Interpreters assist with translation on phone calls


Mason Hood

Students and faculty can use the service LanguageLine when they need an interpreter to help them talk to others who speak a different language. Shown, Anne-Keren Kanté, a second-year biology student and native French speaker.

Zack Buster, Editor-in-Chief

Students who have trouble speaking or reading English can get help from an interpreter or translator through a program that began in February.

Faculty, staff and community members also have access to the service when speaking with someone from the college.

“The language diversity in [Maryland] is rapidly changing,” Adult Education and English Language Learning Director Dana Marron said. “To make sure that we’re meeting the needs of [the campus community], it’s important that we can make sure that we can provide access to students.”

Marron said the college’s partnership with the translator service LangauageLine allows the college to stay “relevant” and “accessible” to all students.

Students who need the service can dial ​​410-777-2901 to join a three-way call with the person they want to talk to and an interpreter who speaks one of the more than 240 languages the company offers.

ELL instructional specialist Owen Silverman Andrews, who uses the service occasionally, said he relies on the document translation service to help create a Spanish version of his syllabus.

Andrews said these services help take the weight off bilingual faculty and staff at AACC.

“We have staff members at the college who speak Spanish, but their job is not to be translators,” Andrews said. “Just because you speak a language well doesn’t mean you can translate the tobacco policy, the no-smoking policy with all the legal terms.”

I think the help desk or the technical call service desk is either going to or will start using it that’s another place where you know even if your first language is English, some of the technology vocabulary can go over your head.

Andrews said students for whom English is a second language might use the service to talk to help desk technicians, other students and faculty or staff, for example.