The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of information. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 a global pandemic. The organization called on individuals and entire nations to dramatically alter their way of life to contain the spread.
People urgently need access to accurate information in a language and format they understand to make well-informed decisions during this pandemic.
We are using language to help people access health-related information in the following ways:
- Translation: We are working with partners to translate critical public-facing content in languages and formats that people understand. We are providing translation support in 89 languages. We will add to that list as the situation evolves.
- Language data and mapping: In order to provide easily-understood information, organizations need to know which languages people speak and understand, and where. We are developing maps that visualize languages and literacy levels in affected countries, as a better basis for planning COVID-19 communications.
- Social media monitoring: This pandemic is not only a crisis of health, it is also a crisis of misinformation. To help stop the spread of rumors and inaccurate information, we are monitoring COVID-19-related social media conversations in multiple languages. This will help public health experts better combat misinformation.
- Terminology: We are identifying key terminology that people use to talk about COVID-19 as well as commonly-used technical terms. We will use this to develop a multilingual, plain-language glossary that can support public information efforts.
The project is funded by the H2H Fund, a funding mechanism for H2H Network members. The fund is a rapid funding vehicle for network members responding to humanitarian crises.
We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic. -Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO)
Translate for TWB:
We currently need COVID-19 translation support in the following languages and more:
- Chinese, Simplified and Traditional
- Bahasa Indonesian
- Myanmar (Burmese)
Apply to become a volunteer translator here.