National Parks Service Chief of Visitors Services, Lauren Blacik smiles after receiving a French transcribed Aztec Ruins Trail Guide on Wednesday, May 29,
National Parks Service Chief of Visitors Services, Lauren Blacik smiles after receiving a French transcribed Aztec Ruins Trail Guide on Wednesday, May 29, 2014, from the Honors French III class at the Piedra Vista library. ( Megan Farmer /The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — Students at Piedra Vista High School will leave their mark on the Aztec Ruins National Park after translating and updating the park's new trail guide to French for park visitors.

The 12 students in Alison Goff's French Honors 3 and AP French Language class have been working on and off since February to translate the new trail guide introduced in March, Aztec Ruins park ranger Lauren Blacik said.

"We rerouted the trail in the opposite direction," Blacik said. "It left us without a French language translation and by luck, Alison Goff contacted me to see if there was any service work that the students could do."

The students and Goff presented the updated French trail guide to Blacik in the Piedra Vista library Wednesday afternoon and showed Blacik the changes made to the guide.

Senior Baylie Locke said the students took a tour of the park before splitting the guide into thirds and figuring out what sections needed to be rearranged. The changes the students made also reflected the changes made to the English version of the guide.

Blacik said the 26 page trail guide is full of specific language tied to archeological and cultural terms from the site and the students were tasked with thinking and translating in a way native French speakers could understand.

"We don't really go over archeology in French (class), we were seeing a lot of words we weren't familiar with," Locke said.

Junior Dominic Pile said the most challenging parts were the new passages the class wrote for the guide but they were able to have Goff's cousin Neil Froggett, a professional French translator based in France, proofread the guide after it was completed.

The older French trail guide was text only and as the students translated the new trail guide, introduced photos of the Aztec Ruins labeled into the guide.

 Piedra Vista Honors French III class from left, Jazrine Dennis, Vanessa Harris, Nicole Emrich, Dominic Pile, Sarah Engert and Baylie Locke stand with
Piedra Vista Honors French III class from left, Jazrine Dennis, Vanessa Harris, Nicole Emrich, Dominic Pile, Sarah Engert and Baylie Locke stand with National Park Service employee Lauren Blacik on Wednesday, May 29, 2014, at the Piedra Vista library. ( Megan Farmer / The Daily Times)

"It'll be a wonderful service for the French language speakers to the park," Blacik said. "We have people from all over the world visit and for them to understand this place and read about it is huge for us."

The park offers the older trail guide in the Spanish and German languages and Blacik said they hope to translate those in the future.

Goff said it has been difficult for her to find service projects for her French students since Spanish and Diné languages are the most popular languages in the area, aside from English.

"I seriously think it's the best one we have done since I've been here," Goff said. "It's the culmination of everything they learned. The (vocabulary), the grammar, their reading skills and comprehension."

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.