Translating eduspeak

At an annual cost of $4.5 million, 40 translators work at New York City’s school district office translating educational notices for parents from around the world. NYC Educator suggests translators should do more than worry about how to render “empowerment school” and “English language learner” in Chinese, Armenian or Arabic.

. . . he should be translating phrases like, “Your child is studying in a half-classroom with no insulation, and therefore can hear every sound from the adjacent classroom.” Or the ubiquitous, “We’re dumping your kids into a trailer in back of the school because you don’t speak English and we figure you won’t complain.” Or the ever-popular, “We’re closing your kid’s school and eliminating all the language-support programs that used to be in it. Good luck finding someplace else.”

It might be useful to translate the eduspeak into English. For example, “opportunity school” usually means “school for bad kids.”

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  1. Pat McGee says:

    Edubabel is used to intimidate parents, children and the public in general. If there is a $10 word, it will be used instead of the $1 word. It makes administrators feel really important. It annoys real teachers.

  2. Yeah, interpreters imply a desire to be understood.

  3. is a good site to create edubabble.

    “We will strategize mission-critical interfaces that extend performance-based pedagogy to integrate peer-based solutions, which will help to implement revolutionary schemas and benchmark competency-based paradigms.” Gee, sounds like I should be a PhD in Education Theory, doesn’t it?