Education Translation Case StudyCalifornia Department of Education
The California Department of Education (CDE) needed a translation project completed within seven days. This project was a survey piece intended for parents, entitled “A School Climate Survey for Parents and Guardians.” The document’s intended use was to determine how parents felt about a particular school, and the education process within that school.
The CDE asked that Avantpage translate a portion of the survey into 25 different languages –– 11 core languages (languages usually required by the CDE) and 14 others, including Japanese, Farsi, Somali, Punjabi, Urdu, Hebrew, Portuguese Brazilian, Continental Portuguese, and Samoan.
From our Director of Operations, Vera Hooijdonk
“This project was challenging in terms of the quick turnaround and the sheer number of languages involved. To maintain quality and keep on top of the project’s daily progress, everyone involved in this project –– the Avantpage team, the translators, and the CDE’s point person –– had to fully commit to working together every step of the way.”
Avantpage’s project manager choose 25 translators, sent them the specifics of the project, confirmed their availability, sent the files to be translated, received and proofed the files, and delivered the finished project to the client.
Avantpage was able to work with our “preferred” translators for this project –– 25 dedicated vendors who have all worked on previous CDE projects, and were familiar with CDE’s preferences and requirements. This project demanded an extensive amount of teamwork from everyone involved. Trust played an important role as well –– it was critical that we could rely on translators who we implicitly trust to perform this job quickly and accurately.
Avantpage was able to complete all 25 translated language pieces within the time frame indicated. Avantpage translators for Samoan, German, and Hebrew did notice discrepancies in survey text they were asked not to translate, but to leave intact from a previously translated document. Even though our translators were not required or expected to look at this part of the document, they did, and they made suggestions for changes that would bring the entire document up to Avantpage standards of quality. The CDE agreed to these suggestions, and these files were also delivered within the 7-day timeframe.
Avantpage’s work with the CDE ensures that schools are able to communicate effectively with parents who are not fluent in English, giving them a voice and involving them fully in the education process. Research has shown that parent involvement in education improves student achievement across the board. Students with the most to gain from parental involvement in their education are children from low-income and culturally and racially diverse families—and these families may need documents translated into their first language to fully participate in their children’s education process.
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