A community service project turns into a thriving Broken Arrow business

Wednesday, January 26th 2005, 9:47 am

By: News On 6

As the Hispanic community grows, so does the communications gap created by the language barrier.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells found a Broken Arrow woman who's made it her business to help close that gap.

Broken Arrow Police Captain Paul Kroutter: "Our rights notification waiver is in Spanish; our citizen complaint form is in Spanish." About a year ago, Captain Paul Kroutter recognized the need for Spanish language versions of some of their basic forms.

He asked Martha Jennings a member of the Diversity Council, fluent in both Spanish and English to translate them. "The handbook we pass out to our domestic violence victims, we asked her to translate it into Spanish. “Once the word got out, her community service project became a business.

Martha Jennings: "We've been getting busier and busier, trying to diversify our services." Beyond just translating, she's discovered many companies are looking for an intermediary. "We've had clients that want to do international business with Mexico or South America and we've been able to help them do the translating."

She's working with a tax preparation service that needs marketing, not translations. So she'll work with Spanish language newspapers and radio on an ad campaign. She's found herself translating engineering manuals for companies with Hispanic employees and medical forms for doctors and clinics. "This is basically what anybody needs to sign before they get any kind of surgical procedure."

She's translated documents and letters; she helped with the bilingual signs in the new Justice Center in Broken Arrow. She says she'd like to help close the gap created by the language barrier.

The Hispanic community is growing so fast she's probably only scratched the surface.

The company is called Spanish Services of Oklahoma. You can reach them at 451-6410 or you can email Martha Jennings at spanishservOK@aol.com.

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