the following people: qualified individuals, applicants, qualified employers, qualified employees, or enrollees. In most states, the top 15 languages spoken by the LEP populations of that state must be translated. 

Generally, it’s vital that insurance companies act in good faith at all times in regards to the insurance policies they write. Insurance policies are contracts. Insurance companies must do their best to uphold these contracts, including providing the necessary translation of medical insurance claims to guarantee patients’ access to healthcare coverage.

Terra Participates in Scale Up Milwaukee’s “5 Questions With”

What is Scale Up Milwaukee?

With a mission to transform culture and spread inclusive economic prosperity, Scale Up Milwaukee is an accelerator program launched by the Greater Milwaukee Committee. The organization’s goal is to connect ambitious entrepreneurs with resources, tools, and a network that accelerates substantial growth. Diversity and inclusion is now a fundamental value for many organizations. Scale Up promotes this ethos by providing greater access to information as well as an opportunity for businesses from various backgrounds to get the assets they need to succeed.

Proud Scale Up Member

As a thriving translation company in Wisconsin, Terra Translations is a member of Scale Up. Since joining the community in 2019, Terra participated in numerous events and one-on-one mentoring sessions. These bespoke experiences are designed to inspire and cultivate economic advancement within Milwaukee.  Members are challenged to go outside their comfort zones and discover new ways to approach their business goals; by sharing their fears and confronting difficulties, Scale Up members support one another. They also offer valuable best practices that have the potential to transform their businesses entirely. Even amid a global pandemic, the organization continues to host virtual events and provide beneficial content to their community. As many businesses have faced set-backs due to COVID, Scale Up members are sharing how they’ve learned to adapt and pivot through these unprecedented times.

Driving Diversity and Inclusion

Scale Up prides itself on creating inclusivity throughout the city of Milwaukee and beyond. One of the most obvious ways to achieve a more equitable and accessible business is through proper localization. There are over 55 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. alone illustrating the potential reach translation services can provide businesses. Additionally, studies have shown that 50-60 percent of consumers will not even consider purchasing from a company whose website is not available in their native or preferred language. Businesses may be missing out on potential customers simply by not educating themselves regarding these consumer behaviors and preferences.

“The major reason a company should consider translating at least their website, if not all of their written content, is pretty simple,” explained Colleen Beres, Director of Business Strategy at Terra. “It all comes down to the reach of your audience.”

If localized accurately, translated websites and collateral materials will often provide an unexpected return on investment as well as breeding brand loyalty. But translation services in Milwaukee should go further than just offering multi languages via marketing channels. Localization is part of the customer experience. It’s important to create an inclusive space where what matters to your customer, matters to you.

“We all want to develop new relationships. The easiest way to do that is to speak the same language,” Colleen added. “Communication is an innate component of being human.”

While services like Google Translate feels like an accessible resource to employ for translation needs, proper localization of your materials should be left to professionals in order to properly resonate with the intended audience.

5 Questions with Terra Translations

Colleen recently participated in a Scale Up video series. The series is titled “5 Questions With,” in which Colleen offers insight to the Language Service Provider industry and explains why businesses might hire a translation service in Milwaukee versus utilizing software like Google Translate.

In the video, Colleen answers the following questions, shares an impressive case study from Amtrak, and offers a complimentary one-hour consultation to Scale Up members:

1. Why should I use translation in my business? 

2. If I use translation, should I have a bilingual staff?

3. Why should I use a service provider over an engine like Google Translate?

4. What kind of ROI can I expect from using translation?

5. I’m interested in translation, but where do I start?

Lectora Inspire and the Localization of E-Learning Courses

Throughout the world, despite all of our differences, there is one thing most of us can agree on. Education matters. Thanks to technology, education has left the confines of the classroom and can be accessed globally online. This is where e-learning courses come in handy. Skills can be taught and knowledge can be shared through these digital courses. This is especially helpful for companies looking to train employees on complex software or to distribute safety trainings to a large workforce. In order to spread the reach of an e-learning course, localization may be necessary. Tools such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and Lectora Inspire can be used to make the translation and localization of e-learning courses much simpler. 

What is Lectora Inspire?  

Lectora Inspire is an authoring tool that can be used during the localization process. This tool allows the creator to export a RTF file that contains the text included in the course. Lectora Inspire offers “Translation Tool” and “Multi-language Publishing” features that assist with the process of translating e-learning course material. 

A powerful function of Lectora Inspire, is that it can create courses that can be viewed on multiple devices. This allows the user to easily convert existing courses into ones that are responsive to a variety of devices (such as a computer and a smartphone), without having to do the work manually.

How it Works

The Translation Tool extracts the text from the course and converts it to an RTF (rich text format) file. Once you have that file, you send it to your translator partner to make the necessary changes. The way this tool works, is that it publishes a number of strings automatically as part of your course. As some text is not exported with the RFT, its translation needs to be handled separately. Strings of text like default feedback, test results, and confirmation or error messages will need translation alongside the title text. 

Another handy feature of the tool is that it offers a “Multi-Language Publishing” option which is useful when creating separate courses in different languages. Once your main title is published, Lectora Inspire can publish a different version of the same course for each language you have a translation file for. 

Helpful Tips

Before you begin using Lectora Inspire for the localization of e-learning courses, there are a few helpful tips worth remembering:

  • To start, when you first create an RTF file, make sure you know which text you can and can’t alter. Some of the text in the file must be left untouched for the tool to work properly. Luckily, this text is highlighted red to remind you to leave it be. 
  • When working with RTF files, you should not open them or edit them in Microsoft Word. Doing so will automatically format your text which can cause issues upon re-importing it. It is recommended that you use WordPad or Notepad++ instead. 
  • It is also important to remember that there might be additional resources in your course that may need translating like audio or video files. As well as any attachments or documents that require updating.

A Doorway to Subtitling: Open or Closed. About Subtitling Types and Styles

On the internet we can watch a movie, read the news, explore endless options of items to purchase, order food and even take online courses, among countless other actions. We have access to that content (text, video, images, audio) across the globe because, in most cases, it is available in different languages. This is possible due to media localization, a process that not only involves the translation of text or audio but also other services, such as subtitling, graphic design, web design, audio recording, etc.

Specifically, for translating e-learning courses and audiovisual material, subtitling is a very common resource. But there are many types and styles of subtitling available when deciding how to translate content, depending on every need. The most important distinction is between closed captioning and open subtitling, because their aspect, audience and function are different.

1) Closed Captioning

Closed Captioning is a specific type of subtitle, an accessibility resource. Its function is, primarily, to make content available to people who have hearing impairments. In real-time captioning (used in live shows or news programs), online subtitlers create a caption of what is being said so people can read it. They type, use a dictation software or a stenography system. Also, it is possible to generate a caption file offline, with pre-recorded material.

Some of the Closed Caption characteristics are the following:

  • It includes sound effects, such as [laugh], [music], [thunder].
  • They can be turned on or off with a remote control (in TV systems).
  • Audio language and text language are the same. 
  • It’s widely used in e-learning courses, streaming platforms and TV.
  • Text is displayed on a black background.
  • It’s also useful where silence is required (offices, waiting rooms) or as a hearing support (to learn languages, bad audio quality).

2) Open Subtitling

Open Subtitling is the most common type of subtitling, the one we can find in movies or programs in foreign languages. Its function is to translate source text and audio into another language.

However, SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing) are a type of open subtitle that has another purpose. They have the same function as Closed Captioning but look like common subtitles.

The main characteristics of open subtitling are the following:

  • In traditional TV systems or theatres, subtitles cannot be turned off, because they are embedded in the video.
  • Subtitles are displayed without a contrasting background.
  • Audio language and text language are different: it’s a translation.
  • In SHD, audio and text language are the same.
  • SDH have sound effects and speakers’ identification.

Rules and Guidelines

Before working on a subtitling task, it’s important to know if the project has any technical parameters,  as well as preferences about subtitling type and style, speakers’ IDs treatment and letter case. 

Furthermore, subtitlers must comply with the specifications provided in customers’ style guides, if any, which set style and technical expectations for the captioned or translated text.

As we can see, there are a lot of options when looking for a media localization solution. All of these promote inclusion while helping clients’ audiences expand one subtitle at a time.

The Virtual Conference – Some Thoughts and Takeaways on LocWorld 42

Unprecedented.  Virtual.  Pivot.  Since March 2020, our daily conversations have been saturated with a combination of vocabulary reserved for a unique scenario most people never fathomed they would experience – a modern day global pandemic.  The world has worked to persevere with an attitude of flexibility, productivity, and efficiency, but overwhelmingly people are missing the opportunity for in-person, human interaction. It is sad to say it, but the novelty of Zoom happy hours have definitely lost their luster and the more serious situation being considered is how industries will work to cultivate new ideas, spark innovation, and connect with colleagues as the virus continues to loom.  One idea – the virtual conference. 

Like many professionals in the translation and localization industry, the team at Terra Translations was primed and excited to take on LocWorldWide 42, which was scheduled for the end of July in Berlin, Germany. Since its inception, the LocWorld organization has created a “marketplace of the localization industry”, initiating an opportunity for networking and knowledge exchange. So, it was only fitting that LocWorld leadership did not shy away from forging ahead to deliver the benefits of LocWorldWide, but on a virtual platform for their first online conference.  Like many maiden voyages, some things were smooth sailing and there were a few bouts of rough waters.  At the end of the day, thought provoking ideas were debated, organizers and participants had great attitudes, and there were a lot of laughs!

What can you expect from a virtual conference? Here are some things to keep in mind.

The pluses

If you are a regular at industry events, a virtual conference can create an opportunity to see some new faces.  A major perk of LocWorldWide 42 was that it created access for many people who had not been able to budget or justify the costly expenditure of a global conference in the past.  In addition to no global travel or shuffling from exhibition halls to banquet rooms, participants still had the benefit learning from keynote speakers and panel discussions while enjoying plenty of (their own) coffee and meeting peers from around the world.   

The virtual platform also allowed for the flexibility to change when things were not working so well.  For example, the LocWorld staff did a wonderful job of listening to participants who asked for more opportunities to directly network; two happy hour sessions were added at the end of each day allowing for plenty of connection and conversation.  The ability to pivot in real-time based on audience preferences was slick.

Some minuses

As to be expected, there were a few hiccups that would not have occurred had the conference been in-person, specifically involving technology and time zones.  The conference was executed on a couple of different platforms to accommodate presentations, virtual exhibitors, and networking.  Unfortunately, a few of the initial sessions did not load properly, so participants were unable to view them at the scheduled times and were left either with nothing to watch or an option to jump into another session.  The technical issues were resolved quickly, and event organizers were very transparent on their efforts to ensure it did not happen again.  Truly, it is important to keep an attitude of flexibility as everyone leans so heavily on internet connections and user platforms to function properly.  

The other major downside to this style of event is the time zone predicament.  Because the event was planned to take place in Berlin, the organizers kept with that time zone (Central European Standard Time) as a nod to the original event.  Instead of suffering through jet lag and being dazed and confused, but in the daylight, participants in other parts of the world were logging on in the middle of the night.  This might not sound like a major inconvenience, but when the alarm clock sounds at 2:00 am, employees may question how anxious they are to participate. Even with a learning curve, organizations like LocWorld are doing a great job of filling the void to help their respective industry advance and recover some semblance of normalcy.  Technology will improve, experiences will be enhanced, and the virtual conference just may become a permanent component within the professional arsenal for information sharing and networking.  Certainly, in person conferences, and all the ceremonious grandeur involved, will return and when they do, the world will be ready.

But for now, consider logging on for the next virtual industry conference; it is a good reminder that the world is a little smaller than we think.

5 Tips For Helping Employees Securely Work From Home

With many companies having no choice but to allow their employees to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, employers have had to swiftly make arrangements that enable them to do so. Running a company remotely is much more complex than just sending employees home with a laptop. Like in an office, security measures must be taken to protect a company’s data and employees. Which means some employers may be faced with trying to bring this same level of security to hundreds of homes as they formerly did to one office location. If you’re an employer whose employees are now enjoying the remote work life, consider taking these steps to ensure they’re working securely and safely. 

1. Determine a Security Protocol 

First things first, you’ll need to determine exactly what type of security measures your business needs and how you can implement those measures in your employees’ home offices. One simple step to take towards security is to ensure that employees have up-to-date security protection installed on any devices they utilize for work, such as virus checkers, firewalls, and device encryption. Remind employees to update their software when new versions become available or to activate automatic updating on work devices. 

Other aspects of your security protocol may involve resetting default passwords on home Wi-Fi routers, requiring all devices to be locked when an employee walks away from them, or providing digital backup systems or external drives to secure work, all of which can help strengthen your remote security measures. 

2. Provide Proper Training & Support

Once you’ve set a security protocol, it’s important to train employees on how to follow it correctly. Ongoing training will be necessary as you put new measures in place or as new security risks arise. Providing them with educational tools and access to an IT support team will help lessen confusion as well as emphasize how important your security measures are. 

3. Take Passwords Seriously 

When employees work remotely, their choice in passwords matter more than ever. Auditing their passwords will give you an idea of if their passwords are secure enough and if they need to be updated. You’ll want to educate them on the importance of having a strong password (aka not “password” or something personal that can be guessed) and provide password guidelines that you expect them to meet. Requiring them to update their passwords periodically is also an effort worth making. Implementing two-factor authentication across work devices and digital accounts can add an extra layer of security.

In case a key employee is not available, it is important the company has access to their passwords. There are programs such as LastPass that can help you securely manage employee passwords, in case you ever need to access them. 

4. Keep an Eye on Your VPN

Virtual private networks (VPN) can be used to secure data across a core system and remote employee devices. They do so by hiding a user’s IP address and their location and by encrypting data transfers. If your company already has a VPN in place, double check that all of your employees can receive protection from it remotely.

VPNs are susceptible to vulnerabilities, especially older versions, so it is important to keep your VPN up to date through your survey or firewall, whichever provides your VPN solutions. In some cases, this is simply the desktop of the remote user. 

5. Create Scam Awareness

New security scams pop up every day and there is a fresh batch circulating related to COVID-19, according to The National Cyber Awareness System. Ideally, someone on your team will stay abreast of the latest scams so your employees can be properly informed of what scams to look out for. At the very least, employees should be frequently reminded not to click on unsolicited emails or visit unofficial websites.