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ERIC Number: EJ724688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1523-5882
Educating Parents in the Spanish-Speaking Community: A Look at Translated Educational Materials
Colina, Sonia; Sykes, Julie
Bilingual Research Journal, v28 n3 p299-318 Fall 2004
Federal legislation (White House Executive Order 13166, 2000) mandates that language services be provided to limited English proficient populations by health care providers receiving federal funding. In order to do this, some basic resources have been developed to administer medical services. Nevertheless, the translation aspects of these guidelines often lack many components that would be necessary to assure the functional adequacy of the translated text (e.g., cultural, pragmatic, and textual appropriateness). Furthermore, outside the medical field, guidelines and legislation are often nonexistent. In the absence of specific requirements for translation and/or translator qualifications, research suggests that translators, in particular novice, unexperienced translators, tend to adopt a literal, linguistic, micro-approach to the translation task, failing to consider global or pragmatic factors (Colina, 1997, 1999; Jaaskelainen, 1989, 1990, 1993; Konigs, 1987; Krings, 1987; Kussmaul, 1995; Lorscher, 1991, 1992a, 1992b, 1997; Tirkkonen-Condit & Jaaskelaanen, 1991). Given the scarcity of educational programs in translation and the frequent use of untrained bilinguals to produce translated materials in Arizona, we hypothesized that documents translated in educational settings would not be functionally adequate. Using a sample corpus of educational materials for the Spanish-speaking population, we show that this is indeed the case. We demonstrate that a structural, literal approach is inadequate for educational purposes and often negatively affects educational outcomes. The effectiveness of the translated materials with regard to global considerations and purpose is vital, especially in regard to parental involvement as a key factor in a student's success. More adequate guidelines need to be developed regarding requirements for translations and translator training. Additional implications for education and policy creation for language-minority populations are discussed.
National Association for Bilingual Education, 1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 470, Washington, DC, 20005. Tel: 202-898-1829; Fax: 202-789-2866; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona