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Avoiding Eight Translation Traps: Planning Multilingual Communication for Your District
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Avoiding Eight Translation Traps: Planning Multilingual Communication for Your District


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  • 1. Avoiding Eight Translation Traps: Welco me Planning Multilingual Communication for Your District
  • 2. Agenda 1. Introductions 2. Culture in the Classroom 3. Avoiding the Eight Traps 4. Tips, Tools and Resources 5. Q & A
  • 3. Presenters Lillian A. Tsai, President, TsaiComms Lillian Tsai is founder and president of TsaiComms, LLC, a cross- cultural consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon, that specializes in bridging cultural gaps across differences. Prakalpa Bastianpillai, VP Operations, viaLanguage Client services management including K12 Business unit 14 years experience in Operations Management with Quality and Continuous Improvement focus Leslie Iburg , Moderator, viaLanguage Focus in marketing communications for the K12 and Healthcare Business Units at K12Translate and viaLanguage. Previous experience working directly with ESL/ELL students and adults.
  • 4. K- Multicultural K-12 Communication (Leslie)6 Meeting the challenges… • Effective communication in changing classrooms • Minimize cost and time • Increase parental involvement
  • 5. Planning Your Multicultural Communications merhaba ¡Hola! hei hujambo Hello! halló ! zdravo
  • 6. Trap 1: Failure to Recognize Cultural Norms & Differences in the Classroom - Shift in faces and voices in America’s schools over last 30 years • Religious practices • Parental involvement - Solution • Develop closer relationships with children and parents
  • 7. Trap 2: Literacy Levels and Readability (Lillian) - An increase in diversity of language and differences in cultural values and beliefs • Student vs. parent literacy • Multi-generational differences • Cultural norms affect active involvement
  • 8. Trap 3: Plan for Content and Languages (Prakalpa) - Is my content translation ready? • Write content that can be used by multiple teams and easily updated. • Avoid jargon, slang and cultural references that won’t translate well. • Keep content simple to limit the cost of future edits/changes. - Is this the right language? • Essential to understand the linguist preference and regional nuance of your audience. • Use terminology and style of a specific culture or region.
  • 9. Trap 4: Translation Oversight (Lillian) - It’s not just about words… • Cultural nuances, context, fonts, non- Romanized languages, compound words, dialects and other influences. • Technology
  • 10. Trap 5: Empty Toolbox Thinking ( Prakalpa) Set yourself up for success Create and leverage your AssetTrio – Style Guide – Glossary – Translation Memory
  • 11. Translation Memory-What is it? (Prakalpa) Translation Memory (TM) is a database tool that allows you to save translations and recycle previously translated segments for future use. – Bi-directional tool – Needs upfront time and investment – Stores segments that are previously translated – Compares new segments against the Memory – Drives consistency Documents TM Translation Memory
  • 12. Trap 6: Quality Control (Prakalpa) – Work with experienced, native speaking translators that understand US education system – Create Asset Trio: Style Guide, Glossary, TM – Involve community reviewers
  • 13. Trap 7: Plan Ahead and Save (Prakalpa) – Translations are ad hoc and not well-planned – Prioritize the most spoken languages – Different documents add up and cost time and money – Incorporate compliance documents in your annual budget For instance, in a parent letter, instead of writing: ----------------------------- Dear Mrs. Lopez, I am writing to let you know that on September 1st, Jose will begin Academically Gifted classes. ----------------------------- You could phrase the sentence: ----------------------------- Dear Parent, I am writing to let you know that on DD/MM/YYYY, your child will begin classes through the XXXX Program.
  • 14. Bundle Translations (Prakalpa) !" # % %& ' $ !% #
  • 15. Trap 8: Share, Reuse and Recycle (Prakalpa) You are not alone… – Work with your Language Service Provider to archive past projects for later use – Reuse and share translations within your school district – Centralize Translation Memory – sharing across the district
  • 16. Summary (Leslie) Recognize cultural impact Plan, plan, plan Utilize the right tools, technology and teams
  • 17. Resources (Leslie) – TsaiComms • – The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools • – National Center on Immigration Integration Policy – • – US Department of Education • – Office of Refugee Resettlement •
  • 18. Thank You! (Leslie) Contact K12Translate: Online: Blog: Email: