Problems with translator

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I love getting letters from the girls I write to, but I am frustrated with one of the girl's letters - she is from Rawanda.  All but 1 of the 4 letters I've gotten from her are written by the translator as if she is telling me about the child  - "your child is . . .  , etc."  They are all pretty much the same too - how are you?  my family and I are fine, etc.  One letter I received was really translated by the young man and told me things about the girl as she had written it. That was so great!  A letter like this will help me get to know this girl, but the others really don't.  Is it possible that the translators be advised to write what the child has written? 
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Caryl Tieszen

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Posted 4 years ago

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KristenH, Champion

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If you believe there is a problem with the translation you can email a copy of the letters to and explain the problem. They can do an inquiry for you and if necessary, have the letter retranslated.
I've had to do this before because the translation was missing! Lol
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Do the children receive our letters in the same way?  "Your sponsor was thinking about you today."  or do the get the letters as "I was thinking about you today."  
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I got a letter from Columbia recently. I am learning spanish and noticed that some spanish words were different. I used a translating app to realize that they left whole sentences out. Could be an honest mistake, but if I had not been looking at the Spanish side I would not have noticed that they did not translate the whole letter for me. :/
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Caryl Tieszen

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I'[m thinking, too, that they do not translate everything for me.  I think I will send an email copy of the letters to see if that will make a difference.  Thank you both!
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Caryl, I'm so sorry that you're frustrated and if your letters from your girl in Rwanda seem impersonal at all or if the translation seems inaccurate. We know how important letters are on both sides for both you and your child in getting to know each other. It looks like you have two little ladies in Rwanda but I see that you've received four letters from Ahishakiye so I'm wondering if you're talking about her? 

It's very possible that the individual translating your letters is telling you what your child is writing and providing all of the information your child has written, but is just exchanging the 'My family is doing well' for 'Your child's family is doing well.' I have seen this in some situations and it is just that translators method of relaying that child's information in a way you'll understand best. However, if you think that there is missing information or if this is happening in all of your letters and not just randomly every once in a while, you can send us a copy of these letters and we can check to ensure that the letter is being translated correctly and you're being told everything that your girl is writing in her letter to you.

In regards to the content you're seeing in your girl's letters; when our children come to the project to write letters to their sponsors, there are templates available for them to copy from if they don't know what to write or need ideas on what to ask their sponsor or what information to give about themselves. Being 12 or 13 year old girls, sometimes their minds are on other things like the next game their going to play or what they're talking about with their friends, and they need help focusing on the activity at hand ;). Other times, they may have forgotten the letter you last wrote to them at home and so they may not remember the questions you had asked them. Other sponsors, as well as myself, have found that highlighting your questions or numbering them in your letters, helps your child to recall questions you've asked so that they answer them in their next letter to you. It also draws attention to them for our staff so that they can take note of these specific questions and help your girl answer them in her next letter even if she forgets it at home :). I would encourage you to try this technique in your next few letters and my prayer is that your letters from her become more personal and repeat themselves less. 

Thank you for being patient with her in the content she provides you in her letters. Often times, the daily lives of your children are pretty similar from day to day and do not vary much from doing chores, helping take care of their siblings, going to school, and attending the project. Because of this, they might not know what else to write about. So when you're specific with your questions about her life like, 'What have you been learning at school,' or ' What are your favorite activities to do with your friends,' it helps them to better understand how to have a relationship with you through a letter and be more personal with you :). Even if she hasn't been able to express it to you in her letters, please know how much they mean to her! Letters make such a big impact on your child's confidence and I know the children in our program always get so excited to hear from their sponsors. Your letters let them know they are loved and that someone believes in them!

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