The Language Barrier as an Adoptee
For a lot of adoptees when they are searching for their Birth Parents, the language barrier can be an issue and to communicate it can be quite hard to keep up. It was hard for me to keep in touch with my Birth Parents when I first got in contact because they were very excited to meet me and there were many questions being asked, but all in a different language.
Do not worry too much. With this day and age of technology it has been easier to keep in touch for adoptees around the world. Google Translate is very useful for basic translations. Over time though you start to get tired of having to go back and translate again and again. With Skype it is a different story. If you are wanting to Skype with someone who speaks a different language you can do what is called a Group Chat.
When it also comes to documents, some may need translation in order to find new information. With translating documents this can be done online through a few reliable websites. It is good to sit down with someone and look at what you really need to translate first. If you want to do it a slower way, you can scan any papers yourself and read off the letters. Then you can input this into Google Translate. You won’t get a 100% translation but you will get an idea. I did this a few times to get proper names and street addresses. I also searched a few names in the original language and with adding ” and ” at the end of the words it searched only for that. That has helped a lot!
If you are someone who needs to renew their passport as an adoptee from a different speaking language this can be hard to do. Don’t panic about all the questions and what you will need to write down. There should be people at the Embassy that you are trying to renew your passport from that can help. If you are completely unsure then be sure to find a friend who can assist or a professional translator. Remember you will only need to renew your passport once, well until you do it again later on.
Our project is in English, Russian and Spanish. If you need help with sharing a story that is in these languages then please let us know. We will be happy to share! We have had adoptees share their stories who were adopted from Russia. They shared their story only in English and a few friends of ours have helped with translating into Russian. This has provided a huge help and has helped several adoptees find their families. Some people have found the English lessons offered by EffortlessEnglishClub.com invaluable when it comes to communicating with English speakers.
I hope this helps any adoptees who are struggling with the language barrier with communication! We have all been there! Another suggestion. Read up on the language and try and learn it. It does help knowing basic words and letters. That can be very useful to know! – Alex Gilbert