Translation Services for Nonprofits: Understanding Your Challenges
Many nonprofit organizations serve a diverse population, including individuals who have limited or no English language skills.
For those organizations, high-quality translated materials are key when it comes to serving their target population. For a healthcare clinic in British Columbia, that might mean translating brochures and intake forms into Punjabi and Tagalog. For a parenting organization in Quebec, it might mean ensuring their website is fully translated into French.
At Art One, we provide translation services for nonprofits that take into account the specific challenges these organizations often face. We know that your time, resources, and budget may be limited, but you still want to make your services accessible to as many people as possible.
Free Up Your Team by Outsourcing to a Specialist in Translation Services for Nonprofits
In the nonprofit sector, people and resources are often spread thin. When you try to handle a translation project in-house, it adds even more tasks to your employees’ to-do lists, from sourcing translators to formatting documents in an unfamiliar language.
A language services provider specializing in translation services for nonprofits can take care of your translation and localization projects without requiring a significant time commitment from your team.
At Art One Translations, we offer a turnkey solution to our nonprofit clients so that they can translate their materials quickly and with a minimal time commitment.
Our services include transcription, document translation, voiceover in foreign languages, subtitling and captions, eLearning localization, and other language-related services.
For example, say your organization has recorded an educational video in English, but you now want to make it available in French and Chinese.
Art One can transcribe the content of the video in English, submit the content for translation, and have a voiceover artist in each language to create a dubbed version—or use the translations to create in-language captions.
Likewise, if you need to conduct a survey of your target population, including Chinese speakers, Art One can translate your survey questions into Chinese. Then once the survey responses are returned, we can translate them back into English so that non-Chinese-speaking staff can analyze them.
Translation Services for Nonprofits Adapt to Your Language Needs
When you handle translation projects in-house, each new language that you add means that you have to find new linguists and editors.
Partnering with a language services provider specializing in translation for nonprofits allows you to add languages, even for a one-off project, easily.
Art One has a pool of expert translators who work on projects for nonprofit organizations in a wide range of languages. So, if you receive a one-time request for a Punjabi translation of a pamphlet or you notice a considerable uptick in the number of Korean-speaking clients among your target population, we can help you adapt quickly.
Managing the Cost of Translation Services for Nonprofits on a Limited Budget
Over the years, we have worked with many nonprofits, so we know that most nonprofits have limited budgets for translation services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation more difficult—job loss and inflation mean more individuals than ever rely on the work that nonprofits do. At the same time, nonprofits in Canada and elsewhere have seen a significant decline in revenue since 2020, meaning they have less money to work with.
We pride ourselves on providing translation services for nonprofits that fit within your budget. Our goal is to ensure that you do not have to put key translation projects on hold due to a lack of funding.
Additionally, we can provide supporting documentation if you are seeking government funding to translate your material.
Addressing Inclusivity and Gender Sensitivity in Translation
Your organization is likely aware of the importance of inclusive language when you address your clients. Inclusivity also needs to be reflected in any translated materials you create.
Traditionally, the French language specifies a person’s gender through nouns, adjectives, and even verb forms. If a group of individuals is being referred to, the language defaults to the masculine form.
This means that non-binary people are misgendered when language is in a masculine or feminine form. Gender-sensitive translations look for creative workarounds that do not emphasize the gender of the target or the speaker.
For example, a document might use the neutral French word specialiste rather than the gendered expert or experte when describing an expert. The former is inclusive of men, women, and non-binary individuals.
The Translation Bureau established by the Government of Canada recommends using gender-inclusive language in correspondence.
Inclusive language is not limited to gender-related topics. Organizations should also eliminate language that negatively refers to people with disabilities or minimizes their experience.
Much like English, other languages have out-of-date and insensitive terms that are used to refer to people with disabilities, as well as idioms and slang words that make light of disabilities. Translators working in those languages must be aware of potential pitfalls and terms that might cause offense.
Our years of offering translation services for nonprofits means that our linguists are experienced in using inclusive and gender-sensitive language. Our translations use terms that will make your target population feel comfortable and demonstrate that you understand their needs.
To build trust with potential clients and funders familiar with your area of work, using language that treats them sensitively and shows that you recognize their preferences is critical.
Our Translation Services for Nonprofits Can Enhance Accessibility
Accessibility is a vital consideration when nonprofits undertake website localization.
Your audience may have varied accessibility needs. If you serve clients with visual impairments, every element on your website must be accessible to screen readers and other assistive devices.
Likewise, if the population you serve has limited English- or French-language skills, you may need to translate your content into a language they can read.
Several Canadian provinces have passed laws that establish web accessibility requirements. For example, in Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) also governs websites. Failure to meet these standards can lead to fines of up to $100,000 per day until corrected.
Other provinces, including Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and British Columbia, have passed similar legislation. (Quebec’s accessibility laws currently only apply to public sector organizations, but activists are pushing to improve them.)
If you are based in—or serve clients in—the United States, you may also need to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
Typically, these provincial and national laws rely on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are designed by the Web Accessibility Initiative.
In addition to language and translation services for nonprofits, Art One also provides professional accessibility compliance testing so that you can ensure your website is compliant with the relevant guidelines for the AODA, ADA, or any other legislation.
How Art One Has Provided Translation Services for Nonprofits
Art One has worked with many Canadian nonprofit organizations on various Translation for a Good Cause projects to enhance access to resources for people who speak other languages.
For example, we collaborated with the BC Council for Families on Farsi and Arabic translations of their brochures on child development and family relationships. The organization wanted to provide immigrant families with the tools to feel at home in Canadian society and ensure their children’s healthy development.
These brochures needed to be easy to read, as many members of the target population had spent time in refugee camps, where their access to education was disrupted. Our linguists worked hard to make the texts as accessible as possible to their readers.
Our collaboration with Canadian Council for Rehabilitation at Work on a large eLearning localization project resulted in fully localized training materials designed to support French-speaking Canadians with disabilities equipping them with the knowledge and confidence for inclusive employment.
Likewise, the Mothers Matter Centre has been using our translation services for nonprofits since 2013. We translate training manuals and other educational material for low-income and socially isolated parents around the country.
We provided French translations of their material and teamed up with them to translate their educational curriculum into seven other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, and Ukrainian. These materials were then distributed to refugee mothers when they arrived in Canada.
“My nonprofit needs French translations all the time. And not just any old French—it has to be Quebecois French. People know the difference, and Art One is able to meet our specific needs. And at a price our agency can afford. They provide amazing customer service, with excellent work done very quickly. We trust them with every job we have.”
– Darlene Gage, Mothers Matter Centre
Contact us to learn more about Art One’s translation services for nonprofits. We look forward to learning about your organization and how you serve your community and discussing how we can work with you to provide cost-effective, expert translations to your target population.
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