Texas is a growing multicultural society. With that growing society, Take Care of Texas documents, lesson plans, and publications, which have historically only been available in English are now being translated to provide vital and accessible information to non-English speakers. In Texas alone there are more than 6 million Spanish-speaking residents, and it is important for them to have access to learn, engage, and “Do their part” to Take Care of Texas.
This summer, I worked as a translation intern for Take Care of Texas as part of the Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program. Interning as a translator highlighted issues of language barriers and in my role, I was able to make a difference by translating environmental resources from English to Spanish!
As a first-generation Mexican American, my first language was Spanish. It was the only language spoken in our home for at least 15 years. While my mother knew some English, the rest of my family could barely understand it. At the age of eight, I recall translating medical and legal documents for my family when I myself barely knew proper English. “Why not use Google translate?” is something my family has always been asked. While it is a good question, if you are bilingual then you know that not every word or phrase can always be properly translated. In addition, according to Governor's Broadband Council's report, an estimated 926,859 Texans do not have access to broadband at home as of July 2020, meaning many residents lack access to a web-based translator.
Although my time as an MLEIP intern with Take Care of Texas has come to an end, I look forward to seeing my translation contributions helping Take Care of Texas for years to come.
Translating documents creates a sense of inclusion within the community. When we are all on the same page, our goals for Texas conservation can be more attainable!