Educational Translation

American Language Services has been working in the educational sector for nearly 4 decades. In that time, we have come to truly understand the translation needs of educational institutions at all levels.  Working with schools, universities, and private institutions has afforded us the opportunity to work with their special education students, grant programs, student exchange, lectures, government partnerships and many more programs.

Because of budgetary constraints, we have seen some educational institutions begin to flirt with the idea of hiring in-house linguistics, freelancers and using AI machine translation software. Though these are all interesting ideas and seemingly viable options, but on more reflection, they certainly are not the best options in terms of quality or in terms of budget.  In fact, it is pretty easy to argue that they do just the opposite.

The 4 Benefits of Translation in Schools

More than half of all school-aged students in the United States are either bilingual- with English being their second language- or do not speak English at an adequate level. This single statistic highlights the importance of having professional translators available in the educational sector. Here are a few ways in which schools and students benefit from comprehensive language services:

  • ­Clarity of Academic Progress: By easing communication between learners and their teachers, language professionals help to support people throughout their academic careers. If parents can’t read a report card in English, it can be difficult for them to correct bad behaviors.
  • It Improves Educational Experience: The cognitive development of students with language challenges can suffer in schools without language services. By helping non-native speakers to better understand the material, translators can help them overcome these obstacles. Though bilingualism is the goal, it can take months to years to achieve.
  • Enhanced Student-Teacher Relationships: Tutors and teachers may struggle to connect with a student who is not English proficient. Students who don’t speak the educator’s native tongue often struggle to understand instructions given to them. The resulting frustration can lead to lower grades and behavioral issues. By ensuring all notices and communications are translated, teachers and their wards can be brought closer together.
  • It Increases the Productivity of Educational Meetings: Imagine trying to hold a parent-teacher conference in a school when only half the parents can read the agenda. Picture a teacher trying to communicate behavioral issues on paper and being forced to rely on the student in question for translations. It’d be a nightmare. By bringing a neutral third-party into the discussion, you can ensure that everyone’s concerns are being heard and properly understood.

Educational Institutions That Need Translation Services

Companies like American Language Services are equipped to manage the language needs of the following institutions:

  • Elementary Schools
  • Middle Schools
  • High Schools
  • Charter Schools
  • Community Colleges
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Trade Schools
  • Private Schools
  • Vocational Schools     
  • Preparatory Schools

Types of Educational Documents That Need Translation

To function properly, schools and parents need to communicate regularly. Doing this properly equals a lot of paperwork, emails, and progress reports. Not sure what else is included in schools with robust translation programs? Here is a shortlist of items that are regularly translated:

  • Slideshows
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Academic Research
  • Syllabus translation
  • Theses
  • School Policy Guides
  • Course descriptions
  • Parent and Teacher communications
  • eLearning and Training courses
  • School Notices
  • Student Evaluation Interpreting
  • School Handbooks
  • Curriculum Guides
  • Parent Notifications
  • IEP Documents
  • Birth Certificates
  • Newsletters
  • Press Conferences
  • Standardized Tests
  • Admissions Forms
  • Report Cards
  • Progress Reports
  • Student Transcripts
  • Diplomas
  • Grants
  • Presentations

Why You Should Use a Professional Translator for Educational Translation

While freelancers and students can cover some of the gaps in monolingual institutions, they’re unlikely to produce consistent results. Furthermore, when schools are forced to rely on students to relay messages to non-native stakeholders, biases can come to the forefront. That’s not all, though! There are six other reasons professional agencies are particularly well-suited to educational translation:

  • Accuracy: Translation can be tricky. There are many nuances to be accounted for. A professional translator is well-aware of common mistakes and how to account for them. They’re also more likely to have access to machine translation tools and skilled proofreaders. This prevents embarrassing gaffes.
  • Speed: Not only does translations need to be accurate and culturally appropriate, but they must also get there on a timely basis every time when you need them most. Working with a really good language agency gives you the most flexibility to have great resources at your fingertips and get every document back when you need them. This is especially true when you have expedited needs along with difficult requests and projects to compete with very little to do so.      
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Almost all professional translators including our own are trained to be culturally sensitive. This ensures that documentation is translated with care and empathy for the culture on the other end. Because they know what is and is not offensive, large scale translation agencies are better equipped to handle potentially sensitive information.
  • Accountability: if you find an error in a piece, most freelancers and volunteers don’t offer clients any real recourse. Language service providers like American Language Services have a robust process for handling “mistakes”.  Almost all issues like this fall in the category of preferential word choice. A determination must be made if they are actually errors or word preferences. As all translations come from one source, it is also easier to trace the root cause of a communication problem.
  • Making Connections: Linguistic experts are wonderful at connecting people. They not only translate the words but also bridge the gaps between different cultures. Because they’re more available and more robust than freelancers, you can also count on those connections being made quicker and more consistently.
  • Technological Advantages: With robust cloud-based systems, professional language agencies have access to a lot of technologies that standalone translators may not. This includes web-based programs, subtitling capabilities, copy writing tools, machine translators, and desktop publishers.

About American Language Services

Since our founding in 1985, we have grown into an agency able to handle educational groups of all sizes. We are one of the largest, most successful language service providers, not just in the U.S., but worldwide. Our linguistics experts provide a full range of language services in over 200 languages. More importantly, we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

American Language Services possesses some of the most impressive translators in the world. These highly skilled language professionals are recruited, screened, and tested to ensure high-quality work.

By paying attention to every detail, AML-Global has earned an outstanding reputation for providing cost-effective, high quality and seamless language services.

Contact us by email at  or via phone at 1-800-951-5020 for a free estimate.


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