Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did you understand me?

Getting into greater detail from the charts in the post above, here is the breakdown in the "other" language groups, comparing 2001 (on top) and 2008. Notice the relatively large increase in Thai speakers and the decline in Farsi speakers. Again, I welcome your theories for why the relative percentages of the groups might have changed.


Aron B said...

You have basically the same percentage of Farsi speakers as you did in 2001 (1.6% of all encounters now compared to 1.7% then). The relative drop in Farsi speakers appears due to the greater number of 'other' language encounters (6.7% in '08 compared to 5% earlier) - that is to say, you have a somewhat greater diversity of languages spoken during a small number of encounters.

Shari said...

Hi Paul,
First of all, thank you for your interest in always spotlighting diversity – whether it be language, staff or the diverse patient population we serve. We are lucky to have you at the helm and so supportive of the work interpreters do.
So, its interesting how the pie has shifted. I think the comments by Manuel, and the person who commented on Russian language shifts have some excellent points. Obviously, new immigration – and just plan ‘ole word of mouth influence our patient population to chose BIDMC.
I do want to point out that while there have been shifts in the changes – its important to note volume of interpreter encounters shown has more than doubled in the years from ’01 to ’08… so.. in fact, Russian volume is actually now a bit larger than it was in ’01! Slower growth than the other languages, but growth…. The same with Chinese.. Chinese volume has grown dramatically, more than doubling since ’01, but not eating up more pie because all the languages have continued to grow…including our friends the Persian/Farsi speakers ---’08 was their record year, albeit the growth has not mirrored the Spanish or Chinese growth. In ’07 Haitian Creole was shifted from “Other languages (non-staff), to a staff position – also influencing the Pie Charts. I could go on…but won’t! we love what we do – serving those who need language assistance…..