A new business in Reedsburg is hoping to improve communication between English and non-English speaking residents of the city and its surrounding rural areas.
Reedsburg based Language Services Del Norte provides English and Spanish translation and interpretation services to businesses and individuals. The business also hosts classes in both languages to anyone who wants to improve their English and Spanish skills. Co-Owner Andrea Jaquish said business was launched two months ago after it registered for its LLC.
The group held one of its first sessions in early June with its partnership at the Reedsburg Public Library helping Spanish speaking residents get to know the library, providing translations of library tours, helping Spanish speaking patrons sign up for a library card and introducing them to services the library offers.
The business also held a story time session for the preschool age children June 18 at the library and plans to host two other Spanish story time sessions at 10 a.m. July 16 and Aug. 20.
Jaquish said the business is planning other summer community events including story time in Spanish at the Rock Springs Public Library and a Mexican cooking and Spanish language class. Specific dates for those events are to be determined, she said.
Jaquish, along with fellow co-owners Scarlet Luna and Stephanie Hasler, said of they saw a need for the translation business based on their experience as teachers and native speakers of the language.
Jaquish teaches English as a second language at Madison Area Technical College and took notice of the programs popularity at the college. Halser is a retired French teacher with the Reedsburg school district, who also taught English as a Second Language at the Richland Center School District and taught Spanish classes at Madison Area Technical College.
Hasler even taught English to Luna when she moved to Reedsburg in 2009 from Mexico and was a Spanish teacher to Jaquish. Luna, a Reedsburg resident, is a native Spanish speaker and fluent in English.
The business held an English lesson June 26 at Calabria Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Reedsburg teaching those learning the language how to order food and become more comfortable eating at a restaurant. Luna was the one who came up with the idea to host the session because some non-English speakers may be intimated by the English names of dishes or not knowing the correct translation.
The session isn’t also to provide a learning lesson for those who want to improve their English skills, it’s also a chance for staff to learn about Hispanic culture and provide a sense of understanding for both parties. A culture example Hasler said was in Hispanic speaking countries, a tip for a meal is included in the price. So leaving extra cash on the table isn’t normally custom in those countries versus in the United States.
Language Services Del Norte has an eight week session lined up in July at Seats Inc to teach beginning and advanced English to Spanish speaking employees and basic Spanish to English speaking employees. The lesson will also include learning about the Spanish speaking culture.
The co-owners of the business has talked about expanding into other industries around the community, like real estate and teaching basic Spanish to healthcare workers.
“The idea is to open up community spaces to invite Spanish speakers in,” Jaquish said.