Language Access Initiative
Pro Bono Net is committed to making content on our partner sites accessible to all residents, regardless of fluency in English. To this end, we offer quarterly LawHelp Language Access Minigrants inviting partners to request website content be translated into languages other than English as well as a bank of easily adaptable translated website content.
There are certain priority areas Pro Bono Net and LawHelp are especially committed to. Specifically, if you are a partner with little or no translated materials on your site, please reach out to your contact at Pro Bono Net to talk about your translation needs, accessing and using the translation bank and creating a plan to translate your site's navigation text as well as content.
You may have a specific project requiring translated materials outside of regular content for your website. If this is the case, please reach out to your Pro Bono Net contact to speak further about your needs.
All LawHelp partners are encouraged to submit materials for translation, and to utilize the translation bank. We may accept translation requests for statewide website content outside the LawHelp network in the summer and winter quarters, as our capacity allows.
As LawHelp partners submit materials for translation, some of the materials that may be most helpful to other partner states will be posted in the translation bank. The following are materials currently available:
- Topics/Subtopics in multiple languages
- Useful navigation text in Spanish
- Contact Us in Spanish
- Accessibility in Spanish
- Privacy Policies in Spanish
- National Plain Language Guides available in 5 languages
- Glossaries of Translated Legal Terms
This list will be updated as we receive more content. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Language Access MiniGrant
This opportunity is made possible through an in kind grant between the charitable arm of the Linguistic Systems, Inc and Pro Bono Net. For more information on this partnership, see our press release here. Partners submit their translation requests to Xander Karsten, Law Help Program Coordinator, on or before the final submission date for the quarter. Based on capacity, some or all requests will then be submitted to LSI. LSI contracts out the requests to their pool of translators, and returns the translated materials to Pro Bono Net, who then disseminates them to the states. Materials that can be used on other statewide websites (such as navigation text) will be made available to all Law Help partners in our translation bank.
Please note: This is not designed for emergency translation needs, translations can take between 4 weeks (or longer) to complete.
Due to the nature of the in-kind grant funding this project, we tentatively anticipate offering translation opportunities 4 times throughout 2013.
Applying for the Language Access MiniGrant
- Please fill out this document electronically, and attach it as .doc. Do not print out the document to scan the completed version, and please do not attach it as a pdf.
- Please rank the content in order of importance (the first document being the most important, the fifth being the least).
- Please fill out all sections of the document to the best of your ability.
- Please note that file format is the type of file you have attached (.pdf, .doc etc) not the content format (FAQ, Booklet).
The text you wish translated.
- Please do not provide URLs or hyperlinks to materials. Please attach a .pdf, .doc or other file with the text you want translated. If you provide links we will contact you and request you provide the text in a file.
- Please include your state's postal abbreviation in the file name.
- Please do not compress your files. Multiple emails are fine if your attachments are large.
You may submit up to 5 documents per quarter.
- If you have a specific need for additional materials please contact email@example.com or your contact person at Pro Bono Net. If after the submission date we have capacity to accept more requests we will extend the deadline.
- If you submit more than 5 documents on the submission sheet, only the first five will be considered.
- You can request these 5 documents be translated into as many languages as you wish. If you want an Evictions brochure translated into 3 languages, it is still only one document,.
Languages Currently Available Through LSI
We do not currently have a list of all available languages for which LSI provides translations. However, if a translator is particularly difficult to find for your requested language, LSI may request more time, or may not be able to complete the job. If this happens, Pro Bono Net will work with you to find an alternative.
The Language Access MiniGrant and the translation bank are both available to LawHelp partners. If your agency provides content to a LawHelp site, and you would like that content translated, or access to the translation bank, please contact your statewide website administrator or your contact person at Pro Bono Net. If you are not currently a LawHelp partner, but would like translation services for your statewide website, please note that we are tentatively planning to accept requests in the Summer and Winter, as funding allows. If you are not currently a LawHelp partner and do not have access to the translation bank, please contact Xander or reach out to your PBN contact person.
Due to the popularity of this opportunity, we are unable to offer this grant opportunity for the Fall or Winter. We look forward to working with our partners again in 2014!
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I select materials for translation?
States vary on what materials they feel are appropriate for translation, and there are a few
considerations you should take into account.
- Are your navigation texts/About Us/Disclaimers translated?
- Can you find these translations in our translation bank?
- What is your most popular content?
- Is there an area of law you feel should be more accessible?
Please note: the typical turnaround for job requests is between 1-2 months. Therefore, this is not appropriate for emergencies or for content when you know the law is going to change in the near future. If you have content that has been reviewed and/or updated by an attorney in the last few
months, this may be the perfect opportunity to have the materials translated, as you know the content will not change in the foreseeable future.
What happens if my content changes after I submit a request?
You cannot update or substitute materials after the submission deadline. We can cancel translation requests and you can resubmit the new version in the next quarter. Alternatively, you can have the document translated and have the updates changed or inserted by your staff or outside translation providers. However, once the submission deadline has passed, no substitutions or changes can be made unless you are canceling a request.
Are there times when my content will not be translated?
There are only a few reasons your request may not be translated. The most likely is grant capacity, or that the language you requested is unavailable.
We strive to ensure all interested partners have the opportunity to receive some translated materials each quarter. While we accept all content, we may ask that longer materials be replaced with shorter ones, so we can address all partners needs. If such a replacement is necessary, we will contact you and work with you to find appropriate materials. Depending on the volume of the requests, we may limit the number of translations per partner.
Requested language is unavailable
There are times when LSI will inform us that the language you requested is unavailable. This can happen up to 2 months after the submission. If this does happen, we will work together to find content that is ready for translation into languages that are available, and substitute the submitted content. You will not be penalized.
A good rule of thumb is to submit the materials you want, in the language(s) you want- if there's a problem, we'll work together to make sure your needs are addressed.
Trainings & Additional Resources
Throughout the year Pro Bono Net, LawHelp Interactive, LawHelp and our partners provide trainings in Language Access, LEP concerns and ensuring your website is accessible to all users. Below is a listing of these trainings:
- LSNTAP/PBN Community Training Series -LEP 201: Tips and challenges in expanding LEP capacity in different technology contexts
- LSNTAP/PBN Community Training Series - Using Technology to Assist People with Limited English Proficiency