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Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Pantry offers new translations of their services for international student community

The Office of the International Student Representative has been working to ensure all ASUCD units have translation services since 2022


By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org


As The Pantry recently moved to its new location at MU 117 East Quad Avenue, it also released its translation services for the translation of products in several different languages. This project was sponsored by the ASUCD Office of the International Student Representative. 

The project began as a cross-promotion between a former external affairs manager and a former international student representative in 2022 as a way to extend the services of The Pantry to the international community on campus, according to Qinyin Huang, The Pantry’s outreach manager. 

The translations of The Pantry items and services include multilingual videos on The Pantry’s YouTube account, according to Huang. 

“The mission of The Pantry is to help every Davis-affiliated individual with basic needs and food security,” Huang said. “To maximize our outreach and ensure that students are aware of our resources, this multilingual video project helps break down the language barrier and welcome those who can benefit from us.”

Asif Ahmed, a third-year economics major and the current ASUCD international student representative, said that during his term, he has continued the translation services for numerous ASUCD units that began under the previous representative.

“Recently, we also started doing it with SAO [Student Government Administrative Office], but the translation stuff has been going on since before I was elected,” Ahmed said. “One thing that I wanted to do was keep that going because a lot of the stuff that ASUCD has to provide would be more accessible to more students.”

Ahmed described how other units have used a different system of translation for their items, such as the CoHo, showing menu translations in Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, Korean, Japanese and Arabic. 

“For example, with the CoHo, they send us the menu, and within our office, we try to translate to the most popular languages [that] are spoken in Davis,” Ahmed said. “We translate it, [get] a document ready online and create a QR code. If students need to use the translations, they can use the QR codes to access it.”

  Ahmed, who is nearing the end of his term, said there are plans to create a translation committee within this office that will handle future translation services within ASUCD.

“There’s only four of us in the office [to translate],” Ahmed said. “The one thing that we kind of like to try to make sure is that whichever language is the most spoken is being translated. We have Japanese, Korean and Hindi for this year.”

Ahmed continued to say that a translation committee would ensure that there is consistency in the languages being translated within each ASUCD unit. Currently, the translations are dependent on individuals with Ahmed’s office, and having a larger committee would allow for a wider range of languages. 

While the office has translations in Arabic, Hindi, Japanese and Korean available for certain units in ASUCD, other units still have basic translations for their services in Chinese and Spanish only. Unitrans General Manager Jeffery Flynn said these translations come from within Unitrans. 

“We haven’t used ASUCD yet for translating,” Flynn said. “Unitrans has many students who are native speakers of non-English languages including Spanish and Chinese. We typically rely on our internal staff before reaching out for assistance.”

There are hopes that a committee would allow for more ASUCD units to have translations of more languages in the future, according to Ahmed.

“The long-term hope is making the entire ASUCD more accessible to international students or people who speak different languages,” Ahmed said. 


Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org 


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