I noticed a new couple sitting across from my husband and I at church Easter Sunday. They were quietly talking to each other before church started, but I couldn’t read what they were saying. Catching my husband’s eye, I quickly signed, <Speak English they?> my right hand lightly tapping twice on my left hand, fingers curled, signing English before pointing to them. I’m deaf but I do lip-read and like to slightly spy and try to read others’ conversations.

He looked towards them, nodding in greeting before turning back to me and shook his head. I nodded and turned to look at them, curious to know where they were from.

As church started and I turned to pay attention to the interpreter, I couldn’t help but notice that they seemed to struggle to follow along. I impatiently waited for church to end, so I could satisfy my curiosity. As I walked up, I saw that the pastor grabbed their email and phone number to add them to our messaging system.

<Messages translate can?> I asked the pastor, my fists knocking twice in the air, palms down. He looked to my husband who interpreted. The pastor grinned and quickly explained that, yes, the messaging system he used was able to translate emails and text messages into a multitude of languages and the voice also had several options.

<Cool,> I signed, turning to have my husband interpret. <Not hear voice message, but like all texts!> I signed before we waved goodbye and walked back out into the sunshine.

Seeing them stand beside their car talking, I waved to them and hoped to see them next week. Perhaps, eventually, I thought, I can learn more about their language to communicate to them.

Translations and MyCast

This may just be one instance for using the Translate button on your MyCast system, however, the possibilities are endless. It can be used for recruiting in colleges, businesses that have workers who speak another language, or even parents who speak a second language at home while their children go to an English-speaking school.

It’s easy to use our translation – have you seen the 2-Minute Tip video that Carrie did? If not, you can find it here: 2-Minute Tips: Ja! Sí! Oui! Yes! You’re Speaking My Language

After you create your alert – whether in text-to-speech, email, or SMS message, you will choose which language to translate your alert into. While we don’t have American Sign Language (ASL) as an option, we do have many other options for email and text message – from Spanish to Welsh to Cherokee! Once you have written your message, you’ll scroll down and choose the language, clicking “Translate.” It will automatically translate the message into the desired language. It’s that simple!

With our text-to-speech, you’ll follow the same steps. You’ll choose one of the four languages (Spanish, French, Italian, and German) and click translate. It will translate the words and then you can send a preview to your phone. While our text-to-speech voice translations are less varied, don’t let it stop you from sending a message to your speakers of other languages. You can always send an email or SMS message.

You can be confident that your message can reach anyone – whether or not they speak your language! And, as a bonus, for your deaf/hard-of-hearing recipients, you can always send your text-to-speech message as a simple text message, which means that they can follow along as well.