Free ‘School Newsletter’ Translation Service for Immigrant Mothers Introduced in Seoul | Be Korea-savvy

Free ‘School Newsletter’ Translation Service for Immigrant Mothers Introduced in Seoul


Students focus on a worksheet during a beginner-level Mongolian-language class at the Seoul Global Center in central Seoul on Nov. 10, 2019. (Yonhap)

Students focus on a worksheet during a beginner-level Mongolian-language class at the Seoul Global Center in central Seoul on Nov. 10, 2019. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, April 3 (Korea Bizwire)A new service for immigrant mothers who are struggling with the language barrier translates Korean newsletters that their children bring from school into the mother’s native tongue for free.

The Happiness Foundation, a charity foundation run by South Korean energy and telecom conglomerate SK Group, said Thursday that it is currently receiving applicants through schools and other institutions frequented by multicultural families in Seoul.

Immigrant mothers often struggle with reading school newsletters, which often include information about their children’s homework and other school duties, due to the language barrier.

Consequently, children end up submitting wrong projects or fail to bring necessities to school, resulting in lower grades or even bullying by their peers.

Most government policies on multicultural families focus on immigrant women’s safe settlement in the country, and often fail to assist them in the birth or rearing of a child, as well as education.

The foundation, jointly with social enterprise ODS Multicultural Education Research Institute, tested the new translation service at four elementary schools which resulted in a 40 percent rise in the completion rate of school projects and 30 percent improvement in behavior of once passive multicultural students.

Immigrant mothers with children going to elementary school in South Korea are assumed to have stayed in the country for seven years or longer, many of whom don’t have enough time to study the Korean language due to homemaking.

That’s why this new translation service will be useful, foreign residents say.

The translation service will be introduced in Seoul on Monday.

It currently provides translation services for English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian speakers. Any other languages with more than five applicants will also be added, the Happiness Foundation said.

H. M. Kang (hmkang@koreabizwire.com)

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