The Language Exchange
The Language Exchange">
PO BOX 750
716 E. Fairhaven Ave.
Burlington, Washington 98233

Plain English and Written Translations

We have a phenomenal certified attorney-translator who educates everyone about Spanish translations provided by, for example, school districts.

To quote her “I would feel remiss as an advocate for the poor and immigrant populations that policies written like these are not appropriate for the intended audience…..This document probably does a decent job of covering legal bases…but any reader, even a pretty well-educated one, would struggle to understand large portions…it is outrageous to think that the intended audience is informed by this policy. …In a faithful translation, if the English version isn’t easy to read/understand, the Spanish version won’t be, either….I tried…to use more recognizable vocabulary, but vocabulary alone is not the problem.” 

She makes a call for the use of plain language in policies, but of course, school districts are not in the business of re-writing legal jargon to plain English…a community and lawyers have to do that when people decide it’s important.