Interpretation and Translation Services
~The Public Schools of Northborough & Southborough offer interpretation and translation services to our districts’ multilingual families.~
Mission: To provide effective two-way communication between the schools and our multilingual families, so that all families may access information pertaining to their children’s education.
What is the Difference Between an Interpreter and a Translator?
An interpreter is someone who provides oral translation between people who speak different languages. Our department can arrange for an in-person or over-the-phone interpreter for events, such as parent-teacher conferences, school meetings, information sessions, or whenever two-way communication needs to occur in a language parents/guardians understand. Based on the nature of the event, the English Language Education Office determines whether the interpreter will be in-person or over-the-phone.
A translator is someone who takes a written document in one language and converts it to another language. Translations may be requested for documents that are district-wide, school-based, classroom-based, or for individual students. Additionally, translations may be requested for matters pertaining to Special Education and General Education. Please note that copyrighted documents may not be translated unless the requester provides written permission from the owner.
An Interpretation Request Form must be completed for all non-urgent interpretation requests. For urgent interpretation requests, please contact the ELE Office directly.
A Translation Request Form must be completed for all translation requests.
Please read below before submitting any translation requests:
- Translations of documents will be done on a first-come, first-served basis.
- A five school-day turnaround will be strived for with general education translations. Lengthy documents will likely require a greater turnaround time.
- Special Education reports will be translated according to their modified timelines set by the ELE Office.
- All documents for translation requests, with the exception of report cards, must be provided in an editable format, and not a PDF converted to a Word Document. If there are no tables, graphs, charts, or other visuals, a Google Document will be sufficient. If there are visuals, then a Word Document must be submitted.
- A single online submission may be made for all documents in the same subcategory (see subcategories below). For example, if a school needs nine report cards translated, then all nine report cards may be uploaded to a single Translation Request Form.
Four Categories of Translations
(1) District-Wide/Central Office
Subcategory examples: general communications and documents that are posted on the district website
Subcategory examples: principals’ communications with parents, invitations to events, and announcements
Subcategory examples: Open House documents, field trip forms, and parent letters
(4) Individual Students
Subcategory examples: report cards and evaluation reports
Tips on Working with an Interpreter (per Telelanguage.com)
- If possible, brief the interpreter before the conversation takes place.
- Understand that the interpreter is there to interpret everything that is said and exactly how it is said. (A trained interpreter will know not to alter any part of the conversation). If it is determined that the parent/guardian only requires a partial interpretation, the trained interpreter will know how to address this, as well.
- Speak clearly, slowly, and in a normal tone, pausing after complete thoughts and sentences.
- Allow more time for an interpreted conversation.
- Be mindful of cultural factors that may come into play.
- Try to refrain from using acronyms, informal speech, and colloquialisms.
- Speak directly to the non-English speaker, not the interpreter.
- Treat the interpreter as a professional.
- Allow only one person to speak at a time.
For specific questions, please contact:
The English Language Education Office
33 Howard Street
Northborough, MA 01532
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM, during the school year
Jennifer Cuker, Interim Director of English Language Education
email@example.com (ext. 52144)
Deb Young, Administrative Assistant
firstname.lastname@example.org (ext. 52142)