This page lists translation, interpretation, and language learning services.
Bridge enables rapid translation of social media and the addition of important cultural, social and political notes to facilitate understanding. With intelligent tools like dictionaries and glossaries, Bridge helps you translate efficiently and with confidence.
Facebook (for Meedan, the Bridge developer: Meedan builds digital tools for global journalists and translators. We are a team of designers, technologists and journalists who focus on open source investigation of digital media and crowdsourced translation of social media. With commercial, media and university partners, we support research, curriculum development, and new forms of digital storytelling.)
The app (for iPhones)
ETCall is a mobile app to connect refugees with volunteer translators to interpret for them through a telephone call. It aims to facilitate the communication between the refugees from one side; government offices and hospitals from the other side. It’s available for Arabic/German translation, more languages will be added.
Helping refugees freely communicate across language barriers with the help of volunteer interpreters.
The app (for iPhones)
Rapid Response Refugee Translators
This closed group provides translation and interpretation services, with a special focus on information pertaining to seeking asylum.
There are more than 60,000 refugees in Greece and an overwhelming demand for information to understand what is happening to them.
As an organisation that has been working with information for refugees for the past year in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, the Greek Islands and mainland Greece. We are aware that asylum seekers in Greece are struggling to understand the processes which result in them often being deported after receiving a negative decision.
Unaccompanied minors in particular are responsible for their own asylum applications and struggle to understand what they need to do access their rights. Refugees are struggling to integrate into a destabilised and bureaucratic Greek economy and society. Survival becomes paramount.
Greek public bodies are unable to move fast enough to provide information and amenities to asylum seekers and we work with them to fill this information gap.
The information that they do provide can be complicated, long and often not translated into languages the refugees understand. It can be difficult to find answers to essential information that is relevant to a them in any given circumstance.
That's where we come in.
There is no other organisation with as much material available in as many languages as RefuComm. We work with the UN, Greek Asylum Service and other key actors in the country to help get vital yet lacking information to refugees.
We source information: checking dates, legality and rumour to produce, translate and distribute accurate information for refugees. The information we provide is focused on the bureaucratic processes in Greece - from asylum in Greece to family reunification and relocation, support for unaccompanied minors and vulnerable people to appealing against negative decisions.
We create documents, videos and audio files to get information to refugees in a format that works for them. We get into camps, squats and meeting places on the mainland to get information to refugees directly - to give them the best chance of understanding the system and preparing them for the various stages within it.
We train volunteers so that they have a rudimentary but accurate understanding of the processes that they can share with refugees.
We train 'Cultural Mediators' to deliver briefings to refugees in their own language around the asylum process, family reunification, relocation and interview preparation.
Website (with links to apps)
Our goal is to solve the communication problem between organisations and refugees. We want to bring down the language barrier and blend SMSs into efficient tools. That way you can spend more time helping people, less sending texts.
TikkTalk - Skiwo is an open digital platform for interpretation services over a video conference in your browser. Anyone can sign up, prove their skills by uploading their certifications, and get access to interpretation jobs worldwide. Governments and businesses can get direct access to a global pool of interpreters, sorted by language, certification levels and ratings.
The Translation Cards concept allows users to create and use simple audio and visual ‘flash cards’ so that refugees can hear a pre-translated phrase spoken aloud in their own language. Version 1.0 was being prepared and the Emergency Lab were keen to support the group by testing it out in the field. With UNHCR Protection staff in fYR Macedonia we developed sets of information (called ‘card decks’) based on the frequently asked questions from refugees and migrants. We also developed some key questions that would help field teams to determine how best to support refugees or which services to refer them too. We weren’t sure how feasible it would be to include questions in the card decks, and were keen to test how these would work in practice. The Emergency Lab [a UNHCR Innovation project] had been closely collaborating with Translators without Borders on a couple of our other projects, and they were able to support with written and audio translations for the different decks. With the first deck in hand, the Emergency Lab begun field testing with refugees and migrants in fYR Macedonia in February 2016.
A longer article
The free app (for Androids only)
Translators For Humanity is a newly created initiative by a group of Afghan-American volunteers who have traveled from the United States to Lesvos, Greece to assist and translate in response to the ongoing refugee crisis. It became clear that in order for volunteers to properly and efficiently address the immediate needs of refugees, familiarity with their local languages and cultures were crucial. UNHCR estimates that 56% of refugees fleeing conflict speak Arabic, roughly 40% speak Farsi or Dari, and the remaining speak Pashto, Urdu, and Kurdish. Providing medical care, humanitarian assistance, guidance as to how to obtain registration documents, and other crucial information needed by the refugees is complicated by the limited number of translators available on the ground and the ever increasing number of refugees arriving in Greece. Having translators that speak the refugees’ native languages will not only help when responding to emergency crisis situations, but will also help ease the pain of going through a traumatic experience and being unable to properly to express your needs and concerns to volunteers, NGO staff, health care providers and hospital staff, as well as local police. Having translators on the ground drastically improves communication, the provision of services, and gives the refugees an outlet to have their needs be heard.
Translators for Humanity aims to provide immediate translation services by deploying its translators at any given time to any given location in Lesvos, Greece. Our translators will be based at our main translators hub, a tent located on the Afghan Hill intended to serve as a central location for our translators. One of our immediate goals is to establish a working relationship with many of the other partner agencies and official and unofficial NGO’s currently working on the ground in addressing the refugee crisis. Through this working relationship, we seek to provide our translation services on an ad-hoc basis to anyone in need of them.
Our current team of translators are able to provide services in Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto, and Urdu. Some of these services may include but not limited to providing translation services for medical professionals providing care to patients, providing information to asylum-seekers about the registration process, and help facilitate the prioritization of people with specific needs, including people with disabilities and survivors of capsized boats and shipwrecks.
Translators Without Borders envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. We provide people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting nonprofit organizations with a professional community of volunteer translators; building local language translation capacity; and raising awareness of language barriers.
Translators without Borders translates more than 7 million words per year working with over 3,200 translators worldwide and serving communities in the areas of crisis response, ongoing development, translator training and advocacy.
Many displaced people arrive in European countries without any prior knowledge of European languages. Volunteers from different organizations and foster homes from all around Europe are on hand to help with their primary needs, but encounter great difficulties when communicating with newcomers as they do not know their mother tongue languages.
VENTO.TV and Fundación Al Fanar work together on this project to offer a free solution which helps to reduce communication problems thanks to the selfless collaboration of multilingual citizens all around the world.
VENTO.TV/refugees provides volunteers with a completely free, simple and immediate communication system via video call that allows them to connect with multilingual speakers who can act as non-official translators during those moments in which they are available to live translate.
German for Arabic Speakers
Are you new to Germany, fluent in Arabic, and want to learn German? We have compiled a list of the most useful and FREE online language learning tools and resources.
Note: This site has lots of resources for German-learners, with concepts that could be applied to learning any language.
ICOON - Refugees Welcome | First Communication Help
ICOON has created a simple picture board as a first communication help for refugees.
The picture board (PDF)
Refugee Communication Boards, designed by communication company Tobii Dynavox, can be downloaded in PDF format and printed.
The boards are currently available in six different languages (Arabic to English, French, German, Hungarian, Norwegian and Swedish), and use a combination of key words and simple illustrations to make communication as smooth as possible.
Facebook (for Tobii Dynavox, the designer)
Website for downloading
The Refugee Phrasebook is a multilingual tool for refugees who just arrived in Europe that provides basic useful vocabulary and sentences related to the most common immediate needs. It currently contains vocabulary in 28 languages.
Wilkommen - First Steps in German
This workbook will make your first steps in Germany easier and wants to encourage you to learn German. It is a useful and simple beginners' guide which includes the alphabet, essential phrases, some basics of German grammar and examples for use in everyday life.
Note: This illustrated workbook is in German and English.
Last updated November 12, 2016
Please send suggestions to Dianne Walker.
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