The Happy to Translate Logo is a national symbol for language and communication assistance. The initiative has been designed for use by organisations in the UK to enable people who have difficulty with either spoken or written English to overcome barriers to receiving information and services. Member organisations use the logo on their literature, letterhead and advertising and display it in high visibility areas such as receptions and interview rooms. This use of the logo tells service users that if language or communication assistance is required, it will be provided by the organisation in the form of confidential, professional translation and interpretation services.
Happy to Translate was established to achieve the following main objectives:
- To promote equal access to information and services for people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds whose first language is other than English;
- To act as a central coordinating platform through the establishment of a national joined-up approach for the provision of a high standard and quality Language Service provision in Scotland and the UK.
Happy to Translate is a NATIONAL STRATEGIC COMMITMENT designed to promote a joined-up, good practice approach linking public and private sector organisations which aspire to a common set of standards to overcome language barriers. It is envisaged that this joined-up approach will lead to improvement in the standard and quality of language service provision in Scotland and the UK.
An organisation which becomes a member of Happy to Translate will realise benefits in four principal areas:
- Happy to Translate’s Monitoring and Evaluating Procedures enable an organisation to monitor the use of language provision, its demands and most importantly to identify gaps in service provision.
- One of the principles of the 7 Key Commitments is that Member organisations regularly share ideas and practical experiences in relation to providing services to people who encounter language barriers. Accordingly, one of the principal benefits of membership is the regular Members' Forum when members benefit from the Transferable Added Knowledge that results from interaction with other participants and the Happy to Translate team.
- Happy to Translate enjoys recognition at the highest level by the Scottish Government, from which the initiative received its initial funding (in conjunction with Communities Scotland). The logo was given a high profile launch by the then Minister for Communities Malcolm Chisholm.
- BME communities know that they can approach an organisation identified as a Happy to Translate Member, confident in the knowledge that their language needs will be met. This awareness of the importance of the symbol results from proactive and intensive marketing among grass roots BME communities across Scotland by the Happy to Translate team. BME communities know the level of professionalism and service they can expect from a participating member.
- Happy to Translate training includes how to deal with a service user whose first language is other than English. The training defines good practice and goes through step-by-step guidance on how staff can use the resources and tools provided in the Happy to Translate Toolkit and the password-protected intranet site to overcome language and communication barriers.
- The training informs staff about a wide variety of language and communication needs of service users; how to accurately assess language and dialect; and how cultural and gender differences can impact on communication. It also provides a brief overview of the legislative obligations placed on organisations to provide communication assistance.
- Under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 Public Authorities have a responsibility to demonstrate the details of their commitment and accountability towards race equality by publishing a Race Equality Scheme (RES). Membership of Happy to Translate is a clear demonstration that an organisation is committed to promoting race equality under their Race Equality Scheme in compliance with the existing Race Relations Legislation.
- Organisations are obliged to adhere to the Human Rights Act 1998. The provision of a high quality language service is integral to the spirit of the Human Rights Act. Organisations which sign up to Happy to Translate demonstrate their commitment to promoting the human rights of those who encounter language barriers.
The Happy to Translate symbol is easily recognisable and conveys that yours is an inclusive organisation that is committed to quality service delivery to all in Scotland and the UK.
The initiative is widely regarded as the step before contacting the language service provider in that the logo encourages the service user to approach the member organisation, confident in the knowledge that their language needs will be met. Happy to Translate provides guidance and tools to enable efficient, courteous and considerate identification of service users’ language and requirements, thereby facilitating effective contact with the language service provider. Furthermore, Happy to Translate has been designed to be integrated into existing systems within an organisation and can be easily absorbed into the induction process for new staff members.
The list of current membership of Happy to Translate can be found here.
Any organisation that has dealings with the public and which would like to improve service delivery by helping people to overcome language barriers.
Your organisation will be expected to uphold the 7 Key Commitments and implement the good practice policies and processes to deal with the individual language and communication needs of your service users through the provision of professional translation and interpretation.
Once approved for membership, your organisation should use the logo anywhere that the public will see it. For example, in reception areas and meeting rooms, on printed information, materials, publications and on your website.
Yes, an organisation signs up but we will consider a gradual implementation roll-out plan over an agreed period of time.
The Annual Membership Fee is based on the number of full-time equivalent staff employed by your organisation. There will also be costs associated with training and any additional printed materials your organisation requires. Please contact a member of the support team for further details.
Your organisation will be responsible for undertaking periodic self-evaluation. We provide a template for a Self-Evaluation Report. The first self-evaluation usually occurs after an organisation has been using the logo for one year. Subsequent evaluations are recommended on an annual basis.
Complete the official Membership Application Form, which must be signed by the authorised person in your organisation and mail to us.
Should you have any queries you can contact a member of the Happy to Translate support team.
We’re very impressed with the Happy to Translate initiative and looking forward to working with the supporting tools and processes. The training session was an excellent introduction and all staff feel confident that they will achieve positive outcomes with tenants whose first language is other than English, as a result of implementing Happy to Translate.