Spanish Translations Needed In Safety, Health & Human Services

Challenges faced by the Spanish-speaking population of the United States and crucial services providers

There are an estimated 59.8 million Hispanic people in the United States, comprising 18.3% of the United States population. In 2015 the Census Bureau projected that in 2060, Hispanic people will comprise 28.6% of the total population, with 119 million Hispanic individuals residing in the United States.

In such a diverse nation as the United States, it is critical to bridge the communication gap that exists between non-Native English speakers and professionals that provide crucial services such as social workers, law enforcement officials, and lawyers. Of course, working with individuals and families from many different backgrounds isn’t always easy. Different languages, customs, and expectations can make engaging and collaborating with people more difficult.

Spanish Translation & Transcription in Health & Human Services

The language barrier is one of the main impediments in achieving a better level of collaboration with Hispanic families, which comprise the largest minority in the United States. Casey Family Programs, an agency focused on foster care and child welfare, outlines some of the challenges faced by their field offices: “Children, families, and prospective caregivers reported difficulties obtaining necessary documentation, which made accessing services and supports difficult. Documentation challenges included not knowing what specific documentation was necessary, not having access to a Spanish-language version of a document to complete, or providing documentation in Spanish, which often required translation and interpretation.” (Working across Borders: Effective Permanency Practices at the Intersection of Child Welfare and Immigration) 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommends translating materials into Spanish or other languages of minority communities, including recruitment brochures, applications, flyers for schools, posters in community spaces, etc. (Partnering With Latino & Immigrant Families: Resources and Suggestions for Child Welfare Professionals)

And, in recent months, the coronavirus pandemic only worsens these challenges.

Spanish Translation & Transcription in Public Safety

Spanish translation and transcription are also useful in law enforcement, where it is needed for interviews, interrogations and confessions, witness statements and testimony, body and vehicle camera audio, jail and correctional usage, as well as in EMS and 911 communications.

When a bilingual officer interviews a Spanish-speaking witness or suspect, for example, the interaction is usually recorded, but having it transcribed and translated can cost hundreds of dollars and take weeks to receive an accurate transcript.

While these types of recordings are vital to police departments, there is often no timely and affordable way to make them part of the official record. Most departments don’t have the resources or the bandwidth to accomplish this in-house and, and until now, sending it out for translation and transcription has been prohibitively expensive.

How to find a reliable Spanish translation and transcription service

Finding a resource to accurately translate Spanish audio into English text can be difficult, especially when two or more persons are speaking or in an interview setting. You can search for an individual to contract out the project to, but if you are not a Spanish speaker yourself, it is difficult to vet their skill level. There are companies that offer translation services, but they can get really expensive, really quickly, and often the turnaround times can be weeks. It is tempting to run the file through an auto translator as Google translate, but they can return grossly inaccurate results.

When you are searching for a resource, it is important to be clear about what you’re looking for. Many people use the terms translation and interpretation interchangeably, but there is a difference. Interpretation is an oral-form translation in which someone hears what one person is saying then states essentially what was said in another language.

Translation conveys written text into another language. However, because languages contain a lot of nuance and variations in speech patterns, a word-by-word “direct” translation is often going to yield something that is barely legible. The best practice is to rely on a real person who is fluent in both languages to capture the original statement, then translate that without losing any of the original meaning.

Using SpeakWrite for Spanish to English translation & transcription

That’s exactly what SpeakWrite offers. We have a pool of highly skilled typists who are fluent in both English and conversational Spanish, who transcribe the entire audio in its original language, then translate that text into English. The result is a document that is comprehensive and accurate. 

Law Enforcement, Protective Services agencies and Law offices in California, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and other states are taking advantage of our Spanish Translation and Transcription services.

When you submit a job for Spanish translation, you will receive both a complete transcript in the original source language, Spanish, and a complete translation in the target language, English. 

This ensures that the first thought is captured exactly and then translated accurately. We understand that words can sometimes be left out and meanings can be altered slightly, so this process also allows both parties to be able to see the final product and, if necessary, confirm that the statements are accurate.

When you submit an audio file with Spanish or a combination of English and Spanish, SpeakWrite will transcribe the entire audio in the original language and then include a complete English transcript of what was said. Our typists take the time to understand the content in the source language and can return completed jobs in about 10 days, sometimes sooner. The cost is $9 per audio minute.

SpeakWrite understands that a growing number of industries face challenges as they document Spanish statements and interviews. We are here to help the professionals that are tasked with the important work of caring for the safety and welfare of all who reside in this country.

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