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Front Page » Top Stories » Multilingual Web Sites Now Offered At Um

Multilingual Web Sites Now Offered At Um

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Written by on April 26, 2001

By Sherri C. Ranta
Multilingual Web sites now offered at UM By Sherri C. Ranta

University of Miami and Florida International University are expanding their public information services, posting information on Web sites in multiple languages.

UM launched a Spanish-language site at miami.edu/español in late March while FIU officials say their Web site will be available by summer in Spanish and Portuguese at fiu.edu.

The translations, school officials said, are a service to Latin American students and their parents, who may not speak English as well as their children.

UM International Admissions Director Mark Reid said the site gives UM more visibility in Latin America "and shows that we’re mindful of reaching that audience."

He said a third of the school’s 1,500 international students are from Latin America.

Recruiters are marketing the site on recruiting trips to the region, Mr. Reid said. He said UM officials hope to add other languages such as Portuguese in the near future to their sites.

"In Brazil there seems to be less fluency in English than there is in other parts of Latin America. So I think in reality we’re going to see more usage and hits on a Portuguese-language Web site when it’s up and running than we will on our Spanish site," Mr. Reid said.

FIU officials say they will be making "a great majority" of the school’s website available in Spanish and Portuguese. The new translations, which will be accessible from the school’s home page, should be launched by summer, said Todd Padilla-Simmons, director of marketing and media relations.

"A large percentage of our students are first generation in the US. A great many of our students feel more comfortable reading in Spanish and Portuguese," he said.

FIU – with about 3,000 international students – was ranked 18th among 20 US universities and colleges with large international enrollments in school year 1999-2000, according to the New York-based Institute of International Education. New York University was ranked No. 1 with 4,890 international students.

FIU, Mr. Padilla-Simmons said, produces more Hispanic graduates than any other post-secondary school in the US and is the primary producer of Hispanic engineers.

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