Here Are Some of Most Popular Language Industry Tweets in the Time of Corona

Most Popular Translation and Interpreting Tweets During Peak of Coronavirus Crisis

We scanned the Twitterverse for the most popular tweets, bearing the top language industry hashtags with or without currently trending, corona-related hashtags, and here’s what we found.

The most popular tweet with the hashtags #xl8 and #Covid-19 is from linguist @MariamAboelezz, who shared a glossary she made of recurring corona-related terms for her scientific translation class, which has now gone remote. (At the time of writing, Mariam had garnered 179 Retweets and 562 Likes.)

Posts by associations of Translators and Interpreters (T&Is) generally get a fair amount of traction. For example, a post from the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) on best practices during the pandemic garnered the most retweets for the hashtags #1nt #coronavirus at this writing.

AIIC (@aiiconline) tweeted: “AIIC best practices for interpreting during the #Covid19 pandemic. #Interpreters should consult this guidance before taking on new assignments: [link] Stay safe, stay healthy! #coronavirus #1nt #uncrownthevirus”

FIT Europe’s corona-related post, got many retweets and likes as well. The European branch of the International Federation of Translators (@FIT_Europe) wrote: “Freelancers are not variables in the supply chain, press release by @SFTfr to draw the attention on what is happening on the T&I market. ‘The current health crisis can in no way justify unfair, unethical, abusive or even illegal practices.’ This is the moment for solidarity.”

A @FIT_Europe infographic figured in another recent tweet, which read: “More countries have let us know what measures their governments have taken to support T&Is in the #Covid_19 crisis: Luxembourg, Italy and Romania. Check out our latest blog post! #1nt #xl8 #solidarity #StayHome [link]”

While not bearing any trending hashtags, a tweet from Asetrad (@asetrad), an association in Spain that is also a FIT member, also gained traction: “Many translators, proofreaders and interpreters are already used to working at home. At times like these, when we are all asked to be responsible, we suggest you use the label #Asetradsequedaencasa to share tips for coping with confinement.” (Original tweet in Spanish)

Another popular corona-related post comes courtesy of Fundéu BBVA (@Fundeu), a group that promotes use of good Spanish in media. The group recommends the use of, for example, “infección,” not “infectación”; or “máximo” or “nivel más alto” instead of using the English “peak.” (Original in Spanish)

A tweet from the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ e.V.), dubbed the largest German professional association in the industry, pointed members to an overview of Corona emergency aid packages geared toward freelancers and small business owners.

@BDUe_eV wrote: “Important information, help and links for #interpreters and #translators on our #Corona special page [link] #BDUe #multilingual capable #xl8 #1nt #StayAtHome” (original post in German).

Meanwhile, manufacturer Televic Conference (@TelevicConf) tweeted that their recent work with the European Parliament had resulted in a one-interpreter-per-booth setup: “The impact of the coronavirus is being felt everywhere, including in the European Parliament. To keep meetings safe, we coupled multiple interpreter booths from different rooms in a single setup. The result is that one interpreter can work in a single booth for maximum safety.”

Middlebury Associate Professor and conference interpreter Barry Olsen’s comment on the Televic post gained equal traction. Wrote @ProfessorOlsen: “Given conference interpreters’ insistence on collocation in the same booth, who’d have ever thought that this would be a thing? #coronavirus #r1nt #1nt”

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters in the US recently tweeted a link to their remote interpreting resource page that gained a little bit of traction. According to @CCHIcertify: “Interpreters across the country are transitioning from onsite to remote interpreting and CCHI has a resource page to help each of you adapt to your new normal. #covid19 #coronavirus #1nt [link]

Another tweet from @CCHIcertify saluted key industry workers: “Please join us in tipping our hats to the brave #healthcare interpreters still working on the front lines! #covid19 #coronavirus #1nt #languageaccess”

Non-profit group ProPublica (@propublica) pointed out in a popular tweet that: “Even in normal times, those who don’t speak English have worse health outcomes for a range of routine procedures and can struggle to gain access to interpreters. Those gaps are magnified in times of crisis. [link]”

Speaking of normal times, we thought it good to end with one of the most-liked tweets using the hashtag #1nt, but without any corona-related kicker — which shows that old battles continue to be fought even during the time of corona.

It has to do with a defendant au fait with T&I roles, who figured in a March 31, 2020 tweet by federally certified court interpreter Judy Jenner (@language_news), who wrote: “Judge: ‘Has this document been translated into your native language?’ Defendant: ‘No, it’s been interpreted, orally. I don’t have a written translation. I’d like a translation.’ A first for this court #1nt. Impressive knowledge of the difference b/w translation + interpreting.”

In follow-on tweets, Jenner continued the brief narrative. After the proceedings, a lawyer remarked to her that “the defendant did not have a point.” To which Jenner replied by explaining the distinction between translation and interpretation. According to Jenner, “She loved learning about the distinction. Yay for spreading the word!”

The defendant’s reply, Jenner said, is “one I have never heard in court, and I’ve been a court interpreter for 10+ years.”