IAO acquires interpreter machine

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Posted on Sep 25 2019

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From left, Indigenous Affairs Office case worker Vicente T. Salas II, resident director Roman Tudela Jr, and project officer Cris Ogo pose with the interpreter machine the IAO acquired to facilitate real-time translations in public events promoting local language on the island. (IVA MAURIN)

The Indigenous Affairs Office recently acquired an interpreter machine to make the Chamorro and Carolinian languages more accessible to people who do not know how to speak it.

The machine, which is a first for the island, will be used in events to facilitate real-time translations, as part of IAO’s mission to protect and ensure the continued use of the local language.

“We encourage the use of our language in vernacular,” IAO resident director Roman Tudela, Jr. said. “This is promoting language. A lot of events now are all done in English. This is one step on our mission to start exposing our kids to our language.”

The acquisition of the machine is also part of the application of the elements identified during last year’s Chamorro and Carolinian Identity Conference.

The Chamorro Working Group identified language as an element to be focused on, which includes translation, aside from literature, media, and educational materials.

With four transmitters (which comes with microphones) and 60 receivers, up to 60 people will be able to access translation services during events that call for the use of the local language.

“This is an interpreter machine and the way this one works is you have an interpreter with a transmitter, and the receiver will get a headset,” Tudela explains.

“The interpreter will be translating whatever is being said by the presenter, interpreting on the fly, so people who do not understand the language can have a receiver and be part of the program, and understand what is being said.”

The IAO intends to apply the Chamorro language in any public events, and the machine will be made available for use for any public purpose concerning the promotion of the local language. Organizations who will have a public event to promote the local language would just need to register with and contact the IAO.

The IAO will be hosting, with the Carolinian Affairs Office, the 3rd Annual Chamorro and Carolinian Identity Conference this Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Napu Room of the Pacific Islands Club.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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