Today, we have a guest post from Elsa Jimenez, founder of English to Spanish Raleigh. Elsa is a native Spanish speaker who was born and raised in a Hispanic country. She is an accomplished lawyer and translator who has been living and working in the U.S. for many years and is also a member of the American Translators Association.
Construction in the Triangle is booming. Whether new construction or remodeling, the Triangle Business Journal reports that Wake County construction permits for August were some of the market’s largest gains of the past year – roughly a 20% increase year-over-year.
The trend of new homes and multi-family home construction continues to increase in the Triangle’s towns and cities, with Cary leading the way with the most permits issued. Towns like Raleigh, Apex, Morrisville, and Wake Forest also have many new development projects planned. This makes our area a prime target for companies like Choate, C.F. Evans, Wood Partners, and other builders and contractors, as they make their way into these areas to complete these projects.
With construction being one of the top industries with Hispanic or Latino workers, this trend means much more than a booming housing and development market in the Triangle. It presents a need for English to Spanish translation of business documents, employee handbooks, and safety manuals.
Here’s an example of how one contractor met the OSHA requirements and bridged the communication language gap with more than just their business documents:
One of the nation’s largest general contractor construction firms here in Raleigh, NC, Brasfield & Gorrie includes Spanish translated signage in front of their Crabtree Valley Mall site.
With the growth in construction projects in North Carolina, it’s equally important to put this into context in terms of the state’s Hispanic population. North Carolina has seen growth in the Hispanic population, above the national average.
Image Credit: https://ui.uncc.edu/story/hispanic-latino-population-north-carolina-cities-census
According to the Pew Research Center, of the Hispanics and Latinos in North Carolina, only 19% speak only English at home (138,000). 81% speak another language at home (581,000). The Spanish language is a pillar in the Hispanic community, and speaking Spanish is not going anywhere soon, making it yet another “must” for companies, builders, and contractors to translate their documents from English to Spanish.
So, as we see the housing and development market continue to grow, we are likely to see more Spanish translated materials.
Make sure your business documents – from HR forms, safety manuals, and employee handbooks – are professionally translated from English to Spanish to accommodate the growing population of Hispanics in NC, comply with OSHA regulations, and meet the growing need of streamlined communication.
The best English to Spanish translation firm will be one composed of native Spanish-speakers, who know the contextual cues and nuances of the Spanish language, and can provide the crucial aspect of cultural relevancy – things that online translation tools simply cannot provide.
Thanks, Elsa, for your thoughts. Have you had experience dealing with language barrier issues while out and about on construction sites? Share in the comments, below.