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How to Translate Student Handbooks

A great student handbook can help set a tone and culture for a school, as well as provide parents and guardians with easy access to up-to-date information. By translating your handbook, you can keep your entire student body and their parents and guardians informed of school rules and policies, legal notices, visitor information, and so much more.

Why Translate Student Handbooks?

Student handbooks contain essential information for students, and their parents and guardians, such as contact details for teachers and administrators, security protocols, graduation requirements, meeting dates, testing dates, student codes of conduct, study tips and recommendations for parents. By providing that information in all relevant languages, your handbook can become a central reference for all students, not only those that speak English.

Many student handbooks also include welcome letters from the head of school and administrators, which should be available in multiple languages. These letters can contain vital changes, such as legal notices and updates to policies and procedures.

Once finalized or updated, student handbooks should be translated professionally to ensure they are accurate and culturally appropriate for your school’s community. The sign-off sheet that accompanies your student handbook should also be translated, as it requires students and their parents or guardians to confirm they have read and understood the policies and procedures outlined in the student handbook.

Is Student Handbook Translation a Legal Requirement?

U.S. Federal Law requires public schools to provide language assistance for English Learner Students (ELS) and students with Limited-English Proficiency (LEP) and their families. This requirement can extend to pertinent documents such as your student handbook. 

For additional information about legal obligations and current guidance, see Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and U.S. Department of Education guidelines for schools’ civil rights obligations to ELS and ELP students and their families and guardians.

What If the Student Handbook Needs to be Updated?

Any changes should be updated immediately across all translated versions. Every student handbook should have an “effective date,” so that students can identify when the edition was last revised. We also recommend including a statement to the effect that the handbook may be amended from time to time and that the school reserves the right to revise its policies in accordance with relevant laws. This information will also need to be available in multiple languages.

How are Translated Student Handbooks Distributed?

There are several ways to distribute your translated student handbooks, including:

  • Digital Distribution: Translated versions of your student handbook can be saved as digital files, such as a PDF, and distributed via email or text and made available as a downloadable file from your school’s website.
  • Curbside Pick-up: Schedule a time for students and parents to pick up student handbooks at your school. Include translated copies of the student handbook to hand out.
  • Common Area Pick-up: Designate a time for translated copies of your student handbook to be picked up from the school office, library or any other common area.
  • Hand Delivery: In smaller communities, it may be easier to hand-deliver the student materials to their homes.
  • Postal Shipment: Student handbooks can be delivered to students’ homes via the U.S. Postal service. Be sure to allow adequate time for postal delivery. Be aware that an increase in postage volume can create longer shipping times. 

How Much Does it Cost to Translate a Student Handbook?

No two student handbooks are the same, so the cost to translate yours will depend on the length of the document, the number of translation languages, and whether it contains graphics and other media. The first step is to request a complimentary quote from a reputable language services company with expertise in providing translation services for education. They can quickly quote to deliver the project and provide an estimated turnaround time.

How Can I Reduce the Cost of Student Handbook Translation?

There are several ways to keep costs down when having your student handbook translated:

  • Finalize the text in your document before handing it over for translation. Having translators work on an incomplete document takes longer and costs more.
  • Use consistent terminology within your handbook.
  • Provide the source material for your student handbook in an editor-friendly format such as Microsoft Word or InDesign.
  • Include some white space in graphics, charts, graphs, websites and tables to allow for text expansion. Make sure that graphics are fully editable, as static images are more expensive to recreate.
translated student handbook

What File Types Do You Accept When Translating Student Handbooks? 

We accept student handbooks in many different file types, including Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), PDF (.pdf), Adobe InDesign, and so on. 

Get Your Student Handbooks Translated Today!
Our professional translators have backgrounds in education and academia at every level, so you can have confidence that your student handbooks will be accurately translated and localized in the languages that your students speak. Contact us today to find out more.

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