Translation Bureau: Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates—April 24, 2020
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Response to COVID-19
Challenges in providing services while physical distancing
The Translation Bureau (TB) is committed to supporting its employees and has implemented a number of safety measures to ensure their health and safety while continuing to provide translation, interpretation and terminology services. Only employees who have to provide critical services that cannot be provided remotely are permitted in the office, and the bureau will continue to ensure best practices to ensure employee safety:
- All employees in the office must wash their hands frequently and keep a safe distance of 2 meters from one another
- Cleaning and disinfecting wipes have been made available in all our offices
- Crews have undertaken more frequent cleaning of items in frequent use (door handles, elevator buttons, work surfaces, etc.), and buildings are now cleaned twice a day
Special measures have been taken to protect the safety of interpreters who must be present on site:
- Interpretation booths are disinfected twice daily and disinfectant wipes are readily available for interpreters
- Various safety measures have been taken to distance interpreters from one another, such as additional interpretation booths and partitions within the booths
- Free parking spaces have been made available to interpreters on Parliament Hill so that they do not have to use public transportation
In response to COVID-19, TB’s operations have been altered to respond to parliamentary needs, especially for committee meetings via teleconference or videoconference and the possibility of a virtual return of parliament. The TB has been:
- testing various remote simultaneous interpretation platforms with parliament
- increasing use of sign language interpretation, at daily press conferences given by the Prime Minister, ministers and the chief public health officer
Supporting the Government of Canada
- The TB continues to offer services virtually
- The bureau is in regular contact with 16 priority departments to offer additional translation support
- The bureau is also implementing special arrangements with departments to facilitate the billing process
The Glossary on the COVID-19 pandemic
The current global situation requires highly effective communication. The vocabulary used must be understood by everyone, and it is important that all documents have consistent terminology. The Translation Bureau’s Terminology Standardization Division has developed a standardized bilingual glossary to define the basic concepts related to COVID-19 and to promote clarity in communications. The glossary on the COVID-19 pandemic was developed based on the scanning of scientific articles and newspapers as well as Canadian government and World Health Organization documents.
This glossary is designed as a tool for language professionals as well as those responsible for disseminating information in the context of this pandemic. It is a living document that will be updated and improved on a regular basis. In it, you will find terms from the fields of medicine, sociology and politics, among others.
The glossary on the COVID-19 pandemic is available on-line, and its terminology has also been added to TERMIUM Plus®, the Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank. The terminologists will be monitoring the media and updating the glossary as the terminology evolves.
Looking forward post COVID-19
The Translation Bureau remains ready to return to its regular operations as soon as the state of emergency is over and will continue to take measures to ensure the health and safety of its employees.
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