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  • Spanish to English translations

    I am going to also post this in the EMS forum.

    I was on an EMS call today and our patient spoke no English at all. If he hadn't called his brother on his cell phone to interpret and come to the scene we would have been delayed while waiting for a police interpretter to arrive on scene. To say the least it was frustrating to try and play charades with him to figure out the extent of his injuries.

    My Officer and myself began discussing what we could do to remedy this situation. Well, we tossed around the ideas of having either a cheat sheet with some basic qurstions in Spanish for the patient to read and try to answer from. The other was a question sheet in Spanish with a drawing that could be used to point where the injuries were. With the questions I suppose it wwould be most appropriate for the answers to written on the sheet in a multiple choice type of format. I suppose either one of these ideas could work for almost any language.

    Anyways we thought that maybe someone on here already ahd something in place that worked for them and would be willing to share.

    Personally I am thinking of taking some Spanish classes as I see this situation occurring more often in the future.

    Thanks for any help you may offer.

    FyredUp
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  • #2
    Buy one of those cheat books!

    Those cheat books you see out there are invaluable in my opinion!!! You know- the little pocket-sized spiralbound ones?? I have one that I paid 15 bucks for at a convention somewhere, and it has paid for itself time and time again! They contain names of drugs in alphabetcal order, the uses and average doses, charting assistance, EKG rythems, Pediatric info.....Haz Mat stuff......lots of stuff that you dont deal with on a normal basis!! They also contain tranlation phrases, like:
    -We are here to help you
    -Where does it hurt?
    -Do you have trouble breathing?
    -Does this hurt?

    There is also a page that you show to the patient- is explains in their language, to point out where on their body the pain is, and that you are Paramedics, there to help with the medical emergency. Mine has spanish, russian, and some asian languages.

    Hope this helps! Language barriers can be frustrating! But when you break through, the people are so greatful, and wont stop shaking your hand, or thanking you in their way!

    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

    Comment


    • #3
      Uhhhhh...........

      I just yell "Federale" a couple of times. Everyone sits down and shuts up and waits for a real Federale or, if I'm real lucky, an interpreter. Seriously, this is a growing problem here, and I don't have an easy answer. Hopefully, some of you who deal with this on a regular basis will share your tips of the trade.... Stay Safe....
      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
      In memory of
      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

      IACOJ Budget Analyst

      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

      www.gdvfd18.com

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      • #4
        We're seeing more and more Spanish speaking people in my area. I remember enough from high school to really offend somebody, but never really knew anywhere near enough to do a medical assessment.

        The area north of me is starting to see a lot of Somali immigrants. That has got to be a treat to find an interpretor for that.
        Steve Gallagher
        IACOJ BOT
        ----------------------------
        "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

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        • #5
          I find that if you defribrillate them, regardless of the medical reason, the need for a translator no longer exists.
          Unless a hospital teaches medical terminology, I don't think that taking a course in Spanish will help. There are different dialects and quite honestly they speak too fast to understand. If you ask them something in Spanish they will think that you completely understand every word that they say. I took two years of Spanish and can pick up some of the words but I feel very silly trying to speak it. Also, don't expect that they can read it. There was a Hispanic kid in one of my classes that spoke only Spanish at home but never learned to write it. He spoke faster than the teacher could understand but was failing because he never really had to read or write it. There is no way to become fluent in every language of every citizen that may pass through your town.
          Northeast Fire Photos

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          • #6
            I live in an area that is 60% hispanic, and 40% white. I find most of the hispanics know more english than what they let on. We have EMS personel and law enforcement who do a good job of enterpreting the language barrier.I do a decent job of hand signals and understand more than I speak. Most have no DL or insurance but have the fanciest pickup trucks you have ever seen. Some of my best friends are hispanic and they all beleive if they want to live in America, to learn the language and live the custom.

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            • #7
              All i have to say on this topic is if you come to live in any country and it has a different language then yours learn and speak it not speak your own language.

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              • #8
                ¿Oye, Quigger-Que paso? Why all the hostility, bro? The times, they are a-changin and you should to. Either improvise, adapt and overcome or get out of the way, chica. If you're into hardcore, innercity firefighting then chances are some of your citizens are first generation Americans and speak a language other than English. ¡Coño, lighten up! I'll bet your ancestors didn't speak the best English when they got here either.
                Love, BigDog

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                • #9
                  LOL!!!

                  Originally posted by cfdeng3
                  I find that if you defribrillate them, regardless of the medical reason, the need for a translator no longer exists.

                  I have had the same experience. Glad to find out I'm not the only sicko on these boards.

                  Seriously, the only spanish my ears are tuned to pick up on is generally accompanied by loud banging on the firehouse door: "Bombero, bombero...Mucho Fuego!!"

                  Anything else I pretty much tune out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Big10Dog
                    ¿Oye, Quigger-Que paso? Why all the hostility, bro? The times, they are a-changin and you should to. Either improvise, adapt and overcome or get out of the way, chica. If you're into hardcore, innercity firefighting then chances are some of your citizens are first generation Americans and speak a language other than English. ¡Coño, lighten up! I'll bet your ancestors didn't speak the best English when they got here either.
                    Love, BigDog
                    I can feel the frustration... ever had to have a 3 year old interpret for you, because the child in in the only person in the home that speaks English?

                    Ever have members of your immigrant population demand that you hire members of their community as interpreters for you at calls if you no hablo Espanol or no falamos Portugeuse?

                    Ever have some speak English to you until they are found at fault in an accident or are being charged with disorderly conduct, then all of a sudden they only speak Spanish/Portuguese/Russian/Chinese/Arabic, etc?

                    My great grandparents/gransparents came down from Quebec to work in the mills. They had to learn English to communicate and to get a job. My grandparents spoke "franglish" as they transitioned to learning the language. Other immigrant groups (the Polish, Italians, Russians,Chinese etc.) also learned the language of their new home.

                    The immigrants coming to America are the ones who have to "either improvise, adapt and overcome or get out of the way, chica!" ..and if they are illegal..then they should be deported. I am now putting on my fire entry suit..flame away!
                    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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                    • #11
                      People with poor English, or those who cannot yet speak the language, are just one more problem for the fire service to deal with and it's no different than dealing with any other problem. If your department operates in an area that has a large Hispanic or Latin American population, then I believe courses should be offered to help public safety officers learn the language. These people are here, they're staying here, and treating them like they are some kind of plague won't help a damn thing. Most of the immigrants I know either speak English better than most people around here, or are struggling to learn the language. English is a very difficult language to master, and my hat is off to immigrants who try. Just a few generations ago, my ancestors could speak nothing but German. Many of them lived in communities where most people were of German descent, just like many other ethnic groups have done, and are still doing. There's nothing wrong with this. The transition will eventually be made, especially by the children of these immigrants. Immigrants should be welcomed and treated fairly, not ostracized because they are different.
                      A local man, origianally from Scotland, came by to pick up a prize he won in a contest we recently had. I couldn't understand a word he said, even though he was speaking perfect English! What do we do with him? Require him to learn Southern dialect, too?
                      Member IACOJ

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                      • #12
                        New Hampshire's E-911 system uses this "Language Line" that we can take advantage of on a scene by contacting 911 ourselves. Through powers beyond my comprehension, dispatchers can link to an interpreter for any of a hundred (+/-) different languages out there. This service has never been needed by me, but it would seem to me this takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. I mean, sure a physical assessment is possible no matter what the language is, but in answering questions or describing the problem, we can easily get stuck. Check out the article I found:

                        Stork gets assist from 911

                        By Jesse J. DeConto, [email protected]

                        PORTSMOUTH — Only four days old, Tazue Nakaza doesn't speak English, Japanese or any other language, but someone who speaks both helped bring her into the world.

                        Her father, Kouki Nakaza, 43, was frantic when his wife Mayumi, 40, went into labor Monday morning. He called 911, and dispatcher Adam Sargent understood Nakaza's broken English just well enough to know the baby was on the way.

                        Sargent immediately notified the Portsmouth Fire Department, which dispatched an ambulance to the family's home. Then, using the Enhanced 911 system on his computer, Sargent dialed up the Language Line Service, initiating a three-way call between himself, the father and a Japanese interpreter.

                        "Our telecommunicator gave them childbirth instructions through this protocol," said Wanda Hemeon, spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Bureau of Emergency Communications. "The baby girl was born just seconds before Portsmouth Fire Department EMS arrived on scene. At last report, mother and baby are doing fine."

                        Mayumi and Tazue spent Monday and Tuesday at the hospital before going home on Wednesday. Both are healthy.

                        "No problems," said Kouki Nakaza, who moved his family to Portsmouth last August so he could take a job at Sakura, a Japanese restaurant on Pleasant St. He worked as a sushi chef in the Southwest and in Los Angeles after he and Mayumi moved to the United States from Japan about a decade ago. They also have children aged 2, 4 and 6.

                        "This is No. 4," said Nakaza, who had never delivered a baby until Monday at 7:17 a.m. "This is a special case."

                        "In any emergency situation such as this, clear communication with a 911 caller is crucial," Hemeon said.

                        The state's 911 service receives more than 350,000 calls each year. Last year, 911 dispatchers used the Language Line Service 555 times.

                        "In my recollection, this was the first actual childbirth (using an interpreter)," Hemeon said.

                        Although the most common language barrier is Spanish to English, Language Line interpreters also know Vietnamese, Russian and Portuguese.

                        In fact, Hemeon said, "When faced with an emergency, non-English-speaking citizens and visitors have instant access to over 140 different languages and dialects. This Language Line Service is available through 911, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

                        Translated into English, Tazue's name means "crane on the sea."
                        ~Kevin
                        Firefighter/Paramedic
                        --^v--^v--^v--^v--
                        Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
                        Dennis Miller

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                        • #13
                          People....

                          My concern is this and only this, how to serve a growing population in my response area.

                          I thank those of you that offered constructive advice.

                          FyredUp
                          Crazy, but that's how it goes
                          Millions of people living as foes
                          Maybe it's not too late
                          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Fyred... what's up? You wrote specifically about language barriers. Is that not what people responded about? I fail to see a problem here.
                            ~Kevin
                            Firefighter/Paramedic
                            --^v--^v--^v--^v--
                            Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
                            Dennis Miller

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              kghemtp....

                              Did I say there was a problem?

                              I said I appreciated those that offered constructive advice.

                              FyredUp
                              Crazy, but that's how it goes
                              Millions of people living as foes
                              Maybe it's not too late
                              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                              Comment

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