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 over 20 language pairs, focused predominantly on Asian 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.
To get involved with our COVID-19 work or to request language services, please email Manmeet Kaur, TWB’s COVID-19 Response Lead, at [email protected].
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.