Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2008
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Nebraska Library Commission, Crane Room

Attendance: 13 people in attendance

  1. Translation Considerations / [Carol Brown, LanguageLinc]

    Did you know that one out of six people living in the United States speaks a language other than English?
    .
    Message synopsis:
    The topic of the meeting was the importance of offering translated documents on your web sites.  Our presenter was Carol Brown from LanguageLinc Interpretation Services.  
     
    LanguageLinc is a group of highly trained and certified/assessed interpreters who provide translating services for southeast Nebraska area.  These interpreters are trained in meeting the needs of medical, legal, social and law enforcement agencies. They are available 24-7 days a week.
     
    Ms. Brown pointed out several considerations for webmasters to take into account.  
    On the average it can take up to 7 years for new-comers to our country to learn our language.  During those years those same individuals, from a broad range of other countries, will need to use medical facilities, to understand legal documents and apply for citizenship just to name a few.  
     
    As the state and federal agencies move more to online availability for our citizens it is important to take into account the many different languages and countries represented in our state. When we create forms or PDF documents etc. it is critical that we check and double check the standards set out by the Federal Government in Title 6 which requires that we have documents available to individuals in their own language.  
     
    Brown pointed out that forms can present particular problems and present huge frustrations for individual's not familiar with our language.
     
    If you are considering using a translation agency like LanguageLinc - Brown's agency prefers to receive documents in a WORD format with a TIMES font and they charge based on a word count per document.
     
    LanguageLinc has a font library available for those wanting to access fonts from a particular group.  (see the attached pdf for contact information)

    Browns group also does reverse translating from a foreign language to English language.
     
    Brown indicated that the CDC has done a great job of providing the end-user with a broad selection of language offerings. Their Spanish version of their site is here: http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/
     
    If you or your agency are not easily able to translate languages for the web Brown discourages agencies from using translation software like "Babel fish" because the translation is not done accurately and can sometimes convey something that is quite the opposite of what you are intending to present in the way of documentation.  
     
    Brown indicated that their business has quadrupled in the past several years.
    Currently they have 2 Arabic, 1 Spanish, 5 Russian, 3 Vietnamese and are always training new translators in new languages.  They also provide sign language interpreters as well.  Brown suggests that if persons are interested in learning more about the demographic, social or cultural profiles of citizens in your area that you check the census bureau's quick data check at http://factfinder.census.gov/.
    Telephone interpretation is available as well.  This is a paid service. LanguageLinc cost is $1.40 a minute as compared to other "Blue Phone' providers that charge $3.00 a minute.

    Ms. Brown also provided a PDF of their flyer that is attached to this message for anyone to use as reference.

    On OTHER ISSUES covered at the meeting:

    1. It was decided that the Chairperson at the time is the one responsible for making sure the list is accurate and up-to-date.  I will, as Chairperson, continue to chip away at cleaning the list up and trying to add new names to the list as I go. I currently do have the list and have been updating it periodically as time has allowed. It would be nice to have a recording secretary to take notes etc. help share the load a bit. Volunteers can step up at the next meeting…  : )

    2. With regards to visiting other sites, businesses or production groups related to our positions for one or two of our meetings a year - the group indicated that they would like to do that. We will see if we can identify and schedule an on-site visit to a remote location for one of the meetings going forward. Perhaps at the next meeting someone will identify a group they would like to visit.  NET is a name that came up and we could certainly contact them for a tour or additional info on how they are running their streaming etc operations now. So this is moving along in the discussion but more remains to be identified.  

    3. It was also decided that this group would be a good group to channel some beta testing through. This activity would be something that would be set up remotely or through a discussion type or feedback enabled site where agencies could solicit feedback from the group on their sites.  The STAGED PROCESS part was nixed.  This would only be an informal means for agencies to get feedback and helpful suggestions for their sites.

    We also discussed the need for User Testing Documentation and Standards.

    MISC:

    I asked attendees at the meeting to submit their "need based" suggestions on presenters for the group, what is it that agencies would really like assistance with, more information on, support for their efforts and direction on next steps to improve their sites etc.

    We revisited the need to have a presentation on ADOBE Acrobat for the group - specifically accessibility and Acrobat.  Other names that came up were Angie Okamoto, Sharon Teo and several other sources at both the University level and private sector came up and will continue to be discussed.  

    Attendees indicated an interest in more info on Multimedia - the value of it for the end-user; pros and cons etc.  Too much eye candy vs. not enough "look" to a site.  The Dept of Agriculture would like some advice and assistance for an audio project they are doing and on video capture etc.

    CONSIDER THIS:  

    I would like to suggest that we take a meeting to browse through each other's (agencies) sites to see what is out there and get familiar with other agencies that might have similar needs, offerings and might benefit from some additional reciprocal linking etc.  If webmasters in our group would like to solicit feedback from the group on their site we could take a meeting to do that.  

    We are also still working toward creating that guideline and standard for social networking recommendation.  The social networking group is formed but so far not officially met apart from the group. We do need to set up a time.  So keep those ideas in the back of your head or if you stumble across something that might be useful to us in our efforts, snag it and bring it to the group meeting and we can look at how useful it might be to our group. Two very cool things that happened in this area is the new http://www.recovery.nebraska.gov/  Web site which comes fully equipped with a Twitter page http://twitter.com/recoverynegov and there is now a Nebraskagov Twitter as well http://twitter.com/Nebraskagov  If you have a twitter page let us know so we can all sign up as followers to see how it goes.

    I would like to see our webmaster web site be more interactive with regards to comments and input from other webmasters.  I don't know the best way to do that but I am sure some tossing the idea about will bring something productive to the surface.

    Please feel free to email me your thoughts, suggestions, frustrations, membership requests and web sites to Pat.Engelhard@nebraska.gov

  2. Adjourn. Meeting was adjourned.

Next Meeting

Wednesday, April, 1, 2009
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Nebraska Library Commission
1200 N Street, Suite 120
Crane Room (Lower Level, enter building on first floor, South side)