If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
Finding the right words to convey your message accurately is more than a question of language, it’s a question of cultures – it’s all subtlety and nuance. Anyone armed with a dictionary can address the hispanophone community, and yet, never reach the local Latino community, not where and how it counts. It takes more than words, it takes an understanding of where they live, how they live, and who they are and aspire to be. It requires an understanding of what their vision of the American dream is, how that compares with their current reality, and how they’ve made peace with that. It’s about finding the right images to convey these thousand words, and one word to convey myriad images.
I don’t pretend to know everything about every different culture that comprises the local Latino community. What I do possess, however, is the ability and the knowledge to assess the needs of your audience by unearthing what’s specific to them beyond the language they speak, and adjust the message accordingly.
I also believe that the most important part of communication is listening. I don’t have any ready-made solutions, any templates, pre-digested formats or turn-key solutions. I work with my clients first to understand what they have to offer, then to grasp what they want to convey. I listen to their intended public to gather whether the message will have any traction with them. Then I put the two together, custom-made to meet the needs of both.
- Regular guest columnist for El Tiempo newspaper;
- Sub-contracted for Salazar Communications, specializing in Marketing and PR to the Latino communities;
Knowing the intention behind the word or the sentence in English and finding its equivalent in Spanish. Treating every sentence as if it were an idiom – rooted in tradition and meaning – and finding something as evocative in Spanish. Knowing my clients’ corporate culture and vision so well that I can give the same care and consideration to each syllable of the translated copy. It’s respecting that language has a rhythm, that a story has a pace, and finding a way to recreate that in a different language. It’s looking at both copies as the end result and not being able to tell the original from the translation. That’s my idea goal with every translation project I take on.
- Various press releases, web content and internal communications dedicated to partners and beneficiaries to Spanish through her work at the Public Education Foundation;
- Manuals, procedures, guidelines and events correspondence to Spanish through her work at the Make a Wish Foundation.
- Exclusive translation to Spanish service for Bay Row Communications.
It has become increasingly clear that, especially during the 2012 election cycle, that many candidates for office and elected officials, don’t only not understand how to address the Latino issues, but more importantly, that there’s no such thing as the Latino issues. Our community faces similar problems, concerns and struggles and we all do, just as – along with others – we are advocating equal rights, representation and access as everyone else. These are not Latino issues – they are human issues differ only by degree and perspective with each community. And to approach it otherwise is patronizing at best, insulting at worse. But I believe that this is not the result of stubborn ignorance, but rather a lack of education and awareness on their part. And as a community, we could benefit from a more organized, cohesive and articulate voices.
I’m not looking to be that voice. My work is to provide the organizations looking to address the Latino communities the right tools to convey their message and provide the community organizations the resources to rise in a united voice.
- Key member of the Ya es Hora Citizenship Workshops through which helped more than 1600 residents of Las Vegas become US citizens;
- Serves on the local Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC);
- Involved with Mi Familia Vota and assists in their canvassing and voter registration efforts;
- Advocate for education – public speaking on behalf of the Public Education Foundation Scholarship Program;
Facilitating a focus group is more than getting twelve people around a table to discuss a topic and give their impressions. It’s bringing the right people around the table and asking the right questions to obtain the most comprehensive range of opinions. By understanding your topic/message/product, and knowing the audience you want to reach, I can make it happen. It’s easy to get the answers you want. It’s essential to get the answers you need.
- University of Neveda Reno Cooperative Extention (UNRCE): health issues in the latino and latina LGBTQ community;