Delivering Culturally Competent Services with a Translation Glossary

» Resources » Case Studies » Delivering Culturally Competent Services with a Translation Glossary

Summary: Translation Glossary Impact

A client of ours is a statewide government agency who plays a crucial role in administering programs to support residents in areas such as unemployment benefits, job training, and economic development. Avantpage and this agency have partnered for the last three years, translating over 3 million words into 22 languages. They wanted to bolster trust within their limited English proficient (LEP) communities by refining language consistency across multi-channels of communication. With their pre-constructed glossary, we partnered with them to translate 908 terms across 14 languages. By having a comprehensive translated glossary, this agency could build stronger relationships with their LEP communities through consistent and culturally competent translations. 

Scope: A Multilingual Glossary to Unite Employees and Communities

The department grappled with an array of glossary terms and communication styles, both written and spoken. Pre-set glossaries can help speed up the translation process, which in turn offers more timely services. Even more, it can be challenging for English speakers and LEP individuals alike to accurately comprehend options in services when there are inconsistent terms used for the same meanings. Recognizing these hurdles, the department aimed to elevate the quality of their communications through a multilingual glossary. The department aimed to enhance communication quality, improve cultural competency, expedite translation processes, and optimize overall efficiency. To achieve these goals and, ultimately, cultivate a stronger connection within their LEP communities, the department wanted to use a customized approach. The scale of this initiative surpassed their capabilities, requiring external support to bring about meaningful change. 

Solution: A Translated Glossary Customized to the Project Scope

Typically there are two unique approaches to translation glossary creation. During one approach known as a hands-off model the client has minimal involvement, often coming in with a higher budget. The department opted for a hybrid approach, so they could provide us with glossary work already done and integrate their employment specialists directly into the translation process. We integrated their internal bilingual staff reviewers and handled the tasks that exceeded the department’s capabilities. Guiding them through a 6-step process, they partnered with us to streamline and execute the necessary steps. 

6-Step Process for the Translation Glossaries:

  1. The client provides Avantpage with the terminology list
  2. Avantpage’s team of 14 linguists translate the list into 14 languages
  3. The client’s bilingual staff conducts a peer review of translated terms
  4. Avantpage provides support to their bilingual staff
  5. Avantpage and client teams agree on final term lists
  6. Glossary is delivered to the client

This dynamic strategy not only tackled the challenges posed by misaligned terminology but also delivered a tailored solution in harmony with the client’s budget, resources, and capabilities. 

Outcome: Strengthening Relationships with Culturally Competent Translations

In order to improve consistencies in communications with LEP communities, we partnered with EDD to create an extensive translation glossary encompassing 5 languages and 908 terms. By doing this, the team of 29 translators, project managers, and reviewers were able to improve communication consistency and efficiency for the their LEP communities. The glossary is instrumental in fostering trust, facilitating enhanced comprehension, cultural competence, and consistent communication across various channels. This achievement underscores our unwavering dedication to delivering impactful solutions aligned with our clients’ objectives.

Contact Us Today

Include limited English proficient voices from the beginning and design impactful changes to systemic inequities.