In most primary schools, colleges and universities, there’s a pretty high level of language proficiency among students, faculty and staff. Contrary to popular belief, though, these are not your school’s only constituents. You need to communicate with a broader audience that may not interact with the school every day… and may not necessarily speak the school’s primary language.
Most campuses have historically operated as if everyone spoke the same language, but statistics show that’s not the case anymore. In the United States, the number of English language learners (ELL) has grown over the years; some estimates predict that as many as 25 percent of public school students will be ELLs by 2025.
As this number increases, K-12 schools are providing translated materials and interpreters to accommodate the needs of these students. However, educational translation isn’t just for the students in the classroom. Your website, letters, emails and other communications have the potential to reach a multilingual audience – if they’re translated into the languages they speak.
When creating communications from your school or college, consider translating them to keep these key constituents up to date and engaged.
A recent study showed that English fluency among parents of U.S. students isn’t at 100 percent everywhere – in California, it only reaches 67 percent. Yes, this includes the parents of ELL students, but even students who are fluent in English may have parents or caretakers who aren’t. Include the parents of international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and you begin to appreciate the demand for multilingual educational content.
Translating your website and marketing materials is a great way to attract potential students from non-English speaking households. Once those students are enrolled, though, their parents need to receive and review legal notices, financial aid information and other important school announcements. In other words, translation of school materials is necessary to keep parents informed – and to meet the growing need for multilingual content.
Many colleges and universities are renowned for their research activities. Some researchers work alone, but several collaborate with colleagues located around the world. Even if these teams speak a common language, their research could resonate with audiences who speak multiple languages. That’s why translation is so essential to academic research.
Press releases, journal articles and research papers may be distributed to potential readers inside and outside the U.S. What’s more, these pieces may contain jargon and terminology that’s familiar to people in the field but no one else. Translating these kinds of documents requires more than just translation – it requires a translation team with the expertise and the background to ensure that even the most technical aspects of your institution’s research are accessible in other languages.
Thanks to sites like Coursera and Khan Academy, students of all ages can learn online. In addition to coursework on multiple topics, these sites also allow you to choose courses in languages other than English. If your institution offers online courses, you can increase the number of potential students by making them available in multiple languages.
The videos for these courses are available in one language, but subtitles and voice-overs make them accessible in others. Translating supplemental materials allows multilingual students to easily review them. Online courses were intended to reach a broader audience outside your school. Translating them makes this possible.
Your school has a much larger audience than just the people who attend classes every day. When you translate communications into multiple languages, you reach this audience more effectively .
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