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Students translate documents for Prevail of Central Indiana

Students in Dr. Ana María Ferreira’s SPAN 300 recently worked on a class project to translate documents for Prevail of Central Indiana, an organization which serves victim of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Ferreira contacted several organizations in Indiana, especially those that serve the Spanish-speaking and Latinx communities. “Prevail of Central Indiana does an amazing job, but they are having a growing number of clients who feel more comfortable speaking Spanish,” she said. 

Students in the course completed a “translation bootcamp” week where all they did was work to translate, from English to Spanish, many of the brochures, handouts and informational sheets that the workers at Prevail give to their clients.

“This is a very difficult topic, and we are treating it with care and respect,” Ferreira said. “We are also aware that this process could be triggering to some of our students. So far everyone is feeling comfortable with this assignment, but we are still checking in on one another constantly.”

Even though some of the topics were difficult, one of the students working on the project, Kaitlyn Ruiz ‘23 (Nursing, Spanish), was pleasantly surprised at how many resources were available for them. “The amount of resources for everything from clothes to toys, to food, in addition to counseling services was astounding,” she said.

Ruiz also felt the burden of some of the more serious material, wanting to do her best to make sure that the translations were done appropriately. “The biggest challenge of the project was just making sure that everything was correct,” she said. “This could help Hispanic people all over Indianapolis and surrounding areas so I wanted to make sure that I was translating from English to Spanish correctly.”

After the completion of the translation bootcamp, Ferreira is now in the process of checking her students’ work before handing the information back to Prevail of Central Indiana, which she hopes to have accomplished before the end of the semester.

“I think our motto “Education for Service” was exemplified in this project,” Ruiz said. “I think it’s important that we include this motto in our curriculum because it allows us to learn early on how to use our education to help others. I believe that no matter what we are studying, we will always impact others. There’s no better way to learn how to impact them positively than this.