Language Helps a Community in Crisis

Seaside Police Chief Vicki Myers address a community meeting with the help of a Spanish Interpreter from Translation By Design

Photo Credit - Monterey County Herald, Seaside Police Chief Vicki Myers addresses a community meeting with the help of a Spanish Interpreter from Translation By Design

In the first 11 days of 2015 the city of Seaside, CA was the scene of 5 shootings. This followed two homicides from shootings in November and December.

The normally peaceful city of 33,000 residents, just a few miles from our office and the idyllic communities of Carmel and Pebble Beach, was left reeling. Community members clamored for answers from the city and law enforcement.

“What is happening to our town?”

“What are you going to do to stop this violence?”

“What can we do as a community to help?"

The Chief of Police and the Mayor scheduled a town hall meeting immediately to address the spate of recent violence. They offered suggestions to help reverse the influx of drug and gang related activity that had descended upon their town.

The only barrier left was language.  

A third of the residents speak Spanish at home. If there was hope for a community-based solution the city officials would need to communicate with those families.

They would need to speak to the hearts of the entire community.

TBD was called to provide a Simultaneous Spanish interpreter for the presentation and audience Q&A session that followed. The 300+ English and Spanish speakers that crowded into the community center left with a greater sense of connection and a shared mission to tackle this problem together.

That would not have been possible without our Spanish interpreter, proving again the truth in what Nelson Mandela said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head, but if you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.” Then change is possible!

This is why we’re passionate about what we do. No matter if we are interpreting at a community meeting in Seaside or at a high-stakes deposition in New York, whether our team in Taiwan is translating a financial report or we are consulting with a Silicon Valley start-up to take their app to Europe, every assignment is equally important.

We get to help your message reach the hearts of important communities, customers and colleagues!

Thank you for the opportunity to do that work.


- The TBD Team