Project to get more Ukrainian interpreters

time:2023-05-29 14:34:05 source:Al Jazeera

A support network for Ukrainian interpreters has launched for refugees who came to live in Birmingham.

Some of the arrivals fleeing the war in their country struggle to communicate.

The Aston Centre for Applied Linguistics has secured funding for activities aimed at helping Ukrainian refugees overcome language barriers.

There are no registered Ukrainian interpreters in the West Midlands, so a support network to bring some together will be established.

"You can't lead a normal life without enough English here," Viktoriia, a language teacher, said.

Things such as going to the shops, school or a hospital could be difficult, she added.

"I'm not a professional translator so sometimes I also worry if I'm translating something the right way."

Project director Dr Emmanuelle Labeau said the language part of a refugee's ordeal tended to be overlooked as people focused on food or shelter.

"The lack of a common language often hinders well-meaning efforts," she said.

"Our scheme attempts to help overcome communication hurdles by enabling bilingual speakers to support their community in a professional way, and public servants to collaborate efficiently with interpreters, while supporting refugees to fully partake in the life of our city."

A £14,000 grant has come from Birmingham Voluntary Service Council's Engage for Ukraine scheme which will run until September 2023.

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