Georgetown Language Project

August 2, 2021

Iona is partnering with the Georgetown Language Project to expand access to its community resources for older adults and family caregivers.

The Georgetown Language Project is a student group at Georgetown University in which undergraduate students provide free translation of materials for local nonprofits, schools, and organizations. The goal of the group is to promote language accessibility within the DC community through its translation efforts.

Fifty students with advanced language proficiency participate in the program. They speak a wide range of languages including Spanish, French, Mandarin, Arabic, and more. The group translates hundreds of pages of material each year, which are all reviewed by language experts for accuracy.

Natalia Lopez, 21, a rising senior and co-president of the Georgetown Language Project, says she understands the value of providing free translation services based on her own experience as the daughter of two immigrants from South America. “Translated materials from local organizations helped my parents learn English, enroll in school, and even start a business,” she says.

Alvin Lee, 21, also a rising senior and co-president of the group, agrees. “I grew up in an immigrant family and extremely diverse community in Los Angeles,” he says. “So I understood the challenges language barriers can cause, especially when it comes to understanding and filling out important documents.”

A passion for translation and making information accessible to all is a driving force for many students to join the Georgetown Language Project, according to Lee. “Our members’ dedication and passion for social impact have been key to the Georgetown Language Project’s success,” he says.

In spring 2021, the group began its translation of the first of several Iona fact sheets on helpful topics for older adults. “Low-Cost Housing Options” is now available in English, French, and Spanish. This fall, the group will continue translation of the remaining fact sheets, including a Mandarin translation.

For the students of the Georgetown Language Project, the effort to provide translations for community members is well worth it. “I am so proud to be part of such an amazing community at Georgetown. Our group is made up of such dedicated students who truly want to positively impact their community,” says Lopez.

“I’m extremely glad that our translation projects are able to make a positive impact, and I am excited about future projects and collaborations with Iona!” adds Lee.