Unfortunately, many schools in the United States don’t offer any services ESL Classes for Spanish-speaking parents. For parents whose second language is English, a Spanish translator or bilingual staff member is often necessary to decipher the conversations in important meetings about their own children.

Parent-teacher meetings are essential to a child’s success at school; so many students are not given the opportunity for parental help when their parents are turned away from these meetings. Often, the schools simply don’t have the budget to afford translation services or hire translators to assist these parents, and their students sometimes slip through the cracks. However, one elementary school in South Carolina is going above and beyond to help these parents understand.

Park View Elementary Offers ESL Classes for Parents

A small school in South Carolina is actually going beyond the process of hiring a Spanish language translator. Instead, Park View Elementary is offering parents ESL classes for learning the basics of English. Parents can attend the night class at a community college for free, and childcare is even offered if the families cannot afford a babysitter.

Not only does the class help teach parents about speaking English, it also makes them more comfortable when seeking resources and help from their community when language barriers get in the way.

The ESL Classes are Run by Volunteers

From the teachers to the childcare providers, the class is run entirely by volunteers hoping to make a difference in the community. The community college even donated 12 iPads to help students gain a hands-on experience and use Spanish translation apps when necessary during the class.

Many of the parents were hesitant about the class at first, but are now enthusiastic and excited to attend every week. Many feel more comfortable and are able to attend meetings with their child’s teachers.

Communication is an essential part of any students’ education. Parents must be able to effectively communicate with teachers. Without this communication, parents wouldn’t know whether or not their child was falling behind. If they knew, they could try helping at home. Similarly, it’s important for parents to know when their child is doing particularly well in a certain subject.

Park View Elementary took this sentiment seriously and is now actively promoting this communication. Instead of hiring an English to Spanish translator for meetings, the school is helping parents understand for the rest of their lives.

Children pick up language much easier than adults. For that reason, it has become commonplace for elementary schools to integrate a bilingual program into the curriculum for students in Kindergarten up through grade five or so. After that, the student can decide whether or not he or she will stick with the Spanish language or try learning a new one.

However, based on the rapid rate at which kids learn language, they are usually able to speak it sufficiently by then. Shows like Dora the Explorer provide further evidence that children are encouraged to pick up Spanish early so that they won’t need a Spanish translation service later in life when the Spanish-speaking population has grown even larger in the United States. One grade school in Texas has adopted a novel approach to teaching students to speak Spanish.

School Offers Two-Way Dual Language Program

McDougal Elementary School in Texas has launched a bilingual program designed to make students bilingual and bi-literate. The goal of the program is for students to come out of grade school with a fluency and deep understanding of the Spanish language. The program is designed so that students learn certain subjects in English and others in Spanish.

Each class is a mix of Spanish-speaking and English-speaking students. After lessons, students are paired up with a speaker of the opposite language. The pairs try to solve problems in each language, and teachers often witness the students helping each other to understand, almost acting as English and Spanish translators for each other.

Teachers Rely Heavily on Gestures and Images

The teachers in the bilingual program rely heavily on gestures to maintain students’ attention and interest. One teacher explained that language is 80% non-verbal, so she makes sure images and hand movements are a major part of her lessons.

Though the results are not yet quantifiable, teachers say that they are seeing a major improvement in their students’ linguistic abilities. They went from speaking only one language to being able to provide English to Spanish translations at the drop of a dime.

By teaching children to become bilingual at an early age, we are setting them up to be fluent for life. This skill will come in handy when they enter the business world or any other facet of life that is culturally varied. At the very least, we might be saving them money on a Spanish to English translator some day.

The Orlando Magic basketball team has been broadcasting its games on Spanish radio since 1997. Each broadcast offers a play-by-play announced by Joey Colon. The broadcasts were originally aired when the team’s managers noticed how many Spanish-speaking citizens were interested in the outcome.

Instead of making them seek out a Spanish translation for every game, they decided to offer them a full broadcast in their native language. Though the broadcast was popular, it will be discontinued this season and moved to an online platform only.

Change is Partly to Measure Success

Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins explained that they were unable to prove how popular the Spanish broadcast was, so Spanish radio stations were unsure about how many listeners it would pull in. By moving the broadcast online, the team will be able to effectively determine how many people are tuning in.

Luckily for Spanish listeners, the show will not be cancelled and its popularity might eventually earn it a spot back on Spanish radio. Either way, listening to the online Spanish broadcast is much easier than using Spanish translation services to understand every play-by-play. Fox Sports Florida will also be airing 12 games on television in Spanish hosted by Joey Colon.

Most Companies are Moving in the Opposite Direction

It’s interesting to hear about a company eliminating one of their Spanish language translation services, as most companies are doing the complete opposite lately. Since the Spanish language is so commonly spoken in the United States, many companies are adding a Spanish section to their website or adding Spanish options to their marketing efforts and outreach.

While the team is not completely eliminating the broadcast, there is a good chance they will lose some fans by shaking up the routine. Many people without regular access to a computer will no longer be able to tune in. However, if the team can really prove how popular the broadcast is online, they might be able to gain enough profit and revenue to add a Spanish website or return to the usual Spanish radio broadcast format.

Philippe Moggio, the NBA vice president in Latin America, explained that basketball could easily be the second-most popular sport in Mexico behind soccer with the proper promotions and official Spanish translations. Only time will tell whether or not the Orlando Magic see more success and increased revenue or total failure in the move to online-only broadcasts.

When it comes to medical services and facilities, translation abilities can be a tricky thing. Not only would staff have to be bilingual to effectively communicate with patients who don’t speak English, but also both members of the conversation would need to know the meaning and words of specific medical terms and conditions.

For example, if someone can successfully hold a conversation in another language, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll know the proper term for a word like “laparoscopy” in that language. For one hospital in New Jersey, the language gap has consistently been a problem.

Like many cities in the United States, many residents speak Spanish as their first language. Until recently, one bilingual staff member performed all of the Spanish translations for the rest of the staff. However, a student intern changed the way translations were conducted for good.

Student Intern Made Major Changes to Hospitals Translation Tactics

Translation abilities in any workplace are important, which is why when Maria Lima from Brazil began her internship at CentraState Medical Center last summer, she saw the serious inefficiencies brought by the lack of Spanish translation services.

Because a single staff member had to run back and forth whenever anyone needed a translation, patients were waiting extra long for treatment, results, and even medical attention. During her internship, she started customizing all of the hospital’s quick translation guides so that they more effectively addressed the problems a patient might be having.

She created different guides for different departments and even created cue cards so that the staff could quickly interact with Spanish-speaking visitors.

Lima Customized the Material by Watching Interactions Closely

To determine what types of questions patients would have in each department, Lima actually sat in on many appointments and watched the patients’ reactions to certain things.

The guides fit the requirements of each department and also contain a translated diagram of the human body. That way, if a doctor is having trouble explaining a body part, he or she can use the diagram instead of waiting for a Spanish translator to help.

Spanish is a popular language in the United States, and the Spanish-speaking population only continues to grow. Especially in medical facilities, Spanish language translations are essential to the safety and health of the patients. With the help of innovative young minds like that of Maria Lima, these facilities will hopefully begin making their translation efforts more effective so that patients can be treated quickly and precisely.

Especially when it comes to medical and science-related terms, even the most skilled Spanish translator might run into trouble. It’s difficult enough to learn medical terminology in your native language, let alone the language you’re translating it into.

For that reason, BioReference Laboratories Inc. in New Jersey has opened the first Spanish-speaking medical facility to cater to the enormous Spanish-speaking market.

Laboratorio Buena Salud will be customized to suit the needs of the Hispanic community so that they can receive proper medical testing and any other lab services.

The Laboratory will be Bilingual with a Focus on Spanish

The labs in this Spanish-speaking medical facility will operate as any other Spanish business in the United States with bilingual capabilities. If necessary, they will also be able to handle the needs of English-speaking patients when necessary. However, unlike most medical facilities, there won’t be any need for Spanish translations as all signage and staff will speak Spanish.

Though the company is based in New Jersey, laboratory locations will be set up around the country so that people seeking Spanish services anywhere will be able to find a facility. Some services offered at the labs will include drug testing, pill identification, and specimen preparation.

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Spanish Services will Extend beyond the Actual Facility

In addition to providing clients with a full Spanish-speaking medical facility and staff, Laboratorio Buena Salud will also offer services to help patients and doctors before they even use the facility. They are launching an official Spanish translation version of their website so that customers can use it as a resource before or after visiting.

They will also have 30 Spanish-speaking customer service representatives at the call center 24/7. These staff members can answer any of the questions that patients or physicians have in Spanish without delay, often caused by the translation service.

Spanish Speakers and Translations

It’s important that Spanish-speaking citizens in the United States can get the proper medical care or testing they need despite language barriers. Often, Spanish translator services are too slow to help in emergency medical situations, so facilities like that of BioReference are necessary at this point.

The Spanish-speaking population is growing every day, so facilities that are fully capable of handling Spanish guests will probably become more plentiful over time. For now, BioReference is revolutionary in the designation of its labs specifically for the Spanish population, and these facilities will help thousands of people across the country.

Learn more about our accurate medical translation services.

Things you need to know before moving to a Spanish-Speaking Market

As election day draws near, Obama and Romney continue to get more fierce in their political advertisements. One theme of this year’s campaign is the high instance of Spanish campaign ads that have been translated to Spanish and some Spanish campaign ads that were created specifically for the Spanish audience.

Both candidates are desperate for the Latino vote, because it could sway the vote in their favor should they get it. In his latest attempt, Romney launched another attack ad against Obama that was in Spanish. Like most of Romney’s Spanish campaign ads, the subject of the ad is the lack of jobs and employment for Latinos in the U.S. thanks to Obama’s presidency.

New Ad is Better than Romney’s Translation Flop

While Romney’s ad is not necessarily original compared to the rest of his Latino ads in the campaign, it is much better than the botched Spanish translation ad he released a few weeks ago. One of his Spanish campaign ads was clearly a poor translation of an English ad to Spanish. While automated translation services work in certain situations, they should never be used when you’re trying to impress people, especially voters.

Inaccurate translations can often be offensive and confusing to those who speak the native language. Clearly, Romney learned his lesson, because this political ad was well translated, and he probably worked with Spanish-speaking professionals to create it.

The Spanish Vote is Crucial to Both Candidates

Obama’s win last year can be partly attributed to his focus on the Latino population. His official Spanish campaign ads helped him garner support, and he used a Spanish translator to speak directly to Latinos in person. Now, both candidates know the importance of the Latino vote, so they are both struggling to appear better in front of the Spanish-speaking population.

Many Latino voters live in the nine states that are most decidedly voting for Romney or Obama, so the opposite vote could switch the outcome.

Romney’s new ad is average in the scope of presidential campaign ads as a whole, but it is worlds better than the English to Spanish translation ads he was running before he got smart. When you’re dealing with something as important as a presidential election, you should never rely on automated translation services or computerized translators to do the work. Always work with professional translators to completely overhaul the text of the communication, or else you risk offending or confusing your audience.

As if booking travel wasn’t difficult enough in your native language, imagine trying to book a trip if you spoke a different language than the website was in. Finding prices for hotels, flights and even determining which airport is which would be extremely difficult. For that reason, Orbitz.com is launching the first ever Spanish language travel site to reach out to the Spanish-speaking population in the United States interested in travel.

The Orbitz Spanish website will make booking trips much easier for this population who previously needed to run every part of the process through a Spanish translator before finalizing plans.

Site’s Launch Celebrated with a Sale

In celebration of the Orbitz Spanish website launch, the travel company will be offering discounts to Hispanic United States citizens for certain trips. Specifically, the sale will feature 40% off on hotels in popular travel destinations such as New York, Miami, the Dominican Republic, and Cancun.

Travelers who often book these travel itineraries will likely be relieved at the fact that they no longer need to use a Spanish translation service, and the site will become the go-to travel booking destination for Hispanics in the U.S. Previously, Spanish-speaking customers could call the Orbitz hotline to book their travel with a telesales department, but now booking will be easier than ever online with the Orbitz Spanish website.

Spanish Site has Many Features

By using the new Orbitz Spanish website, Spanish-speaking individuals will have access to a wide variety of features. First, they’ll be able to access all of the same travel deal and sales that English-speaking customers have access to. Additionally, they’ll be able to use a Spanish-language mobile site so that they can access travel deals on the go.

Orbitz price assurance and other customer protection features will also be available to these customers. Years ago, Spanish-speaking people would need to visit a travel agency in addition to hiring a professional English to Spanish translator to assist them. Now, travel starting in the United States is a few clicks away.

As the Spanish-speaking population grows in the United States, many major companies such as Orbitz are making sure they offer them the same benefits as the English-speaking population. If this Orbitz Spanish website wasn’t made available, another online travel booking company would, and Orbitz would lose out on those sales.

Instead of seeking out a translation to Spanish on their own, U.S. Hispanics will soon have everything in their native language at their fingertips.

Sometimes, the translations of ancient writings or other pieces of art can give you a clear view into the history of your own country or culture. Popol Vuh is the sacred book of Guatemala’s K’iche people. They were indigenous to the country, and their name literally translates to “many trees.”

The book was originally written in the native language of K’iche, but there is now a translation to Spanish for modern readers. The joint project was a large undertaking, and it combined work by the Secretary of Culture and Arts of the State of Yucatan, the National Institute of Anthropology and History, and the CONACULTA, the Universidad Modelo, the Universidad de los Andes and a Venezuelan book publisher called The Other, The Same.

The Book Records Ancient History of the K’iche People

The book’s Spanish translation will prove valuable for people interested in history, as it will serve as a window into the ancient history of the K’iche people. Since many of the K’iche words used in the translation were not common in a modern context, the translation took an entire year to complete, even with such a large and powerful translation team.

The version of Popol Vuh about to be released is actually a bilingual version, as it also contains a translation into Yucatec Maya. Yucatec Maya is a Mayan language spoken in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Book to Include More than Just Sacred Text

In addition to the Spanish language translation of the sacred Mayan text written in Popol Vuh, the bilingual translation will also feature image captures of the original Mayan notes used in the translation and paintings of the images and characters referenced in the text.

That way, readers will get a full understanding of the ways the K’iche people were communicating to relay the messages. A native Mayan artist was also asked to illustrate thirteen significant engravings also referenced in the text.

To translate the ancient K’iche text, it took a large team of Spanish translators and cultural experts. However, the end result is invaluable, as it provides people all over the world with a new appreciation for a sacred work by the ancient K’iche people. To people from that area, the translation is as significant as the old written journals of Lewis and Clark, or the Native American journals found in the United States. History gives us a new perspective on our own lives.

Professional translators are tasked with the job of taking a piece of written work, video, or real-time conversation and translating it into another language. In some cases, these translations must happen in real-time, especially when translators are listening to a speech that they must relay to people in their native culture. Nowhere in the job description does it say that these translators have to be funny or witty. For that reason, jokes and one-liners can often get lost in translation. Even when the translators do have a sense of humor, much of language is lost when you try to translate idioms. This is certainly the case for a Spanish translator hired to interpret the press conferences of New Zealand rugby star Cory Jane.

Translators Needed at Rugby World Championship Press Conferences

Since the annual Rugby world championship is held in Argentina this year, journalists from the area make translators needed to make sure they can offer an English to Spanish translation for their audience. The stars of the New Zealand All Blacks team have been speaking at press conferences and other press events where very few of the journalists speak English. Usually, sports news can be translated after it has been printed, but people around the world are paying attention to the championship so quick reporting is absolutely vital.

One-Liners are Hard to Translate

New Zealand rugby player Cory Jane is known for his one-liners and humor. In fact, he lost his cell phone when he arrived at the championship, and Twitter followers were frantically asking why he hadn’t updated them with a funny anecdote in so long. At the press conferences in Argentina, he isn’t holding back, and the Spanish language translation simply cannot capture the essence of his humor. Unfortunately, translators are left confused and the Spanish-speaking audience is left in the dark.

Though the Argentinian news agencies are trying to be proactive in covering the Rugby world championship press conferences by hiring English to Spanish translators, there are some things that simply can’t be translated on the fly. If these interpreters had a few hours to look up the meanings of certain jokes and one-liners, they could effectively translate them. However, without knowing the cultural context, such things are nearly impossible to translate. No matter how funny or witty your professional translator might be, certain jokes and cultural words will be over their head and beyond translation.


Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have both been making a concerted effort to reach out to Latino voters in the 2012 campaign.

They have each come out with a myriad of Spanish political ads, both those created for a Spanish-speaking audience and those that are simply a Spanish translation of an existing ad. However, this year Univision will be making it easier for Latino voters to watch the presidential debate live with Spanish subtitles. In the past, Spanish-speaking people would have to wait until the debate was over to read translations or watch overdubbed videos.

This year, they can go on Univision’s website and watch the debate streaming live online with real-time Spanish subtitles. Presidential debates are an important way for voters to see which candidate they support based on where they stand on certain issues.

Republicans Tend to Offend Latino Voters

In 2008, only 30% of Hispanic voters in the United States voted republican. Experts say that this was most likely because of the debate over immigration reform, which is a touchy subject for the Spanish-speaking population in America.

The problem is not even the candidate’s stance on immigration; it is actually more an issue of the way the candidates approach the situation. Many Latinos feel under attack when a presidential candidate starts describing strict laws on immigration because they feel that the word “they” encompasses both legal and illegal immigrants. Unfortunately, that sentiment isn’t something even the most skilled Spanish translator could change.

Reaching Out to Naturalized Citizens

Experts agree that the Spanish language translation subtitles for the presidential debate in 2012 will be more effective in reaching out to the Latino audience, especially naturalized citizens. Since naturalized citizens all had to go through an arduous process to gain citizenship, many are eager to vote for the first time.

These citizens will most likely have their finger on the pulse of the election, and they will prefer reading the subtitles in their native language.

The Spanish translation for the presidential debate will likely be more effective in reaching out to Latino voters than political ads that have an official Spanish translation version because voters will feel as though they are seeking out information themselves rather than being fed the opinions of the candidates.

Thanks to the Internet and modern translation technology, Latino voters will be more engaged in the election than ever this year.

See also: The Year of the Latino Vote, Candidates Work to Release Better Spanish Campaign Ads, and Florida Becomes a Blue State Thanks to Latino Voters.

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