English-Hmong Dictionary of Special Education
English-Hmong Special Education Glossary
Southeast Asian Refugee Studies
Series Editor: Bruce T. Downing
Compiled by Douglas P. Olrey
Written translation or oral interpretation of special education materials into the Hmong language can be frustrating for everyone involved in the process. For many Hmong families, it is difficult to understand special education terminology. Hmong interpreters who work in schools are often asked to translate special education materials, but they may not be familiar with the meaning of the terms or know the best way to translate them. Many English terms have no counterpart in Hmong. English-speaking special education staff may feel uncomfortable because they do not know whether the interpretation is accurate or whether the families really understand the information.
In 1999, the staff from the Minnesota Department of Education worked with a group of Hmong experts to create a glossary of special education terminology. This glossary is not intended for general use and does not include general educational terms. Terms are translated according to their meaning in special education. In 2002-03, a new team of Hmong interpreters led by Mr. Dao Xiong from the PACER Center reviewed and updated the glossary.