7 months ago
Admissions Advice

how do i get recommendation letters?

I'm in a high school where most of my teachers don't know English. I was planning to get a rec letter from two of my teachers who both can't speak English. how do I get my recommendation letters? Do I make them write it in my native language and then translate it by myself? Do I credit someone who has expertise in the language (for example my English teacher)? Do I just make them write it and send it to schools and then let them translate it by themselves? I don't know what to do. Please explain.


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2 answers

7 months ago


I'm assuming you are not an American but an international student living in a non-speaking English country who wants to apply to American colleges.

Most applicants use the Common Application which is a portal that almost 1000 colleges use. Therefore I would direct you there for starting your college application

According to the Common App, they recommend using their partners to submit recommendations. Their partners have a translation service.

In support of the counseling community, Common App has expanded our integration services to work with new software partners serving schools around the world. We currently partner with BridgeU, Cialfo, MaiaLearning, MefaPathway, Naviance, Overgrad, SchooLinks and Xello.

If your school uses one of these partners to submit recommendation forms, and you have support questions you may click on the partner logo for a list of FAQs.

Note: Schools that are not partnered with these services may still submit recommendation forms online through Common App's native recommendation system.

Since I'm not currently using the common app myself, I can't dive deeper into telling you how the native recommendation system works.

What I do know is that you are not allowed to intervene in the recommendation process so you may not see the recommendations nor translate them nor may you have someone like your English teacher translate them for your other teachers either because the integrity of the recommendation must be kept as close as possible to what the recommender originally wrote. Therefore, if the common app system doesn't work, you may have to hire a professional translator service that is accepted by the college you are applying to. And there are many of them in every country around the world.

Here is an example of a company that provides this kind of blind translation that you can't see but is trusted by the university that is evaluating you.


7 months ago

It would be best to get your recommendation letter from your teachers that do speak English, because you aren’t allowed to see your own recommendation letters. Usually, whichever platform you are using to send your application (like the common app for example), there’s a place to add your teachers email, so you wouldn’t be able to actually read the recommendation letter. So, if you can’t get a teacher who speaks English, have them translate the letter themselves and send it off. Hope that helped.


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