Columbus-based Access 2 Interpreters is removing the language barrier for Central Ohio Businesses. Interpretation services are available in 180 languages to reflect the growing diversity of the city.
Founder Yana Schottenstein immigrated to Columbus from Russia in 1992. Her PhD in Linguistics helped her see the need and importance of well-trained interpreters, and the lack of such training in the Columbus market.
While teaching English as a Second Language, Schottenstein’s students would ask for her help in translating a document or navigating an appointment. She joked with students, saying she spoke two languages, not 70. Joking aside, these questions made her see the bigger picture – there was a need for these services in Columbus.
“These interactions gave me an idea of a businesses and the importance of providing equal opportunity and access to services for people who do not speak English at the beginning of their lives in the United States,” she says.
Access 2 Interpreters provides translation and interpretation services to Ohio residents in an impressive number of languages.
“We provide face-to-face interpretation services in over 70 languages throughout Columbus, Central Ohio and Ohio,” Schottenstein says. “We also provide telephone interpretation services in over 180 languages and translation services in over 50 languages nationwide.”
When it comes to services, interpretation and translation fill different needs. Interpretation is oral to oral and can be done in person or over the phone. Translation is for written documents or information. Access 2 Interpreters translates all kinds of texts, ranging from websites, to training or instruction manuals, to labels and legal documents.
“Whether participating in an international conference call, translating a product user manual or employee training guide, or communicating with a client or patient, most organizations will at some point require the services of a professional interpreter and/or translator,” she says.
Access 2 Interpreters primarily works in the medical or social services fields, with some clients coming from the legal field.
The company staffs several full-time interpreters fluent in the langues most in-demand in Columbus – Spanish, Somali and Nepali. Schottenstein notes the consistent need for Spanish and Somali language services, but has recently found a growing need for Nepali translators.
The access in Access 2 Interpreters means 24/7/365. Clients can schedule services or reach out for emergency needs at any time of the day.
Building a pool of interpreters has proven to be a challenge. Access 2 Interpreters is constantly recruiting while building relationships with local communities to find individuals. However, becoming a translator or interpreter requires more than knowing another language.
“It’s not enough to have a bi-lingual ability, today interpreting is a profession, not a hobby,” she says.
To develop talent, Access 2 Interpreters started the Access Academy. The academy teaches individuals different skills and knowledge they will need to be a professional in the field. They start with the basics like interpreter boundaries and codes of ethics, but have also developed special curriculum that covers basic legal and medical terminology, taught by professionals in the field.
Access 2 Interpreters was recently awarded the International Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Ohio Chapter of the International Entrepreneur. The award recognizes a thriving business that was started in Ohio by someone born outside of the U.S.
For more information, visit access2interpreters.com.