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Translation Business at the US School Districts - Challenges and New Solutions

Federal laws require that all schools in the United States have to provide translation and interpretation services for families, which is a huge challenge as the schools are becoming more linguistically diverse. Some schools and school districts are becoming refugee centers, and they end up needing to support upwards of 60-70 different languages and dialects. While it seems that Latin American Spanish translation needs lead the way, some school districts need to support rather rare languages, including Chukeese, Hakha Chin, Swahili, Somali, Tibetan, etc., which furthers the challenge for many school districts.

Diversity of Different Languages and Supporting Them is Difficult...

The diversity of the different languages in these school districts is just the beginning of the complex problems that the School Districts face. They usually need translations done fast - we have heard some school districts have to wait for more than a week to get a two-page document translated, which is by no means acceptable in any industry standards. As with speed, the translation quality is of utmost importance. However, speaking with many school districts, we at MotaWord, understand that many staff responsible for the translation projects have no way of making sure they are receiving the highest quality available from their service providers. That is, translation and proofreading don’t always come as standard.

The Budget for Translation is Always Tight!

As with many government entities, budgets are always tight at School Districts. Therefore saving the valuable tax dollars while getting the highest quality translations fast - even with the rare language pairs - without breaking the bank is crucial. Some of the school districts pay minimum fees of $30, $50, and sometimes $100 for short, like less than a page document, and it is not the best way of spending tax dollars if you ask us.

Of course, the challenges are not limited only to the quality, speed, and cost. For example, some school districts are concerned about the privacy of the student information and the security of their vendors' IT systems. We will discuss these other challenges and concerns about the School District translation business in another blog piece soon.

The New Translation Solution Specifically Designed for Us School Districts

At MotaWord, we understand all these concerns and challenges well. We have been working with large enterprises like Iron Mountain, Nielsen, NYU Langone, and Sharp Hospitals, to name a few. We also work with tiny start-up companies and many other government agencies whose needs are not really different from those of large enterprises. They all want quality, speed, and cost savings.

Having worked with School Districts, we carefully developed a State-based School District Translation Solution through our Artificial Intelligence (AI) supported translation platform and our unique Translation Memory (TM) set up. TM is a database that is used to store all your translated strings, sentences, paragraphs. That is, once you pay for document translation, all sentences translated should be stored in a database for future use - use in the sense that you will not ever pay for the same sentence translation in that language pair ever. This is all good; however, School Districts tend not to have the translation volumes like those large enterprises. Therefore, their savings through their own TM tend to be relatively less.

Statewide TM to the Rescue

In the fall of 2020, MotaWord was awarded a translation services contract from a Missouri State School District. One of the contract requirements was to extend the same terms/conditions and pricing to all other State School Districts, and we agreed. This contract requirement gave us the idea that we can set up a statewide TM for MO, and all School Districts in the State will take advantage of each others’ TM. Since the school districts tend to have similar document translation projects, they tend to use similar sentences that can be pulled from other school districts’ TM, therefore, saving even with their first translation project. We are tracking the savings in some States, and we will cover these savings as a case study soon.

How Do I Get It?

If you work for a school district and are looking for solid translation services in 98 language pairs while taking advantage of no-minimum-fee service with already wonderful pricing specifically negotiated for you as well as taking advantage of the new statewide TM set up, here are the steps to get onboard:

Email or
call us at +1 (646) 751-7561 ext:001

Then we will get you signed up for your State translation program by singing a simple Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and you can begin ordering your translations with incredible savings!

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