Article originally published on LinkedIn, 12 Dec. 2014
As a practical step in supporting ebola messaging in West African languages (about which I wrote in September and October), a new initiative was launched in late October. Dubbed “Translating Hope – Health Education in African Languages,” it seeks to facilitate networking, information sharing, and collaboration for translation and other production of ebola information in the languages of the people directly affected and at risk from the current epidemic.
A fellow Mali RPCV, Dr. Cathy Knott, first proposed the “Translating Hope” initiative, and I’ve worked with her and Dr. Richard Webb (both at University of Alaska-Anchorage) to get it going. A principal function of this effort is to link people working in various areas relevant to ebola messaging in African languages, who may not otherwise be in contact: those working on translation into African languages (there are various initiatives); those working on ebola response (especially on communication and training); and experts in African languages and linguistics (both in the affected countries and in academic institutions abroad).
A more complete write-up of the purposes is available on my blog.
There are two parts to the initiative – a Google group (email list), and a Blackboard site (hosted by UAA). Any who are interested may join the Google group (please give a brief explanation of your work/interest in this area), and then can be given Blackboard access.
In the longer run, the initiative is intended to continue to help systematize development of health materials in African languages – via translation as well as direct composition. Hence “Health Education in African Languages.”