Translation Services Available For Refugees in CNY Translation Services Available For Refugees in CNY

Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News)– Khadijo Abdulkadir launched her interpretation business about six months ago after winning a $175,000 competitive grant from Onondaga County. Abdulkadir’s main aim is helping refugees and immigrants understand important English documents. Abdulkadir was once in this position, as a Refugee born in Somalia, when coming into the U.S. almost ten years ago she faced significant language barriers.

“I did not how to choose classes for my schedules, I had to ask my friends at school help me navigate all of this,” said Abdulkadir. “And as soon as I learned a little English, I was translating for my mom.”

Empower Interpretations Services of CNY offers translations services in 20 languages with 20 interpreters available, including two of her sisters. Interpreters can help refugees face-to-face, online chat, or in person.

Under the slogan “We speak your language” many of the translators of Empower Interpretation Services of CNY are refugees or immigrants as well. All interpreters went through 40 hours of training in order to become certified.

“We have landlords, hospitals, schools that didn’t speak our language, so English became my one and only priority,” Abdulkadir said.

Abdulkadir and her interpreters make sure their clients know what documents they are signing or what medication they are receiving at hospitals. As part of this service, clients will not have to pay for the interpreter’s services. Instead, the paying customers will be schools, hospitals, or government offices that hire interpreters for the refugees who need translation services.

Abdulkadir is an  International Relations senior student at Syracuse University and plans to keep expanding the languages offered in her business, including some unique dialects within countries.

Empower Translations Services of Central New York works in 20 languages. Khadijo Abdulkhadir wanted to help refugees and immigrants understand English documents. She has hired around 20 interpreters. “We have recruited employees who are bilingual in both languages most of them immigrants, refugees who have been here long enough to understand the community challenge.” Interpreters help refugees with legal and medical translations. Khadijo’s sister, Fartun Abdulkhadir is one of them.”I translate for families and then we go to their houses sometimes or hospitals and translate for them.”She started her business about six months ago after winning a $175,000 competitive grant from Onondaga County. Doménica Orellana, N-C-C News.

Reported by
Broadcast and Digital Journalism Senior Doménica Orellana

Domenica Paola Orellana Gallardo

Doménica Orellana is a Broadcast and Digital Journalism senior student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. During her four years at SU, she's taken advantage of multiple opportunities to get journalism experience in TV, radio, and print. She's been an anchor for three years at Citrus TV Noticias, a Spanish newscast entirely run by students, been a radio co-host, and written for the nationally-recognized college newspaper, The Daily Orange. She has previously interned at CNNE, News Channel 9, El Universo (ecuadorian newspaper) and Ecuavisa's investigative show, Vision 360.

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