Education Translation

Education translation is urgently needed in schools across America. The number of students (and parents) with limited English proficiency is growing as more and more immigrants are enrolling in preschool, grade school, middle school, and high school. There’s even a spike of students studying abroad in college these days. 


Why Education Translation Is Necessary for Schools

Education translation services are becoming more and more necessary for schools at both the public and private levels — from kindergarten through higher education. With more and more immigrant students enrolling in schools across the United States, creating equal learning opportunities has never been more important. 


Currently across the country:



It’s obvious that the need for English translation resources is needed in schools across the board.

The Problem With Education Translation Services 

When it comes to in-person English translation services, many schools are hard-strapped for money for high-quality professional translators. 


To add insult to injury, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted the way children learn altogether. Now that e-learning is the norm, many kids don’t have in-person support anymore at all. Programs that ELL kids once thrived on (including after-school programs and times blocked out during the day for special assistance) are no longer offered at all.


The need for technology-based translation services is more apparent than ever.  Language learning apps and translation apps such as Vocre on the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores allow children to use voice-to-text as well as text translation on their own, at home. While apps like Google Translate might not offer high levels of accuracy, there are still some apps that can help


These types of apps also take some of the stress off parents that might otherwise struggle to help their children learn in English at home.

Translation Services for Students

Public schools often have the most need for translation services for students. Many schools in urban areas that are home to immigrant populations have language needs that vary throughout local school districts. Just some of the reasons that local schools need some type of translation service (whether it’s an in-person translator or translation technology) include:


  • Explaining advanced grade-level vocabulary 
  • Reading and writing comprehension
  • Intricate terms and nuances that are difficult for English-speaking teachers to translate
  • Offering both students and teachers support for vocab words that might otherwise stump and set back an entire lesson


Tips for Working With ELL Students

Working with ELL students is much different than working with students who speak English as a first language. 


Here are a few tips for communicating with English language learning students:


  • Create a safe space
  • Use visual aids
  • Introduce vocab at the beginning of a lesson (not during the lesson)
  • Connect similarities between English and native languages
  • Ask plenty of questions to ensure kids understand both cognitively and emotionally
  • Don’t ask closed-ended questions


Remember, the best way to learn a new language is to take it slow. Don’t overwhelm your students with loads of new vocab words in one day; instead, introduce new words as they’re relevant. 

Translation Services for Parents

While the focus of education translation is usually on the student, many parents may need help as well — in some cases, parents may need more translation assistance. Just some of the reasons parents may need translation services include common document translation (report cards, permission slips, medical forms) and communication of a student’s strengths or challenges.


It’s also important to ensure parents feel welcome at a parent/teacher conference — regardless of their first languages. 


When it comes to parent-teacher communication, teachers should never use the students as translators; in fact, teachers should encourage students to abstain from translating or explaining altogether. 


When a student translates for a parent or teacher, it creates a breakdown in communication between the parent and teacher. Many students aren’t equipped to work as translators (no matter how fluent they are in English). 


Using a translation app can ensure parents don’t feel frustrated or confused if they get stuck on a word or phrase.


As in all cases when you’re communicating with people from other cultures, it’s important to ensure you don’t use colloquialisms or slang. Speak clearly, and enunciate to get your point across. And whatever you do, don’t speak ‘too’ slowly, and take care not to ‘talk down’ to the parent or child. 

Communicating With Other Cultures

Communicating across cultures can be tricky for many reasons. When you’re speaking in a language that isn’t your first language, you’re more likely to run into miscommunication and cultural barriers. Luckily, there are a few ways you can curb some of this uncomfortable confusion. 

Tips for Communicating With Other Cultures

No matter what cultural group you plan on communicating with, chances are that your experience will differ from communicating with someone from your own culture. These tips will get the convo started.

1. Learn About Other Cultures

The first step to communicating with other cultures is to actually do a little recon. Researching someone’s cultural background shows that you’re interested in them — and it’s considered extremely polite in the eyes of many cultures around the world!


Do a little research on foods, customs, and basic phrases. Learning Spanish? Rent a few Spanish-language movies on Netflix! Even if you plan on speaking in your native language, you’ll look like a rockstar to the other person. It also shows you have respect for cultural diversity.

2. Memorize Common Phrases in Other Languages

One of the best tips for learning a new language is to learn the most common phrases first.


Learning common phrases in another language is an easy(ish) way to show others you’re willing to meet them halfway. In many cultures, it’s considered polite to try to understand the native language (even just a few words of it). This can also help you get your foot in the door with another person.


Common words and phrases you might want to learn include:



Understanding these very simple phrases can help bridge the gap between cultures and take some of the pressure off others. Luckily, there are plenty of resources for learning common Chinese phrases, common French phrases, and common phrases in other languages. 

3. Download a Translation App

Translation apps have come a long way in the past few years alone. (Yet, some free apps, like Google Translate, aren’t as accurate as many paid apps.) 


These days, you can translate words, phrases, and even entire sentences. These apps are a great way to help learn new words and phrases as well.


Imagine you’re having a conversation in a language you’re not fluent in — or, having a conversation in your native language with a non-fluent speaker. You’re getting by just fine. Just fine until you can’t figure out how to say ‘clothes hanger’ in Spanish, and your miming skills aren’t doing the trick.


Using a translation app can help get you past a hurdle that might otherwise be too high to cross. The Vocre app can translate words, sentences, and phrases in real-time! Get it on the Apple store or Google Play.


Heading on a last-minute trip? Check out the best travel apps for last-minute travel!

4. Use Basic Language

One of the most common communication challenges is word choice. 


Within our own culture, we’re so used to the way people speak colloquially. Even when you travel to different areas of the U.S., you’ll find a wide variety of slang and jargon. 


In the Midwest, locals ask for a can of pop (instead of soda); on the East Coast, residents might say something is ‘wicked’ good instead of ‘really’ good. On the West Coast, locals often use the phrase ‘tennis shoes’ to mean any type of sneakers.


Try not to use jargon or slang when speaking in a language that isn’t your first language — or when speaking to someone whose first language isn’t the same as yours. 


Most students learn slang and colloquialism only after they learn the most common phrases and words. Try to think about the types of words you learned first when learning a new language. 


Communication strategies such as these can prevent your listener from feeling overwhelmed or confused. 

5. Improve Your Own Communication Skills 

It’s easy to just assume that someone doesn’t understand or ‘get’ you because of a language barrier. But we so very rarely get the opportunity to be good listeners and good communicators. 


Try to be an active listener. Don’t just absorb what the other person is saying; try to actively listen and determine if you’re understanding the other person. Pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues. Use nonverbal cues (such as nods or head tilts) to convey understanding or confusion.

6. Speak Slowly and Enunciate 

People from many English speaking countries are used to talking fast, but this type of speech pattern can create even more language barriers. 


Speak slowly (but not so slowly that your listener feels talked down to) and enunciate your words.


It isn’t easy understanding someone whose accent is very different from yours. The U.S. alone has hundreds of local accents! 


Imagine if you’re from Japan and learned to speak English from a British teacher. Listening to a person with a heavy Maine accent might not even sound like English to you. 

7. Encourage Clarification Feedback

Sometimes we think someone understands our words — when that isn’t the case at all. In the same sense, it’s easy for others to assume they understand us and miss our message altogether. 


Encourage your listener to offer feedback and ask for clarification. Many cultures see asking questions as rude, and some cultures will wait until you stop speaking to ask for clarification. 


Ask for feedback often to avoid confusion.

8. Don’t Use Complex Sentence Structure

Many of us are used to speaking the way we do with our friends, family, and colleagues — not people from other cultures. We often use big words and complex sentence structures (even though these complex structures might not seem so complicated to us!)


If you’re speaking in your native language, gauge the tone of your partner in conversation, and try to match that person’s language level of complexity. This way, you won’t leave others in the dark, and you won’t offend other people by ‘talking down’ to them. 

9. Don’t Ask Yes or No Questions

One of the biggest mistakes in cross-cultural communication is asking too many yes or no questions. Some cultures consider it bad manners to use negative language, such as the word ‘no’. 


In some areas of the world, such as Mexico City, you’ll find that locals avoid saying ‘no’ altogether. Instead of saying no, many locals simply shake their heads no, smile, and say thank you instead. 


It isn’t easy avoiding yes or no questions, but this tactic is a great communication tool in general. Instead of asking someone if they have any questions, say, “Can you highlight anything I might have missed?”

10. Notice Body Language — But Don’t Judge Based on It

It’s easy to just assume that someone understands you. In many cultures, we’re used to students raising their hands and interrupting the teacher. Yet, many cultures won’t interrupt, so it’s up to the speaker to notice body language and adjust the message accordingly.


Notice facial expressions and other nonverbal communication cues. If a listener looks confused, try to rephrase your statement. If your listener laughs seemingly inappropriately at a comment, don’t just gloss over that. You may have used a sentence structure or word that means something completely different to someone from another culture.


That being said, don’t assume a response is negative or positive simply based on body language, as body language can have different messages within different cultures.

11. Never ‘Talk Down’ to Someone in Your Native Language

It’s easy to want to overexplain. Overexplaining often comes from a good place, but it can have negative effects. 


Try to gauge the other person’s comfort level and language experience. If you’re speaking in your native language, strike a balance of clear, concise speech. 


Overexplaining can sometimes come off as speaking down to someone — especially when that person isn’t a native speaker of your language. You might want to gauge the other person’s comprehension level before assuming he or she won’t understand you. 


Many people from other cultures are often spoken down to (especially when speaking English) because the native speaker simply assumes he or she won’t understand.

12. Be Kind to Yourself and Others

It’s important to have plenty of patience when you’re speaking to someone in a language that isn’t your first language (or when you’re speaking to someone who isn’t speaking their first language!). 


When it comes to communication of any kind (cross-cultural communication or not), don’t rush. 


Cultural differences are always going to seem more prevalent at the moment. Don’t rush to speak, don’t rush to respond, and don’t rush to judge. 

Studying Abroad Tricks and Tips

Studying abroad is an unforgettable experience. So much so that you’re probably not too worried about having a great time. Yet, studying abroad can also be a cruel mistress — there are myriad things that could easily put a cramp in your style. Follow these tips to have a great year away from home.


Studying Abroad Dos and Don’ts

Do try to meet as many people as possible; don’t forget to schedule a little time for rest and relaxation.


Do try foods native to your destination country; don’t spend your trip eating foods from home.


Do try to learn the language of your destination country; don’t spend your entire year abroad studying in your room.


Do use common sense to stay safe; don’t spend your entire trip worrying about every little thing.


Do ask for help when you need it; don’t avoid going outside of your comfort zone.


Meet as Many People as Possible

Half the reason to study abroad is to meet as many new people as possible. You don’t want to travel halfway around the world (or to the other side of the world) only to spend your time in your dorm, watching “Game of Thrones.” 


Sign up for as many activities as you possibly can. Try to meet as many people as possible from other countries. 


That being said, don’t burn yourself out, either. Don’t forget to schedule some downtime for recharging your batteries.


Don’t Be Shy About the Cuisine

Yes, you’ll probably miss your favorite Italian American dish that only one restaurant in your town knows how to cook ‘just so.’ You’re going to have bizarre cravings for snacks and cereals you never even knew you liked. 


Don’t forget to try new things. Eat the national dish of your destination country. Try all the weird snacks at corner stores. 


Learn the Language as Fast as Possible

You won’t need to be fluent in another language before signing up for a study-abroad program. But you will want to make an attempt to learn the language of your destination. Don’t have time to learn a language in a few days? Download a language app to help break the language barriers.


Stay Safe

When it comes to staying safe in your destination, it’s all about research. 


Find out what neighborhoods are safe and which should be avoided. Don’t carry tons of cash in your wallet. Wear your backpack on your chest in the metro. Research local scams so you can find out how to avoid them. Don’t wander around in uncrowded areas alone.


Don’t Forget You’re There to Work

One of the biggest mishaps of a study abroad year is forgetting you’re there to work. Failing to complete assignments and missing classes is almost too easy when you’re trying to make memories that last a lifetime. 


Many American students also often find themselves on their own for the first time — in countries without a legal drinking age.


Take it slow. You have your entire life to have fun. But you only have one chance to study abroad. Make the most of your trip by staying focused and making your studies your first priority.


Document Your Trip

Whether your preferred method of documentation is Snapchat, a diary, a blog or Instagram Stories, don’t forget to document your trip.


While a year might seem like a long time, it’s actually not very long at all. It will go by much faster than you expect. 


Pack Smart

It’s tempting to want to pack your entire wardrobe for a year of travel. After all, you’ll need a year’s worth of clothes. Who knows when you might need your shiniest dress, covered in sequins. Or, your favorite sweatpants or your homecoming sweater.


Pack as little as possible. Don’t forget that you can always buy more when you get to your destination. You can also have items shipped to you. 


Ask for Help

At some point during your trip, you’re going to need to ask for help from someone. Whether it’s your roommate for help on your homework or your guidance counselor for advice on handling culture shock, it will probably happen. It’s OK to need help. It’s a sign of strength — not weakness.


Learn to Adapt to Living With Others

Learning to live with others isn’t easy. It’s even harder abroad than it is at home. You’re going to end up living with people from other cultures and countries. Your roommate will probably have different customs than the ones you’re used to. What’s considered rude in the U.S. might be common practice in other countries — and vice versa.


The more flexible you are at adapting to change, the easier it will be to get to the fun part of living abroad.


Reconsider Your Long-Distance Relationship

We hate to be cliché, but your long-distance relationship might not last more than a few months — and it’s going to end up holding you back. You don’t want to regret passing on bonding with your new classmates because you have a phone date with your boyfriend or girlfriend back home. 


You also don’t want to stay in a long-distance relationship because you realize you’ve missed your chance to make friendships with your classmates.


Instead, give your full attention to your studying-abroad experience.


Spanish Verb Conjugation

Learning Spanish verb conjugation isn’t easy.


We happen to think it’s easier to memorize a few words and phrases (like hello in other languages) and Spanish verbs than it is to learn the rules of conjugation. That’s why we made this handy cheat sheet and our free and paid language learning apps


Learning Spanish Verbs: Why Learn Spanish Verb Conjugation?

When it comes to Spanish language translation, it’s easier to learn the rules of Spanish verb conjugation than it is to memorize the conjugated forms of each verb (we’re talking thousands of verbs here) when learning Spanish verbs. Understanding the rules of a language can help you decipher the translation easier. 


Before you learn to conjugate verbs, you’ll need to learn pronouns and some of the infinitive forms of both regular and irregular verbs. Infinitive forms of verbs are essentially the words before you conjugate them.


Examples of infinitives include:


  • To be
  • To say
  • To speak
  • To take
  • To carry
  • To climb


In English, we place the word ‘to’ before the verb when we’re using the infinitive form of the word.

Spanish Pronouns

Pronouns are essentially words for people. They take the place of the name of a person. Instead of saying, “Alice went to the store,” you could say, “she went to the store.” Or even, “He went to the store,” when we’re talking about a man.


Yo = I

Tú, usted, ustedes = you, you (formal), you-all

Él, ella, usted = he, she, you 

Nosotros, nosotras = We (male and female)


These pronouns are used similarly to pronouns in English. I go to the store. You do the dishes. She plays the piano. 

Regular Verbs

Regular verbs are the easiest to conjugate in Spanish. Learning Spanish verbs and these conjugations are very straightforward and formulaic. 


How do you know which verbs are regular? You essentially need to memorize them. And there are a lot of them. There are essentially hundreds of regular Spanish verbs.


The most common regular verbs include:


  • To speak: hablar
  • To call: llamar
  • To drink (or take): tomar
  • To live: vivir
  • To pass (as in pass the time): pasar
  • To wait: esperar
  • To receive: recibir
  • To work: trabajar
  • To finish: terminar
  • To need: necesitar


You’re actually better off memorizing irregular Spanish verb conjugation because there is somewhat fewer irregular than regular verbs.

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs are easier to remember because there are fewer irregular than learning Spanish verbs that are regular. Just some irregular verbs include:


  • To be: ser
  • To feel: estar
  • To have: tener
  • To be able to: poder
  • To go: ir
  • To place: poner


As you can see, many of these irregular verbs are some of the most commonly used verbs. What is more common than ‘to be’ and ‘to feel?’ We all talk about who we are and how we feel all the time.


Conjugating Present Tense

Conjugating Spanish verbs is easiest in the present tense. That’s because we use the present most. 


“I go to the store.” 


“She rides her bike.”


“He takes a cookie.”


Of course, we do use past and future tenses often as well. But learning present tense first can help you conjugate future and past tenses easier.


Let’s start with an easy regular verb: 


To talk: hablar.


Yo habl-o

Tú habla-s

Él, ella, usted habla

Nosotros habla-mos


You replace the r (or ar in some cases) with o, s and mos.


Let’s try a verb that ends in ir: vivir (or, to live).


Yo viv-o

Tú viv-es

Él, ella, usted viv-e

Nosotros vivimos


You can see in this case that you replace the ir (or in one case, the r) with o, e, es or mos. 


Conjugating Past Tense

Now that you’re a pro at conjugating the present tense, let’s move on to the past and learn Spanish verbs in the past tense. (or, go back to the past as it were). 


Let’s start with our easy regular verb: 


To talk: hablar.


Yo habl-é

Tú habla-ste

Él, ella, usted habló

Nosotros habla-mos


You replace the ar (or just the r in one case) with é, ste, ó and mos.


Let’s try our verb that ends in ir: vivir (or, to live).


Yo viv-í

Tú viv-iste

Él, ella, usted viv-ió

Nosotros vivimos


You can see in this case that you replace the r with ste, ó or mos (and in the case of yo viv-í, you remove the r altogether). 


It is important to know that this is the most basic past tense Spanish verb conjugation. In Spanish, you also have the preterite and imperfect past tenses as well.


Conjugating Future Tense

Now that we know how to conjugate present and past tense, let’s travel to the future. 


Let’s start with our easy regular verb: 


To talk: hablar.


Yo hablar-é

Tú hablar-ás

Él, ella, usted hablar-a

Nosotros hablar-emos


Instead of replacing the r, you keep the infinitive form of the verb and add é, ás, a and emos.


Tips for Spanish Verb Conjugation

Learning Spanish verbs and their conjugation isn’t always easy. That’s why we recommend taking things slow and going at your own pace. We also recommend downloading a language translation app to help you hear the pronunciation and determine if verbs are regular or irregular at first.

One of the best language translation apps is Vocre.

Voce offers language translation assistance with common words and phrases such as English-to-Farsi translation, Malay-to-English translation, Telugu translation, translating English to Khmer, English-to-Punjabi translation, and more.


    Get Vocre Now!