Translation, please.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mstnteacherlady, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Jul 13, 2008

    If your school does not have a translator, how do you get notes (required to translated) translated to send home? I do not trust myself because I cannot correctly arrange the words in a sentence in Spanish. Free translation sites won't work because they are sometimes wrong or give the translation for a different meaning of a word.

    How do you go about getting those notes translated?
     
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  3. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2008

    This book has forms and letters that I have used in the past.
     
  4. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Check with your district - they may have a translator available.

    We sometimes ask for parent volunteers to help translate, and we've even been known to occasionally give extra credit to kids to help with translation :) Not for legally required notices, of course - just "Hey, the school picnic is coming up!" sort of things.

    I also have a little booklet (96 pages) called "Teachers' Messages for Report Cards." It gives translations for report card messages, personality problems, attendance, and end-of-school messages, as well as adjectives and phrases. It's published by Frank Schaffer, and can be found at the website of the same name.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    We get our ESL teacher to do it because she is fluent in Spanish, but one word of advice. Don't assume that just because someone speaks Spanish that they can also read it. Many people that come from Mexico, Central and South American countries were not blessed with a free education. We sometimes forget that because all people in the United States are offered a free education that other parts of the world do not do this. I've had 6 students whose parents spoke no English -- only Spanish. Only 1 of the parents could actually read Spanish. For the others, I used to get our receptionist (who was fluent) to call and read the note to them.
     
  6. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2008

    We recently hired a new secretary who speaks Spanish. The unwritten requirement was that whoever was hired need to be fluent in Spanish.

    We have had a parent volunteer translate the notes or even a responsible 5th grade student, if the notes weren't sensitive in nature.
    Good luck! :)
     
  7. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Yes, I had a student last year that spoke a language other than Spanish and English. That's why we always send notes home in English and Spanish. Fortunately, all of my students next year are becoming quite fluent in English and can read / speak English very well, so they will at least be able to read the English and let their parents know what it says if there are issues. I am sending a note to parents over the summer...our ESL teachers are changing over the summer, so we have no idea who will be at our school.
     
  8. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Has anyone else used the book that was mentioned earlier in the post?
     
  9. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Good point Rainstorm! I hadn't thought of that. Definately something I will be aware of now!
     
  10. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    I purchased it this summer but have yet to use it.
     
  11. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    because you haven't gotten around to it or because it wasn't helpful?
     
  12. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    When I was an innkeeper, I served guests from Austria and France who spoke no English. I got on-line and we communicated via bablefish.

    The system wasn't perfect, but I was able to confirm check out dates, direct guests to area restaurants, and take breakfast orders.

    http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url
     
  13. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    For Spanish and Russian it's pretty easy. Our ELL specialist will check any notes I've written myself or translated online. Her aid speaks Russian, and she will make phone calls for me.

    The problem arises with the Hmong, Mien (no written language, so notes are an impossibility), Lao, Cambodian, Hindi, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Tagalog, and Vietnamese speaking parents.

    With as many languages as we have in our district, we usually just send the note home and hope the parent has a neighbor who can help him or her if need be.
     
  14. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I used my ancient memories from high school Spanish and an online translator, and had my student check it. He was responsible, and didn't laugh at me (much!). Interestingly, he had me change something because he said it was too formal and his mom wouldn't get it, so he "un-formalized" it for me. He and his brother were the first to attend school in his family.
     
  15. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Well, luckily for me, I am the Spanish teacher so I've never needed anyone to translate for me. Sometimes, however, as a non-native speaker, I may run something by one of the native Spanish speaking Spanish teachers, but I can communicate fully on my own. I do make calls sometimes for teachers who don't speak Spanish. Once during my student teaching, I had to make a call for a teacher who was worried about an absent student because his students (her friends) had told him that they were worried because she'd been talking about committing suicide. The teacher had been calling all of her contact numbers but the only one that answered was a Spanish only speaking relative. So he brought me in and I talked to her. Scary stuff, but thankfully, the student was fine. The parent had pulled her out for the day for a doctor's appointment.
     
  16. Teacher379

    Teacher379 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2008

    I'm bilingual in English and Spanish, but sometimes I can't find the actual word or phrase that I'm looking for. There's a free site www.freetranslation.com that I use occassionally when I can't think of the right word to use. However, it's a rough translation. Sometimes, it doesn't translate the right way. But it is a start. I use the translator and then have the CLFs at my school check it for me.

    I hope this helps.

    Good luck! :2up:

    -Crystal
     
  17. smannes

    smannes Companion

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    This was hard for me this past year. We have 2 ESL teachers who won't translate papers for us. We have a principal who speaks Spanish fluently - who also won't translate. We have a district translator who comes to the school once a week to translate and she's usually backed up with the papers the school needs sent home. So, this past year I used an online free translator. It may not have been perfect but it got the point across. I really didn't have any other option unfortunately.
     
  18. Carmen13

    Carmen13 Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Ask help here on A to Z. There are Spanish teachers here that will help you out, I'm sure.
    I would ask them to translate your frequently used notes/sentences.
     
  19. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2008

    We have a translator housed within our building that helps with the Spanish communication, but one recent post was exactly right - don't count on it that all of those parents can read in any language. I'm lucky enough that the parents will come out and tell me - I can't read or write in English or in Spanish. It makes it much easier to know that up front. Even parents who can speak English well enough to be understood may not have a handle on reading/writing in any language.

    So, we have a fluent translator within our building, and we also have an "international office" that will help with languages other than Spanish. They will even take registrations from parents who can't handle the forms in English at the school, and translate the info for them. See if your district has that available. Ours even provides sign language interpreters for deaf parents.
    Kim
     
  20. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2008

    I had tons of parents that spoke Spanish this year, one Brazillian student and parent, and one child whose parents spoke Vietnamese. Fortunately, for the Spanish-speaking students there were a lot of people on staff that could help. I took Spanish in high school and can understand it enough to read letters parents write to me but not write it.

    The father of the Vietnamese student as well as the mother of a Brazillian student spoke some English so I just tried to make sure the notes were easy to read.

    The ESOL translator did tell me though that a lot of parents who speak Spanish cannot read it because they didn't have the wonderful educational opportunities their children are getting.

    I used a book called Hola! Communicating with Spanish Speaking Parents for the form letter type stuff, like field trip or your child is missing work. http://www.amazon.com/Hola-Communicating-Spanish-Speaking-Parents-Apple/dp/1564178986

    Lastly, one time Friday afternoon 15 minutes before school let out a little girl came up to me and told me she needed a note for her dad to let her bring her cell phone on the field trip- the kids were supposed to bring one if possible. Nobody was around to translate and she didn't know Spanish well so I wrote what I wanted and a very trustworthy student translated it into Spanish ,then I read it to check it over, I could read Spanish enough to see it was ok, so I let it go. It was the only thing I could do.
     
  21. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Has anyone used iGoogle to translate?
     
  22. GD2BQN

    GD2BQN Comrade

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    Please understand that translating is time consuming and although not difficult -moving words around can be a pain in the (*&^%%$ . I get a headache after translating and it's something that is above (way above) and beyond my classroom duties. I had to test our ELL students in our bldg. while at the same time keeping my regular classroom duties (4th grade). I had to do this during our state assessments which did not go well with me. My priorities are MY students in my room (afterall, I am accountable for the progress) and then everything else is 2nd fiddle which cannot conflict with state testing.
     
  23. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Yeah, I'll agree. I don't mind doing a favor once in a while but it IS time consuming and can be a pain trying to translate a phrase correctly. I don't mind helping out from time to time, but I wouldn't want anyone coming to depend on me to help them translate everything that needs to go home in Spanish. Plus, I prefer to call parents than to write to them in Spanish. I know that a non-Spanish speaking teacher needs, and I feel bad for feeling this way, but I would resent being used like a free translation service every planning period. What I don't mind though is when a teacher has already written what they want to say in Spanish, however rough and broken it may be, and they just ask me to correct it. That I don't mind. I guess because it shows independence and initiative.
     
  24. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    I can understand that...I have at least attempted my letter. We, however, have a translator at our school whose job it is to translate for us if needed. She is not a teacher. She translates for meetings, phone calls, and our notes are required to be sent to her before they go home. She is not available over the summer, so I wanted to see what options other people used.

    Thanks for all the replies. :)
     
  25. alpha112378

    alpha112378 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2008

    There is another book called Spanish for Educators that has lots of things that would be used in a variety of situations. It is around $20 from Borders or Barnes and Nobles (can't remember which).
     
  26. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Borders. I have a copy. It's decent. Some of the stuff is oddly worded, or very specific to a Spanish speaking region, but I didn't see anything that would impeded understanding. It's pretty basic though.
     

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