Speaking COVID19

The Government’s most recent update has revealed the conditional changes to the current lockdown that will come into play across the coming weeks and months. While the easing of restrictions may bring relief to some there are many who are still left vulnerable to a lack of information and advice.

As the media interpret and predict what these changes mean and report on potential timelines of what the return to normal or the new normal, can become confusing for anyone, but what if you didn’t speak English? It has already been widely reported that ethnic minorities are making up a higher percentage of COVID19 cases[1], which is devastating to hear. While the global response has considered the need to translate and interpret information for those who need it, another arm of the response includes working to stop the spread of misinformation and inaccurate reporting.

The way information is represented will also factor in how well it is understood, if you cannot read English a huge block of text will be harder to understand than visual images/graphs that can indicate ideas visually. However, there is still an uncomfortable amount of room that allows for misinterpretation. The only true way to prevent misinformation in other languages and throughout non-English speaking communities is via accurate translation and interpretation.

Of course, the sudden rise and quick responses required to battle COVID19 has put a strain across all essential services to produce information and take safety measures at an incredible pace and in many ways have done amazing jobs. However, there is, of course, the challenge of quickly and effectively communicating any changes and new information.

DA Languages has the expertise and the skills accumulated over 18 years of working with the NHS, local councils, and central government and have continued and are proud to support our clients throughout the COVID19 pandemic. We have worked at translating all necessary information as well as providing Telephone and Video interpreting while many continue to work remotely.

Many areas of concern are within mental health and domestic abuse as more vulnerable members of society have potentially stayed in toxic and damaging situations. Refugees are more likely to suffer PTSD, anxiety, and depression[2]as they experience marginalization and inability to access services and support. One major factor in this is due to language barriers, furthermore, there has been an increase in domestic abuse cases throughout the UK, which is not to say that all cases are being reported.

Access to services and information is of vital importance for all in the UK and across the globe. Not only for right now but into the future, the one aspect COVID19 has highlighted is how there need to be more multilingual resources available as well as more support for non-English speakers and the Deaf/Hard of Hearing communities.

DA Languages is proud to support in every way we can so that non-English speakers can access the services they need and professionals can support those in need unhindered by language barriers. We have continued to innovate our services during this period. Translation has played a major role in our support to our clients as the translation of FAQs and informational posters/leaflets and websites can help prevent an overload of calls as the information they need is readily available to them. Furthermore, when searching for help and support if a non-English speaker is able to read or watch a subtitled video it can answer their questions, provide support, and help relieve any concerns.

Telephone Interpreting has seen increased demand over the past couple of months, which DA Languages were more than prepared for. Telephone interpreting allows for anonymity and provides excellent support for helplines and charitable causes, as Telephone interpreting is available 24/7. Telephone interpreting is a great service for when you need to quickly access an interpreter, also for pre-booked conference calls with up to 10 participants. This can be very useful when needing to discuss anything with a non-English speaking family over the phone.

Video interpreting has increased in usage as it works as the second-best alternative to face to face. As the end-user and the interpreter have the added benefit of being able to see each other. 3-way video interpreting is great for longer appointments and when visual cues and communication are necessary, for example when working with BSL and non-spoken end users.

Finally, we have seen an increase in Face to Face interpretation in some areas where it is safe to proceed with Face to Face bookings. Of course, DA Languages will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of our linguists and clients.

In conclusion, COVID19 has revealed areas across the UK in which language support can be improved and DA Languages is proud of help organizations across the UK improve the support and accessibility for non-English speakers and the Deaf/Hard of Hearing communities. During these strange times, it’s important to stick together and work as one to help everyone get through this.

If you are interested in our services and how we can help support you email enquiries@dalanguages.co.uk



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