Many families experience significant anxiety regarding the idea of trying to communicate with a child whose first or only language is not one that they share. As a result, Frontier Horizon hires translators to travel with the children and to help families communicate throughout the duration of the Hosting Program. Frontier Horizon also provides over-the-phone translation services to families within the United States. We highly recommend that host families become proficient with Google Translate as it is a very effective tool for mitigating language barriers. Drawing skills, photos, symbols, and games to boost communication and fast learning can also be helpful. Charades, matching games, and vocabulary cards are all helpful tools to overcome language barriers with your hosted child[ren]. If you believe the support of a Frontier Horizon translator may be helpful please do not hesitate to reach out to them, they will be delighted to serve you.
Families who are interested in hosting a translator in their home for the entire hosting program, or for a portion of it, are welcome to contact our staff to arrange such plans. Families who chose to host translators should expect to provide food, housing, and payment for any activities or outings they would assist with during their stay with you. Hosting a translator does not terminate their responsibilities regarding the support of other host families. Thus, expect other host families to call the translator for assistance.
Note: Translators are not to be used as babysitters. We respect our translators and are grateful for their hard work. Please do not expect or ask them to watch your hosted child for more than one hour.
Translators attend Frontier Horizon training, and they receive a small stipend from Frontier Horizon. Translators are instructed to:
- Purchase their own clothing, gifts, and souvenirs.
- Translators are not permitted to send emails to the host family list.
- Translators ate not permitted to make long distance phone calls without permission from the host family.
- Translators are not permitted to initiate calls to other host families.
When hosting a Frontier Horizon Translator
- When explaining your “house rules” to your hosted child, please also be specific with your translator. It may be that you will have different guidelines for them than you do for your hosted child. However, you will need to make that clear to the translator. Can your translator “help themselves” to the kitchen? Do you mind if the translator cooks for the child[ren]? Can your translator use your phone or other devices? What items or rooms are “off limits?” Clear guidelines and expectations will ensure that all are best positioned for a great experience.
- Please try to give translators an idea of their schedule at least a day in advance. Translators typically prefer the chance to prepare themselves for the days activities and what may be required of them. Knowing what to expect will aid their ability to engage the day in ways that are most helpful.
- When hosting a Ukrainian child or translator please note that the Ukrainian language and culture tends to be very decisive and at times may be experienced as stubborn or abrupt to westerners. The Russian language uses many harsh tones and commanding phrases. Please note that this is a cultural difference and not a personal infraction. You may notice that some Ukrainians seem to be screaming at each other when speaking in Russian. This is a commonly accepted way of communication in Ukraine. Conversely, when hosting a child or translator from Nicaragua or Colombia one may need to consistently remind your guest that you want them to feel free to communicate with you regarding their desires and preferences.
Note: If you have a problem with your translator, or if an issue arises, please contact Frontier Horizon staff immediately. Please be honest and open with your translator about the problems you are having. If you do not contact Frontier Horizon staff about translator-related issues, we cannot help you resolve them. If you are interested in hosting a translator in your home, please be sure to note your interest on the Frontier Horizon Hosting Program Application. Many families are interested in hosting translators, and there are not always enough translators to stay with all the families who request them. Please let us know of your interest in hosting a translator as soon as possible.