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Bridging Language Gap: Kailey Sweet’s Story on Transformative Translation and Interpretation


  • Bridging linguistic gaps enables effective communication between English and non-English speakers.
  • Translating and interpreting contributes to promoting diversity and inclusivity, ensuring that non-English speakers have equitable access to education, health services, employment opportunities, legal resources, and various aspects of society.
  • Careers in translation and interpretation require passion, commitment, and a vision for assisting and empowering individuals while valuing the cultures and values of non-English speaking communities.

1. Can you share about your childhood experiences that have influenced your career path and shaped who you are today?

I grew up in a small town in the U.S. with only 40 people in my graduating class,  there was little diversity. After graduating in 2016, I attended Herkimer College, a local college that embraces diversity. This experience ignited my curiosity and deepened my interest in my culture and others.

My first experience with language gaps was at a job where I worked as a purchaser, sourcing products and components from different countries for medical devices. The role required me to communicate updates with workers from time to time in our plant who didn’t speak English so I would inform a leader in their community to give them the notice. 

In 2019 I spent two months in Bosnia, where I first handedly experienced a need for language resources. No English marketing, signs, menus, or anything like that are available. It made me realize that many individuals coming to America may face communication challenges, especially in healthcare, law, or social community work.

This leads me to my current work where my mission is to expand my efforts and empower individuals to advocate for their communities. My next goals involve organizing various events, such as networking sessions or community gatherings, where we can provide people with a platform to showcase their cultural food, music, and fundamental beliefs. This initiative aims to foster greater awareness among the general population and encourage the integration of diverse cultures into our daily lives. By doing so, we can create opportunities and offer them the chance to present their backgrounds, beliefs, and unique aspects of their lives, which differ from ours. To achieve this, we must find a means of collaboration and establish a common ground for organizing community events that facilitate genuine connection.


2. What does daily life look like in the life of Kailey Sweet?

In my daily life, I prioritize myself. In the morning, I start with reading, language, and stretching. I make sure to fill my cup before facing the world. 

My favorite part of the day is when I have the opportunity to interact with interpreters or take on new challenges. This could be when someone who doesn’t speak English visits my office to learn about our company’s work. That’s a huge start.

Those things empower me and allow me to discover unique ways to help individuals. Every situation is different, and I like those challenges. I also value receiving feedback from my interpreters. I ask them what’s effective and how we can make their career more fulfilling. Moreover, I inquire about ways our company can improve. In the realm of language, it’s essential to have both younger and older team members, as they can relate to different generations. 

This feedback and connection with my interpreters are sources of immense satisfaction. Witnessing their sense of fulfillment inspires me to keep doing what I do because they find meaning in their work too.


3. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

I would describe myself with three key qualities. Firstly, I would say, ambitious. When I set my mind to something, I put in maximum effort to make it a reality, and I don’t give up easily. 

The second would be resilient. When faced with setbacks, I have a strong determination to get back up because I believe there’s always a better way to do it.

And thirdly, empathetic or caring. I show people, whether one person or a hundred, that I genuinely care. Their stories are essential and meaningful and have the potential to inspire others in their communities. I advocate for people to strive for their best selves.


4. What advice would you offer to someone looking to achieve similar success and fulfillment in their life?

Deciding to leave the corporate world was a significant turning point for me. My first job in a manufacturing company offered a comfortable and potentially secure salary that could have sustained me well into my 40s or 50s. But the pain that I was feeling knowing what non-English speakers felt was more motivating to me than any discomfort I could go through while trying to create this dream, this mission of the company. 

I constantly remind myself, especially during tough times, that the mission is bigger than me. It’s not only to help me; it’s to hopefully help the generations after me as well. So, for me, it’s about conveying respect for the hard work and dedication these people offer to their communities. I express willingness to collaborate and provide them with the opportunities and resources they need to succeed in their careers. 

There is a Spanish woman who came from Puerto Rico a few years ago and aspired to become a police officer. While she’s going through all the tests to achieve her goal, she’s also committed to helping the community in any way possible. When she first came to the U.S. her mother faced significant health issues, and she felt the pressure to learn the language quickly to help her mom interpret, as there was no available interpreter. She is now a resource for the community which has made her feel a sense of fulfillment about her contribution.

I aim to empower people, making them understand that their voices are just as valuable as mine. We are all working toward the same shared goal, and everyone brings a unique perspective and values to enrich every conversation. There’s so much more we can learn, and there are countless doors we should keep open rather than automatically closing them.


5. Is there anything you would do differently if you could?

Continuously pursuing what you’re passionate about, even if it’s a lengthy journey, will ultimately yield the best results. Understand that your actions can have a more significant impact than not taking those steps at all and keep pushing forward. 

Taking that extra step and continually reminding yourself of the initial reasons that motivated you is vital. Additionally, don’t lose sight of the immense potential that exists beyond the boundaries of fear.


Bridging the linguistic gap between English and non-English speakers represents a significant stride in overcoming the language barrier that can restrict non-English speakers from accessing the same opportunities available to English speakers. Although it’s a challenging journey, it remains a powerful means of empowering and amplifying the voices of these communities.

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