Translation overview

DHS has been translating selected DHS documents since 2000 to provide meaningful access to program information and benefits for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Translations are coordinated centrally in the OEPD Equal Opportunity and Access division to ensure high-quality translation, document design and consistency of terminology across all DHS departments. Based on a periodic analysis of DHS program participants, combined with input from all DHS divisions, translation procedures are implemented which provide the greatest number of clients with accurate, updated translations.

1. Translations are available in these five primary languages (other languages may be available based on need):

  • • Hmong
  • • Russian
  • • Somali
  • • Spanish
  • • Vietnamese
  • 2. Most documents that are translated and maintained are prioritized on a departmentwide basis. Documents on the translation list must meet certain criteria, and the translation list is reviewed
    annually to determine if new documents should be added to the list. Other DHS documents may be translated upon request, but these translations must be funded by the program area.

    3. Translations posted on eDocs must be kept updated. Translations that are more than one version behind the current English version are deleted from eDocs if there is no request to update translations.

    4. In addition to translation, consider other tools to provide meaningful access:

  • Interpretation
  • Multilingual referral lines
  • Language Block
  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Notice
  • Catalogue of Languages
  • I need a language…interpreter cards
  • Interpreter posters
  • Other language assistance tools

    1. “I need a language interpreter” cards are available in 10 languages: Arabic, Hmong, Khmer (Cambodian), Laotian, Oromo, Russian, Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian), Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. Clients who need helping through a language interpreter use these cards when they contact a state, county or community agency. These “I speak” cards can be downloaded from eDocs with either all 10 languages on one page (DHS-4374) or else individually by language (DHS-4374-SPA).

    2. Language assistance posters or “free interpreter” posters let LEP individuals know that they can ask for a free interpreter to help access public information or services. The posters can be downloaded from eDocs.

    3. Limited English Proficiency Notice is a notice of the public’s right to free language assistance in 10 languages.

    4. Catalogue of languages is a catalogue of the Notice of Rights to Language Assistance translated into 75 languages.

    How to access translated forms and documents

    Translations of DHS forms, applications and other documents are available on the DHS eDocs database. To see all of the available documents in a given language, select the desired language on the search eDocs page. You can also search by document number or keywords on the Advanced Search page.


    Contact the DHS translation coordinator with questions.

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