Nov 19, 2019

How does that translate?

The start of our work with the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care

Supporting Family Caregivers

Caregiving can be a life-affirming experience; it can bring us closer to those we love and bring a sense of purpose to what we do. It can also be difficult, upsetting, and emotionally draining. Our Mindful Family Caregiving course is tailored to the needs of family caregivers and teaches mindfulness-based approaches and tools to help caregivers build their emotional resilience and improve their wellbeing.

The Need for Translation

Our course is currently only in English, making it inaccessible to a whole section of the caregiving population in the US. In Califonia alone, there are over 1 million Chinese speakers, over half of whom feel they speak English “less than well.” To tackle this issue we have partnered with the non-profit the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care (CACCC) to translate our Mindful Family Caregiving program into Mandarin and use it to reach and support Chinese-speaking family caregivers. The project includes Zen Caregiving Project training CACCC volunteers to deliver modules of our Mindful Family Caregiving course, as well as working with CACCC to translate all our materials into Mandarin.

Translation is Not as Aimple as It Sounds!

We kicked off the project by running a 2-day Mindful Family Caregiving course for the 10 CACCC volunteers who will become instructors.  It was a pleasure to work with such thoughtful and dedicated volunteers who were enthusiastic learners, and each brought their own experience and wisdom to the course discussions. We also had fascinating conversations about translation. What, for example, is the Mandarin term for “Healthy Boundaries”? Or “Essential Self”?

The process also helped us examine how cultural norms play a part in what we teach.  For example, in Chinese culture, it is much more common for elderly parents to move in with their adult children than in American culture, so how should we best frame a discussion on the pressures that close living-situation can bring?

How do you translate that
Volunteers try out the activities from our Mindful Family Caregiving course

What’s Next?

We’ll be working through a process of translation, and further training for the volunteers, so watch this space for updates on our work. We are very excited for the year ahead, training this diverse, thoughtful, passionate group of people who can reach such a large number of family caregivers that are in need.

If you work with an organization that supports Spanish-speaking family caregivers and are interested in working with us to translate our course into Spanish, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at https://zencaregiving.org/contact-us/


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