Marshallese Language Support for Microsoft Translator
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a nation made up of many islands in the Pacific Ocean. It makes up part of Micronesia, a larger island group made up of many different nations. The United States (US) provides subsidies, defense, and more to the islands, making it a nation in free association with the U.S.
According to the 2010 census, there was 22,434 people of Marshallese origin living in the United States at that time, however that number has likely grown significantly. A recent estimate puts the number at closer to 30,000 in 2018.
There are two main dialects [Rlik (western) and Ratak (eastern)] of the Marshallese language, along with two different orthographies and this is an important language worldwide.
There has been a Marshallese community in the City of Dubuque, Iowa (https://www.cityofdubuque.org) since 1992 and language continues to be a barrier still today. There is a large number of students receiving English Language Learner (ELL) in the Dubuque Community School District (https://www.dbqschools.org/) and the number of students needing ELL services is not diminishing for students of Marshallese origin.
There are really no services available locally and nationally that can provide an easy to use, generally available solution to help bridge this language barrier gap like Microsoft Translator. Therefore, please consider allocating the necessary resources to incorporate the Marshallese language in the Microsoft Translator service and App.
The addition of the Marshallese language in the Microsoft Translator service and App would be extremely beneficial to the students and families of the City of Dubuque and the Marshallese community at large throughout the United States.
If anyone on the Microsoft Translator team need additional information or is looking for a partner to make this happen, please feel free to reach out as we are happy to assist anyway, we can.
Thank you for your consideration.
To Learn More:
‘They Did Not Realize We Are Human Beings’
Irradiated, Cheated and Now Infected: America’s Marshall Islanders Confront a Covid-19 Disaster
Dubuque Marshallese Health Fund
Dubuque Pacific Islander Health Project
Dubuque Senior High School Marshallese Student Group
Dubuque student clubs designed to help Marshallese students forge community connections
Please consider adding Marshallese to the language translator. Microsoft has the opportunity here to be a leader in the tech community when it comes to the advancement of global communities. Thanks in advance for your support.
Jason Neises commented
Our students & families in Dubuque, Iowa need this support. Thanks for your consideration.
This would be a great help for our Marshallese community in Dubuque - and a help for all of us who reach out to them.
T. Ascheman - President, Divine Word College.
Please add this language- we need it to communicate with our families and help to meet their needs and continue to become more inclusive as well! Please add a vote for me!
Katherine Thimmesch commented
Yes! Please add this - I tried to cast a vote several times, but was unsuccessful. Please add a vote for me. Thank you!
Please add this. I would love to be better able to communicate with our Marshallese staff members.
Yes, please. Our students need this support. Thank you!
Please add--this would be very helpful!
Heather Satterly commented
Please help up best support our students and community members!
Jamie Orozco Nagel commented
I hope you will add this support to enable Iowa schools and others to better serve this community.
Please add Marshallese!! This is a matter of equity for many of our community members
Daniel Wilson commented
Great idea, please add. This would be of tremendous help to students and families currently at a disadvantage.
Ḷōmṇak eṃṃan! Good idea!
Yes, please add this service so we may better communicate with our community members!
Yes, it is very much needed!! It wouldn't let me add my vote but I would gladly vote!!!
Yes this is needed!
Andy Peterson commented
Thank you for listening and for advocating for these students and their families. Please consider adding this language to the Microsoft Translator service. This would open MANY doors for these students and even their families access needed services within the community as well develop skills in the English language. Thank you for your consideration!
Brian Abeling commented
Yes, this would be very helpful!
Now that the Marshallese are eligible for Medicaid, by adding Marshallese to the translator, Microsoft will provide a big assist to the Marshallese immigrants and to persons inside government offices who will assist them.
I know that Crescent Community Health is working very diligently to get services for the Marshallese population in Dubuque, Iowa. And there is just a new opportunity to get these persons reinstated for Medicaid, that they have been denied for many years by a "legislative error." I am sure that such a translator would be very helpful.