Non-English Indexing Help Urgently Needed!

August 31, 2015  - by 

Do you know that FamilySearch.org offers 20 times more searchable records in English than in all other languages combined?  Are you aware that approximately 92% of annual indexing work is in English compared to only 8% in all other languages?

You have the power to change these statistics and help more people around the globe find their ancestors and take their names to the temple! Will you help promote this need in your stake?

If you missed the earlier indexing article discussing the urgent language need, please read it here.  If you missed the most recent stake indexing director webinar highlighting the language need, take some time to review the recording. Both of these resources will help you understand the need for indexed records in non-English languages.

You may be asking, “What can I do to get my stake involved?” The answer is, “A lot, but not all at once.” Just as a tree grows from a small seed, the language effort in your stake should start small and grow larger in the coming months and years. 

Begin by working with your priesthood leader to:

  • Explain the need and the unique opportunity we have to contribute and serve the worldwide Church.
  • Ask how encouraging your members to participate might help support your ward and stake priesthood goals.
  • If the priesthood leader is willing to support this effort, identify individuals in your stake who are already fluent in a non-English language—especially French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish (the four focus languages for 2015). If they are already indexers, encourage them to work in the non-English language they are familiar with. If they are not indexers, invite them and train them to index in their favorite non-English language.

Here are some additional suggestions:

  • Ask your priesthood leader if it would be appropriate to issue indexing callings to members with fluent language skills. Then help these members become productive indexers.
  • Consider callings other members who have had significant training in one of the focus languages. Returned missionaries are prime examples of individuals who MAY possess the necessary skills, or who can develop the necessary skills to index effectively in one of these languages.

Later you may want to consider helping those without language training to learn to index specific types of records in a focus language. Sound impossible? It’s not! New training materials are now available for members who speak only English but who want to help index non-English records. Candidates may include those whose ancestors’ records are recorded in a non-English language. You may also want to ask your priesthood leader to consider calling someone who is fluent in a one of the focus languages to assist you with the training.

For your English-speaking volunteers who are not comfortable learning to index in another language, invite them to continue indexing and arbitrating English records. The need for English records is not diminished by the increasing need for records in other languages.

New “Indexing By Language” Report Now Available
A new report is now available showing how much indexing and arbitration is going on in your stake by project language. Using this report, you will be able to identify any who may already be working in a non-English language in order to offer any additional help.

You may have already received an invitation to opt-in to this report, which will be automatically delivered to you by e-mail each month. If you have not seen the invitation, or if you mistakenly opted out, please let us know at FSIndexing@familysearch.org. Please include your stake name and username when inquiring about the report.

With your help, millions of members around the globe will be able to find their ancestors and take them to the temple!

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