Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a great amount of time-sensitive information has been released that isn’t readily available in many languages other than English. English-proficient speakers are even having trouble keeping up with all of the new information. Translation services have increased recently, but not fast enough for the growing population of limited English-proficiency speakers. More than one in five US residents speak a foreign language at home, and 25.6 million of those people speak very little English.
Mariel Fiori, the cofounder and managing editor of La Voz magazine, has seen the need for bilingual information with the pandemic negatively affect vulnerable communities. Although the lack of translation services and multilingual resources is not a new problem, the pandemic has hindered the progress that the US was making.
Veronica Martinez-Cruz, a translator and interpreter, explained that translation and interpretation involve more than just a person being bilingual. She said, “In order to ‘transport’ the source language to the target language, we have to be able to transmit emotions, feelings without disrespecting both languages. Not every organization is familiar with language justice, and that creates a big gap between the community.”
The population of limited English-proficient speakers and their need for inclusivity continues to grow. These two women are working hard to get better translation services available, especially during these times.
Source Author: Valerie Pereyra