IBM grant program funds translation program for Spanish speakers

Traducelo Ahora! focused on translating school emails and websites into Spanish.

Blogs, email and chat are all great ways to communicate - unless you don't speak English. Students and parents of Hispanic origin who find that speaking Spanish prevents them from fully participating in schools have a new resource thanks to a free technology program, reports eSchool News.

The translation program called, Traducelo Ahora!, or "translate now," uses IBM technology to help schools translate emails and web sites. IBM has sponsored a nationwide grant that gives schools and other nonprofit organizations free access to a specialized version of the company's WebSphere Translation Server, a service that helps multinational businesses convert web sites and email messages from English to other languages in real time.

The grant funds Spanish speakers to learn about computers, conduct online research and better engage parents in their children's education.

"We are trying to inspire the conversation between Spanish-speaking students and English-speaking teachers,"said Doris Gonzalez, program coordinator for IBM's Traducelo Ahora! project.

It is hoped that the translation server will allow parents and students to become more involved in their schools and communities.

"It's amazing how often language barriers keep people from reaching their potential," said Ray Mata, a bilingual education teacher.