The LANG Initiative— Born Out of Necessity

Since December 2019, there have been two constants that have severely impacted many lives during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic– the rampant spread of misinformation and ever-evolving health guidances. Many colleges that are planning in-person instruction have not committed to making their plans accessible in languages other than English. Northeastern University is not exempt from this trend.

This not only hinders the understanding of vital information for students for whom English is a second language, but it also impacts their family members who do not speak English at all.

All students and their families deserve access to vital university administrative and emergency information in order to have the opportunity to make informed decisions, especially during a pandemic. Thus, we created the LANG Initiative.

Our goal is to have these translations on Northeastern University’s official websites, and create a system where Northeastern— with student involvement— translates future website information into the major languages spoken on campus. Currently, Northeastern does not offer translations on their websites.

Despite non-affiliation with the University, our Northeastern community has provided immense support in turning this idea into a reality. Student and faculty member volunteers have dedicated countless hours to produce accurate translations of essential information. Being bilingual themselves, many personally understand that the absence of translation options can hinder students and their families for whom English is a second language.

Though these pages are written by students, we guarantee accurate and high-quality results due to our comprehensive translation processes. Several rounds of editing are done by student translators, with faculty members granting final approval of each document to ensure the utmost quality.

The LANG Initiative’s mission is to advocate for language accessibility in the Northeastern community— we hold the expectation that the University will work alongside us to meet the Northeastern 2025 Diversity & Inclusion Goals.

Interested in joining the LANG Initiative? Sign up here

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