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Fourteen Translations of FETA, Chapter Nine

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In the process of seeking an Hispanic translator for Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA) we have received translations of Chapter 9 of our From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA) book from 14 individuals. We would appreciate your helping us decide which is the best translation to use for our parents.

The English version of Chapter 9 of our FETA book is located at:


I took each translation and reformatted them so that each translation would, visually, look alike.

I also deleted the tables since there was so much variation from one person to the next.

The target audience are the Hispanic parents living in the United States who are raising a child with a disability and have to become familiar with the special ed process and jargon.

Because the public school educators use the term IEP as a part of a discussion about a child's needs and educational program, I deleted PEI as used by some of the translators and replaced it with IEP. I recognize that the correct and literal translation and one used in US Dept of Ed publications and in Puerto Rico is PEI. We do not want our Hispanic parents to be confused at an IEP meeting and to use PEI when communicating with the educators, so we are sticking with IEP.

In the beginning of the book we will add a statement about some of those changes and also provide a clear glossary and explanation so that PEI, in this book, is IEP. This issue will pop up with many of the various acronyms such as IEE, LRE, SEA, LEA, IDEA, and the list goes on.

Some of the translators inserted footnotes and or explanations when referring to one gender or another, i.e., boy v. girl. I deleted the inserted footnotes. Most translations have ¿ at the beginning of a question, but some do not. If a translation is missing the ¿ at the beginning, disregard that and do not let that influence your decision. When the book is fully translated, ¡we will follow correct Hispanic punctuation!

For your purposes in picking out the best translations, visualize the Hispanic parent who is not well educated and is stumbling, but desperately wants to learn how to effectively advocate and negotiate for services on behalf of their child.

When someone writes an article for our website, I tell the potential author to visualize that parent who is a clerk at your local convenience store, and began telling you about their child with a disability and is seeking guidance from you having learned that you are familiar with the spec ed process.

If not the convenience store clerk, it might be the waitress at the restaurant who is moonlighting to earn extra funds to pay for the child's therapy.

I tell our potential writers to visualize someone who is not a high school graduate and write as if you are talking to that person, making the information easy to understand.

Our FETA book is written at about the 6th to 7th grade level. We want a Spanish translation to mirror our words and concepts as best can be done. As in the FETA book, we want lots of carrier returns with a book that is easy to read.

On that note, some of the translations were visually very attractive, and others were mediocre. I deliberately changed all bolds, italics, and fancy formatting so that the actual context and translation would be the focus, rather than the appearance.

Once the book is translated, we will have to reformat the translation.

For your purposes, do not worry about the visual appearance, just focus on the quality.

I asked some of our potential reviewers and the translators for their thoughts as to what should be the criteria to select the best translation. I have copied and pasted some of the comments below:


I hope that the most readable and the most understandable translations would be one and the same. Since the translation is for people across the United States, from many different countries, and having varying levels of education, the translation should be in standard Spanish with correct grammar and without colloquialisms. For instance, we think of standard Spanish as that used in media.

Chose a version by its accessibility to the readers.

Choose the translation that speaks to your audience.

There are also varying types of Spanish around the country just as there are varying levels of English and we ought to keep an eye out for the type of writing that will be comprehended by all or most groups.

We want everyone to understand what they are reading.

A translation should be well written and directed to any kind of population regardless the level of education of the audience.

The translation should capture all Spanish speaking people regardless of country of origin so any one can understand the content.

It should be readable and easy to understand by the Hispanic community living in the US. It is important to mention that for some definitions in English that schools use, parents may have to learn and became familiar with, such as IEP.

We all have roots from different countries and we may have our own idioms and words that have different meaning depending the country of origin, but we can accomplish both; to produce a readable educational tool that all Spanish speaker families living in the US can understand.


The fourteen translations of Chapter 9 of our FETA book are listed by an author ID Code. They are located at:


We would be most appreciative if you would compare the translations and send us your selection as to the top three, in order of 1, 2, and 3, and explain why you selected each one and why # 1 was the best of all.

Please send your comments by Noon, EDT, Thursday, September 9.

For your email vote, in the subject line please put, as the first word in all caps, followed by the author ID code of your first choice. Example -

SPANISH abcd123 (ID Code)

in other words, the word SPANISH in all caps and then the 1st place author ID code. In the body of the email, please list 1, 2, 3, with the respective ID Codes and then, below that list of your top three explain your reasons for each selection. Please send your email to:

spanish |at| harborhouselaw.com (you will need to insert the @ sign.)

Many thanks for your willingness to undertake this task.

Pete & Pam Wright

Last revised: 00/00/0000
Created: 08/23/10

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