Interpretation/Translation Services Information
What is the difference between an interpreter and a translator?
An interpreter is a person who provides a verbal translation between people who speak different languages. Interpreters can be arranged for parent conferences, school meetings, or any other information that needs to be communicated to parents in a language they understand.
A translator is someone who translates a written document from one language to another. The Registration and Parent Outreach Center (RPOC) can translate special education documents and a document that will be used by several families and by more than one school.
For MPS purposes, the same people may provide both interpretation and translation services, however, translation and interpretation services are requested differently.
How do I request an interpreter?
If you need an interpreter, please fill out a MPS Interpreter-Translator Request Form (at right) and send it to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Try to make the request as far in advance as possible, and the interpreters will contact you by e-mail to confirm your request.
How do I request a phone translation?
If you need an interpreter to communicate with a family over the phone, please click on the Phone Request Form, complete it, and send it to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
How do I request a written translation?
Please note: All Spanish and Portuguese translations are coordinated through the Registration and Parent Outreach Center.
If you need a translator to do an entire (or the majority of a) document, please complete the MPS Interpreter-Translator Request Form to request a translation.
Using "Save As", save the MPS Interpreter-Translator Request Form to your computer or cloud, fill it out, and e-mail it to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Remember to attach the document to be translated.
Please title the document to be translated noting the school initials, name of the document, the translated language and the date. Example: WH (for Whitcomb)-Open House Nov 3-Sp (for Spanish) Sep-2013.
Important Note: You may e-mail documents to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com unless they are a student's special education document. For confidentiality reasons, a hard copy of these documents must be sent to the Registration and Parent Outreach Center, Whitcomb Middle School, Office 102.
Specify your time frame to be sure that the translator can accommodate your needs. The turn-around time for translation of ordinary documents is five school days. We will do our best to accommodate your needs but we CANNOT guarantee the completion of the translation before the turnaround time. For documents that are unusually challenging and/or long, the Registration and Parent Outreach Center (RPOC) will provide you with an estimate deadline after reviewing the materials.
What happens next?
Once the document is translated, you will receive the electronic copy (or hard copy, in the case of IEPs/special education documents) of the translation, and you will notice the translated copy has also been uploaded onto this intranet page (if applicable).
All employees are able to access, open, print and save these intranet documents to their computers or cloud drives. Having all translations in one place will allow schools to share translated documents, without duplicating translations.
Many special education documents already have been translated.
Many special education documents and templates (IEP Forms/Notices and Parent's Rights Brochure) have already been translated into many languages by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/prb/ and http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/iep/
Working with an interpreter
If you would like some tips on how to work with an interpreter before, during and after a session, please click on Tips for Working with an Interpreter at: http://www.asha.org/practice/multicultural/issues/interpret.htm
Guidelines for Translating and Interpreting
Four tiers of translations:
I) Districtwide/Central Office: Communications in general, documents/materials to be posted on the district website.
II) School-based: Student handbooks, principals 'communications with parents, newsletters, announcements, events to be publicized, field trips, and invitations.
III) Classroom-based: Open House documents, parent letters, lessons. Note: Bilingual teachers can handle their own classroom translation needs.
IV) Individual Students: Report cards comments, disciplinary notices. Note: There are translated report card comments in Portuguese and in Spanish available.
All major documents, such as handbooks and programs of study, must be translated into all major languages of the district and made available to students at the same time as English documents are. (Spanish and Portuguese)
All "official" documents/communications must be translated into all major languages. This includes informational items from central office, the principal, or those acting on their behalf. Examples: information on college fairs or vocational programs, Title I choice letters, and parent conference information.
Administrators should use common sense in determining which documents provide important information about students' educational programs.
If a parent requests, or a school staff member feels the need for, an interpreter for a face-to-face meeting, the interpreter should be scheduled in advance, in accordance with the new protocol, even if a meeting needs to be rescheduled.
Only the district translators should be used, except on large family night events and parent conferences. Avoid having students as interpreters.