Motion 12: To direct the World Board to create the Spanish-language Narcotics Anonymous (Basic Text), Step Working Guides, and It Works: How and Why available in an audio format.
Intent: To increase access to NA Literature for the Spanish-speaking community.
Maker: Southern California Region
Financial Impact: The financial impact for this is difficult to estimate accurately. The cost to make the English and Spanish Basic Text available in MP3 format is approximately $12,000 each, which includes the expense of professionally recording the text and proofing the recordings. The direct cost of what this motion is asking for is approximately $20,000 since It Works is already recorded. However, we recommend an approach that begins with the Basic Text and treats all language groups equally rather than focusing solely on one language. If the expense for the other language versions of the Basic Text were consistent with the Spanish and English Basic Texts, the total direct cost, without staff time, for currently translated Basic Texts would be approximately $384,000. However, we know some of the recordings—Swedish, Danish, and Lithuanian, among other languages—are already completed. And some of the costs to produce other language versions will vary. We are currently in the process of recording the Arabic Basic Text, and we estimate that expense to be less than $2,000.
Rationale by Region: Many Spanish-speaking persons leave school in the third or fourth grade and illiteracy is a large problem. NA Literature is written in Castilian Spanish that is much easier to comprehend when spoken due to the variations in Spanish across the globe. This motion is also requested on behalf of our blind Spanish-language members. Creating audio access is not an item the LAZF is addressing because they are doing the written translations. There is a dire need for auditory access to NA literature in the Spanish-speaking community of Southern California and it would also greatly benefit Spanish-speaking addicts elsewhere in the United States and the world. Spanish is the second most spoken native language in the world. Our members have experienced that access to printed material is limited in rural and underdeveloped areas of Mexico and other Spanish-language countries whereas internet cafés and cellphones are much more readily available. This motion is also presented to prevent rogue audio translations, which is likely to occur as this is a pressing need. This proposal is also likely to attract younger members.
World Board Response: We are in the process of working with local translation committees and zones to create the audio version of the Basic Text to post on na.org free of charge. We have previously reported that, given the pricing policies and mandates of commercial portals for audiobooks, we see no effective way to distribute this material through a paid portal that makes sense for our members.
We appreciate the spirit of this motion, but we are recommending an approach that is not focused exclusively on one language. As we reported at WSC 2018, we are actively in the process of updating audio files for Basic Texts in the languages in which it is published. We plan to post these on www. na.org for no charge to access. We ask for your patience as we get this first step accomplished.
This effort includes working with the approval panel for Spanish-language translations that is part of the Latin American Zonal Forum to produce an audio version of the Sixth Edition Basic Text. We would like to continue with that effort and get the audio Basic Texts posted first. Accessibility to our literature is a primary concern for us, and audio versions of the Basic Text (currently 32) seem like the logical place to start. Let’s see how this process works with the Basic Text first, and then we can evaluate the effort and decide on the next step for English, Spanish, or any other language.
Policy Affected: None.