It’s here. We can smell it in the air and feel it tingling on our hands and arms and faces. The long summer holiday, that is…
You can also tell by the “Back to School” signs everywhere you look, of course; and while we’re hoping everyone has a fabulous and well-deserved break from routine over the summer, we’re also very aware that the start of term will bring huge amounts of change, as always.
When your first language isn’t English, or you’re trying to help a pupil or family whose first language isn’t English, both the end and start of term can be particularly daunting. There’s just so much to communicate, and some of it is in such specialised language it can be difficult to get the point across. And then there are the letters and memos you need to send out – information about school routines; details of special events like day trips or school plays; health and hygiene information.
Finding the right words and phrases in your own language can be difficult enough, and if you have several different home languages in a class, your workload can quickly verge on unmanageable. While opting for a dedicated professional translation is one option, it’s not the only one.
For very quick translations, you can use an online translation program, some of which are free, and some of which require a small fee. When it comes to information about education, however, there’s no substitute for scripts which have been prepared by human translators who understand the subject area.
So, if time is an issue, and you want language content that you can use quickly and easily that's aimed at education, Mantra Lingua has a ready-made library of letters in 22 languages, covering a range of common scenarios. The content can be copied and pasted onto your own letterhead for use within your own organisation.
The library is already used by several organisations, including large councils and other public bodies in North West England. The resource is useful for many situations, but particularly when an issue is time-critical – such as letting a parent know that school dinners are changing, or there has been an outbreak of head lice, or that school meetings are taking place at short notice.
No registration is needed to access this resource – it’s available from http://webapps.mantralingua.com
and you can search for letters, words, or complete sentences. You can narrow your search down to a particular language, and see at a glance what’s available in Bengali, or Polish, or dozens of other languages. There are words, phrases and letters in 22 languages available at present.
You can also look up useful words or phrases if you’re compiling forms or need to ask for a parent’s consent for, say, a day trip. And if you have phrases or words you’d like to contribute that you think would be useful, there’s also an option to get in touch and continue to build the knowledge base.
(Oh, and did we happen to mention it’s completely FREE? You don’t even need to register.)
More Information – L1 Key Terms and Letters Library, http://webapps.mantralingua.com