Hispanic Ministry assembles translation dream team (Feb. 13, 2004)

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Hispanic Ministry assembles translation dream team

Feb. 13, 2004    News media contact:  Michael Wacht*    
mwacht@flumc.org     Orlando  {0022}

Office of Connectional Ministries provides half the costs for translation services.

An e-Review Feature
By J.A. Buchholz**

LAKELAND - The Rev. Edwin Santos said more and more Hispanics will have a higher level of participation now that the Florida Conference will be providing translation services from English to Spanish for conference materials.

The Florida Conference Council on Ministries (CCOM) will immediately begin offering the translation services for written, as well as spoken, communication in conjunction with the CCOM's Hispanic Ministry.

"This is something I've wanted for a long time," said Santos, director of the Hispanic Ministry. "We are thrilled."

Santos said he is excited to have assembled a seven-person team to provide the service. He said the translators have been screened by the CCOM office and the Hispanic Ministry executive committee.

The translation services are limited to conference ministries, but Santos hopes to expand services in the future to district offices. He said documents in need of translation can range from simple to complex.

There is a fee for the services of $12.50 per double-spaced page, according to the Rev. Dr. Anne Burkholder, director of the Office of Connectional Ministries. Oral interpretation will also be offered at the rate of $12.50 per hour, plus mileage and housing, if a local interpreter is not available to attend an event.

While conference funds have been assigned to the translation project, they would be quickly depleted if Connectional Ministries covered all of the costs, according to Burkholder who suggests ministries interested in having material translated share the translation costs with the Connectional Ministries office.

"This will be an experimental year for this service," Burkholder said in a recent release. "We do not believe that we can offer such services for major documents such as the conference workbook or journal or even events such as annual conference at this time. It would, however, be helpful for us to get a better idea of how much work needs to be done."

Providing translation services means the conference is committed to Hispanic Ministry, Santos said. He said he is happy conference leadership is reaching out to the 3,000 Hispanics who worship at the 53 conference churches and missions.

"This means that the conference is being more intentional," he said. "This means that we will be able to participate more and share our feelings more."

Santos doesn't plan to stop with the seven people he has assembled to perform the translation work. He said he would like to have as many as 25 translators available to the conference.

"If Spanish translation goes well we would like to get teams together to translate documents into Creole, Korean and Portuguese," Santos said. "This is the first step."

Santos would also like to teach his one-hour, 10-week "survival" Spanish course for pastors in several districts this year. He provided the course two years ago and said it was helpful for Anglo pastors to learn some Spanish.

"It's all about getting more involvement from the Hispanic community," he said. "We can get that if people are comfortable with the language."

For more information about the translation service or to apply to become a translator contact Icel Rodriguez at 800-282-8011, extension 182.


This article relates to Hispanic Ministry and Outreach.

*Wacht is director of Florida United Methodist Communications and managing editor
of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Buchholz is a staff writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.

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