8.9 Providing Spanish Translations to Build a Weather-Ready Nation

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 3:30 PM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Krizia Negron-Hernandez, NWS, Key West, FL; and L. Johnson

Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in United States, after English, and it experienced growth in the past several years, among the most common non-English languages (Census, 2011). Of those that spoke Spanish at home, nearly half reported that they did not speak English “very well”. This growth makes it vitally important that the National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather and preparedness information in Spanish as part of realizing the goal of building a Weather-Ready Nation. Since late 2013, a team of bilingual NWS meteorologists formed a translation team, and have been successful in translating numerous outreach and preparedness materials into Spanish. The NWS Spanish Outreach Team (SOT) has successfully utilized resources, skills, and communications across NWS regional boundaries.

The SOT harnessed newer technologies to facilitate discussion and collaboration and focus on collective translations despite rotating shift work and vast geographical separation. These technologies have included the Google Enterprise (Gmail, Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Sites), Facebook groups and chat functions and NOAA VLab. SOT assisted the national WRN program with translations on the seasonal Safety Campaign materials. This assistance has included translating infographics, informational and preparedness materials, and social media toolkits which support and facilitate field office bilingual postings. Following the success of these seasonal preparedness campaign collaborations, the SOT expanded and enhanced their reach and efforts. This included support to: several NWS local weather forecast offices (WFOs), the National Hurricane Center, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Environmental Service communications for GOES-R and Joint Polar Satellite System, and a unique FEMA collaboration on regional levels that produced ENSO themed videos focused on community preparedness in English and Spanish. The team also maintains a Google Site (accessible to all NOAA employees) where material already translated is available to others, and allows for field offices or national centers to connect materials quickly with the team to make translation requests.

This presentation will build upon the best practices and lessons learned, focusing on enhancing skills and collaboration tools to increase Spanish translated materials within the NWS and beyond as part of supporting the concept of a Weather-Ready Nation.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner