What It’s Like To Be A Translator

by Amanda Agustin
Also Featured on KCBS

What It’s Like To Be A Translator

by Amanda Agustin
Also Featured on KCBS
07.24.16
07.24.16

My mom learned she wasn’t “American” enough — every time someone shot a snarky comment about her broken English.

My mom is one of the funniest, most high-spirited people I know. In the living room of my uncle’s house, she cracks jokes — in Spanish. She cackles at them afterwards. Her laughter is unafraid and carefree–a sound I never hear from her in English.

That easy-going woman I know is not the same woman I see with PTA moms. In English-only environments, she doesn’t speak up. She looks at me to finish her sentences.

I used to watch other parents connect and wished so badly my mom could belong to that American culture. I thought that if she could just try harder maybe people would take her seriously. As I grow older, though, I realize that I can’t blame her for being uncomfortable interacting in English. If I was belittled every time I put myself out there, I’d be insecure too. I hope one day she won’t feel that she needs me to finish the ends of her sentences, but I’m proud of her even if she does.

If you like what you see here and are inspired to do something about — like make an app — we’ve got just the thing! Our partners at MIT App Inventor created a tool that makes it possible for people with no coding experience to make apps from scratch. We created a custom app-building tutorial linked to this story. You can use it to get you started today making a mobile app of your own, inspired by this YR Media feature. 

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