FOLLOW US ON OUR JOURNEY TO SCALE UP REMOTE CRISIS RESPONSE LANGUAGE SERVICES.
Refugees and migrants arriving in Europe need clear information they can understand at every point in their journey. They need it in order to move, to find their way through complex asylum procedures, and to keep themselves and their families safe. However, in the ever-changing, often chaotic situation that many of them endure, information can come in many forms. It can be unreliable, incomplete, in the wrong language, or just plain untrue. Crisis responders for their part face the challenge of operating in an environment where people are often mobile, under intense pressure, and unlikely to be able to communicate their needs effectively.
As one of three teams selected by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) for support to scale up a humanitarian innovation, the TWB Words of Relief team is using this opportunity to improve how we provide remote language services to vulnerable people affected by a crisis. Join the team as they document their challenging and exciting journey to tackle the communication challenges that hinder relief efforts, by developing new tools and approaches.
This first vlog gives a behind-the-scenes look at how remote crisis translation works, and includes demos of TWB’s translation platform and glossary app. The app, which was developed specifically with humanitarian responders and field workers in Greece in mind, is a collection of open-source glossaries in the languages of the refugee and migrant populations in Greece. The translation platform uses language technology to lend speed and consistency to efforts to relay vital information to those groups in their own language. These innovative tools open up new opportunities for communication in a crisis that is unique for the linguistic and demographic mix that exists within the host community, the responders and the people directly affected.
This video is available with subtitles in Spanish, French, Greek, German and Italian (just click the ‘CC’ button bottom right of the screen to choose your language). The video was realized with the support of Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), with the financing of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is the first TWB vlog. Follow us on our #JourneyToScale.
Translators without Borders has developed more tools and services to support responders to communicate better in difficult crisis settings. Click here to see the TWB language fact sheets, interpreter toolkit, and more.
About Words of Relief
The Translators without Borders Words of Relief program is the first rapid response translation service aimed at improving communication between crisis-affected communities and humanitarian responders, so that life-saving and life-changing information is not lost in translation. By training translators and interpreters, translating and disseminating critical messages in crisis-inclined countries, building a spider network of translators to assist in time of need, and developing new language technology tools, TWB intends to close the language gaps that hinder critical humanitarian efforts.
The Words of Relief program has been deployed to help victims of several crises worldwide, including the Ebola emergency in West Africa and the Nepal earthquake. Rapid Response Teams in Arabic, Farsi, Greek, Kurdish and Urdu are currently providing immediate, high-quality translations for aid organizations along the refugee route in Europe.