BUCKHANNON — New services are always up and coming in Upshur County, but now Deives Collins is doing his part by working on an innovative project to expand the languages of local residents.
“Buckhannon en Español” is a new program that will focus on facilitating access to local services and to the community in general, for Spanish speakers located in and around Buckhannon. Collins said he was motivated to launch the effort after struggling to find any resources in the area for those who speak Spanish. The City of Buckhannon’s Facebook page features a Google Translate widget to perform automatic translations of any page on the site, which is better than most.
Through many conversations with staff and volunteers at the Parish House, Collins was able to discover that the house occasionally has families or individuals who “try their best” to access services, which has led to an ongoing quest to produce a bilingual service intended to facilitate as many services as possible without requiring a live interpreter to be involved in the process each time. However, the Parish House is very busy and the understanding is that the quest will likely need to be postponed until after the winter holidays.
Collins’ intentions for future projects mostly follow the same lines, depending on the unique circumstances of each business or organization that collaborates. As this is being done on a volunteer basis and no money is exchanging hands, the only resources that are likely to be available are those that the company or organization already has available. This means that no additional staff or major changes to normal operating procedures are likely to be brought in.
“In my eyes, the approach that has the best chance of succeeding under these circumstances is to accomplish as much as possible through a stand-alone set of documents,” Collins explained. “Still, I’m certain that this approach will fail at least some of the time, and there will likely be no bilinguals within the individual companies/organizations who can address the problem.”
The other main goal of the “Buckhannon en Español” effort is to provide a direct line of communication from Spanish-speaking members of the community to Collins or any other bilinguals who may eventually join in the effort.
Anyone in or around Buckhannon who is facing communication obstacles related to a language barrier between Spanish and English is welcome to message Collins through the Buckhannon en Español Facebook page, as well as emailing [email protected] The project is just starting its foundation and looks forward to being a valuable asset to the community.