Over 600,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh, many of them entire families – families broken by violence. This is a complex political and humanitarian crisis, and one of the most difficult language contexts Translators without Borders has ever experienced. There is almost no translation capacity in Rohingya so communication between responding aid organizations and vulnerable people in the refugee camps is extremely difficult. Furthermore, illiteracy levels among the affected population are high. A team from TWB has been deployed to Cox's Bazar Bangladesh to develop language capacity and resources in the language and format that people can understand. Follow our team's journey as they document what it takes to respond in our most challenging responses yet.
22 November - a TWB rapid assessment of language barriers in the Rohingya refugee response.
Taking action in the Rohingya crisis: TWB’s biggest language challenge yet
17 - Rebecca Petras travels to Bangladesh to launch the TWB response to the Rohingya refugee crisis.
On the ground in Bangladesh. So – how do we communicate?
22 Having arrived in Cox's Bazar Rebecca Petras reports on the complicated situation on the ground, and how the ability to communicate with refugees in their language is a serious issue.
The language complexity in the current Rohingya refugee crisis is deep. I had only a faint understanding of it when I landed a few days ago; I have a slightly better sense now...Read more.
Bot Towan! #InterpretersMatter
31 Today was a bit grueling. We went to interview people who have newly arrived at Balukhali makeshift camp about cyclone preparation. We did that, and in the process confirmed what I already knew: specific skills are needed to act as a translator or interpreter in a crisis...Read more.
We urgently need to fund activities for this response so as to ensure this vulnerable population has access to the information they need, in a language and format they understand.