hispanic translator

Did you know? September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! Established in 1988, it commemorates the contributions, cultures, and heritage of Hispanic Americans. In honor of this occasion, we’re highlighting the works of influential Latin American interpreters and translators throughout history.

 

Marina “La Malinche” (c. 1500 – 1529)

 

A Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf coast, Marina served as an interpreter, advisor, and negotiator for the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. She was given to the Spanish by the Tabasco Indians, and would go on to play a vital role in the conquest of the Aztec Empire.

 

Born Malintzin, she was later baptized as a Catholic and named Marina. She also gave birth to Cortés’s first son, making her the symbolic mother of Mexico. To this day, she remains a controversial figure as both a victim of conquest and a traitor to her homeland.

 

Gaspar Antonio Chi (c. 1531 – 1610)

 

Also known as Gaspar Antonio de Herrera, Gaspar Antonio Chi was a Mayan noble and interpreter for King Charles V of Spain. He primarily interpreted between Spanish and Mayan languages, but also understood Latin.

 

During his sessions with Charles V, he recounted life under colonial rule and provided vital information about geography, the Mayan people, and cultures in the Yucatan. Chi also served as a primary source for Diego de Lana’s book Relacíon de las cosas Yucatan, which catalogued Mayan words, phrases, and hieroglyphics.

 

Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986)

 

Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentinian fiction writer, poet, essayist, and translator. He is best known for his short story collections, which helped introduce Argentinian literature and culture to the wider world.

 

A gifted translator, Borges translated “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde into Spanish when he was just nine years old. He went on to translate the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Franz Kafka, and Virginia Woolf, among other authors.

 

Gregory Rabassa (1922 – 2016)

 

Born to Cuban emigres in Yorkers, New York, Gregory Rabassa was a literary translator and university professor. He translated both Spanish and Portuguese literature into English.

 

Rabassa is best known for translating works by major Latin American novelists such as Julio Cortázar, José Amado, and Gabriel García Márquez—including his seminal novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. He received a PEN Translation Prize in 1977 and the PEN/Ralph Manheim Translation Prize in 1982.

 

He also taught at Columbia University and Queens College in New York City for many years.

 

Are there any Hispanic linguists you’d like to celebrate this month? Let us know in the comments!

Celebrating Deaf Awareness Month 2021

Did you know? September is Deaf Awareness Month! Launched in 1958 by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), the initiative celebrates the history, cultures, and communities of deaf people around the world. It corresponds with the International Week of Deaf People and the International Day of Sign Languages.

 

International Week of Deaf People 2021 (September 20th – 26th)

 

While the entire month is dedicated to recognizing deaf people and their contributions, the International Week of Deaf People is of particular importance. The week, which commemorates the first World Congress of the WDF, focuses on the triumphs of deaf people and the challenges they still face.

 

This year, events will be hosted worldwide from Monday, September 20th to Sunday, September 26th. Daily themes include:

 

  • Cherishing Deaf History – Monday, September 20th
  • Sustainable Deaf Leadership –Tuesday, September 21st
  • Sign Languages for All Deaf Learners – Wednesday, September 22nd
  • We Sign for Human Rights – Thursday, September 23rd (This is also International Day of Sign Languages).
  • Intersectional Deaf Communities – Friday, September 24th
  • Deaf Culture and Arts – Saturday, September 25th
  • Human Rights in Times of Crisis – Sunday, September 26th

 

All members of the worldwide deaf community are welcome to participate, including families of the deaf, sign language interpreters, and members of human rights and disability rights organizations.

 

How You Can Support Deaf Communities

 

If there are no events near you, there are still plenty of ways you can get involved and support your local deaf community. Below are just eight possibilities:

 

  1. Start learning sign language. (You can sign up for free lessons here).
  2. Share information about sign language families, including Black American and indigenous
  3. Follow Deaf YouTube creators and share their content on social media. Don’t forget to include #IWDP and #IDSL in your posts.
  4. Support deaf-owned businesses.
  5. Advocate for deaf accessibility in your community.
  6. Advocate for the use of Certified Deaf Interpreters at work or within your community.
  7. Volunteer at a nonprofit that assists the deaf or advocates for disability rights.
  8. Contact your representatives to advocate for the rights of deaf people.

 

Bonus: If you know someone who is deaf, ask them about their experiences. Simply being willing to listen and learn about the deaf experience can go a long way to bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing worlds.

How are you planning to celebrate Deaf Awareness Month? Let us know in the comments!

Afghan Interpreters

Despite efforts to assist vulnerable Afghans during the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan, tens of thousands remain in danger. Those who assisted U.S. and NATO troops—including interpreters—are among the highest risk of being arrested or killed by the Taliban.

 

As part of our commitment to the interpreting community, we’ve compiled information on how interpreters and other refugees can resettle in the UK and how our readers can help them.

 

For U.S. resources, click here. For Canadian resources, click here.

 

Government Programs

 

Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy

 

Great Britain has announced plans to accept 5,000 Afghans during the first year of its Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). The program, which will remain open indefinitely, offers relocation and other assistance to current and former Locally Employed Staff in Afghanistan.

 

Under this policy, any current or former Locally Employed Staff directly employed by HMG whose life is at risk can apply for ARAP. This is regardless of employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.

 

Eligible Afghans can apply through an online form, regardless of their current location—including Afghanistan.

 

Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme

 

The country also plans to accept up to 20,000 Afghan refugees in the long term under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme. This scheme aims to resettle Afghan nationals who are most vulnerable, including women, girls, and religious minorities. The British government is urgently working to open this route and will announce further details once they’re available.

 

How You Can Help

 

If you’d like to help Afghans who are resettling in the UK, here are three organizations that are accepting donations and need volunteers.

 

Refugee Council

 

Founded in 1951, the Refugee Council works directly with refugees in the UK. The organization helps them integrate into their new communities, provides mental health services, and assists children who have arrived alone.

 

If you’d like to donate online, you can do so here. You can also host fundraising events or volunteer.

 

Care4Calais

 

The volunteer-run charity Care4Calais works with refugees in the UK, France, and Belgium. It provides direct aid through donations of clothing, shoes, cell phones, and other essential items.

 

You can donate items at your nearest drop off location or purchase a welcome pack, which will be given to an Afghan refugee in need. If you’d like to volunteer, contact [email protected]ais.org.

 

British Red Cross  

 

The British Red Cross, which is on the ground in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces, is also collecting donations to assist Afghans who have relocated to the UK. Staff and volunteers are providing emotional support and essential items, including clothing, blankets, hygiene products, and baby supplies.

 

If you’d like to donate to, click here. You can also get involved by raising funds or by volunteering.

 

Remember, whether it’s donating, volunteering, or simply sharing this information, the smallest action can make a big difference!

 

As the situation remains fluid, we encourage you to leave information about any other legitimate organization in the comments. We will keep this article up-to-date as the humanitarian crisis unfolds.

Afghan Interpreters

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has sent the country spiraling into a humanitarian crisis. Although at least 12,000 Afghans have been evacuated via the Kabul airport, tens of thousands of others remain in danger. Those who supported the United States and NATO troops—including interpreters—are at the highest risk of being arrested or killed.

 

As part of our commitment to the interpreting community, we’ve compiled information on how interpreters can apply for refugee status in Canada and how our readers can help them. For resources on U.S. visa programs and nonprofits, click here.

 

Special Programs for Afghan Interpreters and Other Refugees

 

The Canadian government has agreed to resettle up to 20,000 refugees through Special Programs. These include a special program for:

 

  • Afghan nationals and their families who assisted the Canadian government.
  • Afghan nationals who don’t have a durable solution in a third country, including
    • Women leaders
    • Human rights activists
    • LGBTI individuals
    • Journalists and people who assisted Canadian journalists
    • Immediate family members of one of the above
    • Extended family members of previously resettled interpreters who assisted the Canadian government.

 

To apply, write an email to [email protected] and include:

 

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Description of work with the Canadian government including:
    • Your title or position
    • Identification number, if you have one
    • Name(s) of current Canadian point(s) of contact, if possible
  • Copy of your passport and passport for each eligible family member traveling with you, if possible

 

Please note: You don’t need to be in Afghanistan or return to Afghanistan to be eligible.

 

How You Can Help

 

If you’d like to help Afghans who are awaiting refugee status or have already arrived in Canada, here are three organizations that are accepting donations and need volunteers.

Veteran Transition Network is a veteran-led nonprofit organization that has set up an emergency fund to provide shelter and support for interpreters and their families. Donations go toward immediately helping Afghans by paying for interim housing and a living wage for those awaiting permission to enter Canada.

 

You can donate online, via check, or write transfer or security. If you’d like to volunteer, click here.

 

Afghan-Canadian Interpreters is an initiative made up of civilian volunteers, veterans, and serving members of the Canadian armed forces. It provides interpreters and their families with the expenses required for the relocation process.

 

You can send donations via e-transfer to [email protected] or via check. If you’d like to volunteer, email [email protected].

 

Islamic Relief Canada provides emergency aid in disaster zones which includes food packages and hygiene and water storage kits. The organization has been on the ground in Afghanistan for twenty years and is asking for donations to assist those who have been displaced.

 

You can donate online here. If you’d like to volunteer, click here.

 

Whether it’s donating money, volunteering, or simply sharing with your network, we encourage you to help however you can!

 

Since the situation remains incredibly fluid, we encourage you to include any other legitimate, proven organization in the comments which may be of help. We will keep this article updated with information as the humanitarian crisis unfolds.

News of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has shaken the world. As thousands of Afghans flee the capital city of Kabul, thousands of others remain in danger. Those who supported the U.S. military and NATO troops—including interpreters—are at an even higher risk of being arrested or killed.

On behalf of the Boostlingo team, we’d like to extend our support to Afghan interpreters, their families, and other refugees who are risking their lives. As part of our commitment to the interpreting community, we’ve compiled information on how interpreters can apply for a U.S. visa and how our readers can help them.

Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan Interpreters

Since 2008, roughly 70,000 Afghan interpreters and their families have arrived in the U.S. on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). However, the over 20,000 interpreters who remain in the country are targets for the Taliban. Interpreters who have attempted to flee in recent weeks have been shot or beheaded due to their support for the U.S. and NATO troops. And those who have applied for an SIV face a long, difficult journey ahead.

The SIV program, which has helped tens of thousands, includes a complex 14-step application process. It’s also severely backlogged—with an estimated three-and-a-half-year waiting period before approval. This leaves interpreters and other applicants in a dangerous stage of limbo.

How You Can Help

While the situation may feel hopeless, there are steps you can take to help. Below is a list of resources to assist Afghan interpreters, their families, and other refugees.

Nonprofits

No One Left Behind seeks to revamp the State Department’s SIV application process and ease the transition for refugees who resettle in the U.S. Right now, they’re helping Afghans in the process of applying for an SIV, if they have a case number. They accept donations, and $0.76 of every dollar goes to SIV families.

Keep Our Promise offers resettlement assistance to “endangered wartime allies who served U.S. interests in conflict and war zones.” They also provide information on how Afghans living in the U.S. can file for “Humanitarian Parole” for family members who are still in Afghanistan. They accept donations from individuals and groups.

Evacuate Our Allies is a coalition of nonprofits that are working together to evacuate and resettle Afghan allies who are in the SIV process and other vulnerable Afghans. They are having issues housing Afghan refugees who have made it to the U.S. If you’d like to volunteer in any way, including housing a family, fill out this form or send an email to [email protected].

U.S. Representatives and Resources

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has created a form where you can request information on a refugee or provide information on how best to assist them.

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) also has a form you can fill out to help the State Department connect with individuals on the ground who require assistance.

U.S. Department of the State

If you know Afghans who need to be evacuated, email [email protected] Include a copy of the passport page with a photo and any other forms of identification, a brief explanation of why they’re at risk, your email, and the emails and mobile phone numbers for the Afghans in Kabul who need to get out.

Whether it’s donating money, contacting your representative, volunteering, or simply sharing this information with your network, we encourage you to help however you can!

This picture taken on August 14, 2021 shows a Qatar Airways aircraft taking-off from the airport in Kabul. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

If you know Afghans who need to be evacuated, send an email to [email protected] that includes a copy of the passport page with photo image of the Afghans along with any other forms of identification; such as a Taskera (Afghan identity card); a brief explanation of why these people are at risk; and your email along with the emails and mobile phone numbers for the Afghans in Kabul who need to get out.

The situation is incredibly fluid right now, and because of that, we encourage you to include any other legitimate, proven organizations in the comments which may be of help. We will keep this article updated with information as the humanitarian crisis unfolds.