contributed by Una Hartzell-Baird
Our mission in providing language services is to expand the opportunities for non-native English speakers to participate in our community, learn, work, and play to the greatest extent possible. Often this means we’re providing translated materials for a variety of organizations that are distributed in physical form, such as brochures, instructions, informational flyers, and the list goes on. Our impact feels even greater when we have a chance to participate in a digital distribution format such as the Bright by Text program.
If you haven’t heard of it, Bright by Text is an initiative brought to Indianapolis by WFYI, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and in collaboration with several community partners (and LUNA clients) including the Early Learning Indiana/Child Care Answers, Indianapolis Public Library, Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Jump IN, and the Nurse-Family Partnership. It’s targeted to parents and caregivers of children from newborn to age five and provides useful and easy tips for engaging with children and developing their full potential. The messages are short, simple, and provide a link for additional information. For example, a recent text included how to talk to a toddler about emotions. Other messages have included free events happening at the Indianapolis Public Library.
This project came to us with an added challenge: maintain the translated text to 140 characters or less while preserving the original message. Often translation encounters expansion rates of 20% or more, which means that the target language may require 20% more words to convey the same message as the source text. When projects have space limitations, the work is tricky. Thanks to the world-class translators at LUNA, this approachable, simple, and free resource will reach a broader audience in the Spanish speaking communities right at home.