Kamusta! Hola! Marhaba! How many languages are spoken in your local government area, organisation or amongst the people you serve? What steps are you taking to connect with them in their native tongue? Who can help you connect? There is one simple answer, translation services! Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF) offers quality document translations services to all organisations, charities and businesses ranging from small to large enterprises. Blacktown Area Community Centres (BACC) saw the value of this service. They entrusted WSCF to translate A Book About a Book, a children’s book catering to the multicultural landscape of the Blacktown region.

BACC is an organisation with four locations in the Blacktown area including Doonside Cottage, Blacktown Roving Childcare, Dean Park Neighbourhood Centre and Marayong House. They offer a variety of programs implemented by community engagement teams, youth teams, and early childhood teams. With social justice as a guiding principle, BACC empowers individuals and families to engage in a vibrant community life. BACC have an ongoing relationship with WSCF and this good working relationship and the high standard of work delivered previously added to the confidence that BACC had in working with WSCF again with translating their book. WSCF’s translating services are accredited translators, knowledgeable in various areas from promotional material, brochures, pamphlets to complex and sensitive publications. These works are not only affordable, rapid, reliable and accurate but available in over 80 languages. Like BACC, WSCF’s members also receive highly subsidised translations services.

BACC saw the endless possibilities that the translated books could offer. Consequent of receiving funding, BACC developed the easy read book, A Book About a Book, featuring Rooby Roo, popular mascot for paint the town ReAD (Penrith, Blacktown, Doonside). A Book About a Book, was translated into four languages (Tagalog, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu) and Darug with the assistance of Aunty Edna. Through activities that BACC ran, a reoccurring concern was the level of literacy engagement of parents and caregivers, therefore affecting children’s literacy skills. As BACC works in such a culturally diverse community, it only made sense to produce reading materials that parents, caregivers and children could engage with together. A great feature of this book is it has both the translated language and English text. This created a bonding experience of sharing languages and encouraging the community’s engagement with reading materials .

Translations can be a tedious and time-consuming process that at times can be difficult. Donna, Early Childhood Coordinator of Marayong House, described how the WSCF team were willing to help and make her feel comfortable to ask anything and everything therefore making the trying experience a lot more pleasant and smooth. Donna further explained how the NAATI certified translators gave her confidence to trust the work produced. Although translation can be difficult Donna said, the overall experience was positive and well supported!

The ability to translate A Book About a Book and servicing a literacy gap, has made BACC even more visible. The significance of an easy to read book produced by a community organisation in Western Sydney for Western Sydney residents is invaluable and fittingly piqued the interest of Health NSW! Thousands of copies have been distributed and the high demand continues; further highlighting the importance of utilising translations services to further empower the community. How will you use our translations services to serve your community?

Catherine Madziva