How do we produce a translated document that is culturally and linguistically useful?
Fortunately, the US Government has provided guidance on the subject. Gaucha Translations has been following these best practices.
First of all, translators and interpreters are covered in government guidance documents by the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards. Standard 5 is Offer communication and language assistance.
Offer language assistance to individuals who have limited English proficiency and/or other communication needs, at no cost to them, to facilitate timely access to all health care and services.
This requirement is in compliance with both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166, signed in 2000. Language assistance services may be required by law for organizations that receive federal funds.
On page 72 of the CLAS standards blueprint, we find the differences between interpreting and translation. What makes these services culturally and linguistically appropriate?
Translators work on a different timeframe. They must read an entire text for comprehension before starting the translation, often consulting dictionaries and other
resources for correct grammar and terminology.
Translation is a process that requires analysis, conversion, proofreading, and editing.
Translators must be sensitive and considerate of both cultures. […] The goal is to produce a translation that appears to have been done originally in the target country.
Follow ethics of the American Translators Association.
For translation, proofreading and editing are key steps in the production of a document. Best practices are that a second professional be involved in this step, known as the four-eyes principle.
Interpreters work “in the moment” and are compelled by the mode of interpreting. Interpreters may consult dictionaries or utilize other resources, but the time between each exchange is only a matter of seconds or minutes.
Interpreters work bidirectionally, going back and forth between two languages.
Interpreters must be sensitive and considerate of both cultures. The goal is to have the listener understand the message as if it were heard directly from the original speaker.
Follow ethics of interpreting certifying bodies.
Helen Eby, owner of Gaucha Translations, is an ATA certified translator, English to Spanish and Spanish to English, as well as a certified interpreter in Spanish by the Oregon Courts and by the Oregon Health Authority. The services she personally provides and the services she provides as an owner of Gaucha Translations meet CLAS standards. Her translations follow the four-eyes principle because review and proofreading are an essential step of the translation process.