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Feature

Student translators aid foreign language speaking peers

Shreya Gundavarpu| Staff Writer

Jumaana Mahmoud (left) and Abdullah Abdulwahab (right) act as student translators for native Arabic speakers.

Jumaana Mahmoud (left) and Abdullah Abdulwahab (right) act as student translators for native Arabic speakers.

Ayudar es dar y dar es ser cariñoso.

Translation: Helping is giving and giving is caring.

Mason Middle School has many multilingual students walking around the halls, but it also has many multilingual students helping English as a Second Language students make their way through the so-called “normal school day.”

The school has its own student translators who help ESL students make their way around the school and through the school curriculum. Most of these students are bilingual, or speak English and another language as well.

7th grader and translator Nina Lin speaks English and a Chinese Dialect; she said it’s fun and great to be a student translator.

“Helping students feels good because I can feel happy about that, and I think that it’s amazing that I am one of the only people in the school who can help,” Lin said. “Sometimes I translate a word into Chinese and it helps (the student) understand better. I don’t think that I am very good at English, but I know enough to help them.”

Seventh grader Jumaana Mahmoud speaks Arabic and English and said he thinks that translating is a little bit difficult, but it’s also fun at the same time.

“Being one of the only people who can translate to these students feels weird,” Mahmoud said. “I get worried that sometimes, they don’t understand me because there are different dialects of the language, but it is mostly fun and easy for me to do. My teachers knew that I spoke good Arabic and good English, so they let me help them translate different things that they didn’t know. It feels good to help.”

Seventh grader Abdullah Abdulwahab also speaks Arabic and English, and he said being a student translator makes him feel like he’s making a difference.

“It feels great to be a student translator and it makes me feel proud of myself,” Abdulwahab said. “I feel like I’ve done something and helped someone out. It’s great.”

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