Natural and unnatural disasters have been part of the human life ever since time memorial. While some are due to humans tampering with the natural flow of events like the current heat waves that have killed over 1000 people in both India and Pakistan are thought to be catalyzed by;

  • Deforestation
  • Mining
  • Air pollution by factory and automobile gasses

Others are nature in itself and chances that they can be prevented are close to zero for example, the infamous Tsunami of the year 2004 that happened as a result of a major earthquake that killed over 200,000 people in countries including Thailand, India and Sri Lanka.Not forgetting the two recent earth quakes in Nepal.

Language Issue

At such bad times, other countries and concerned organisations rush in to help the survivors cope with the disaster after effects by providing medical attention, food, sanitation, water, education and psychological help among others.The major question is in what languages is the communication done?

Here translation agencies, or even volunteers who are multi lingual can come in to ease the rehabilitation work by offering interpreting services. For example in Nepal, it is estimated that there are over 100 languages spoken natively with Nepali as the most spoken mother tongue.

But as one saw or heard over the News updates about the Nepal earthquake, the help and assistance came in from all over the world which means that there was hardly a common language between the foreign help and the affected people of Nepal.

Therefore interpreters were of great help as they bridged the communication between the foreign help and the affected people.

Such translation services are very vital during disasters because it is after such News is translated to various languages in the world, that the relatives of visitors, tourists or students to the affected areas get to know that their people might be in danger and therefore look for ways of how to get them out of danger.

Translation services are also important and should be really sought after by governments of all countries worldwide so as to get to know how, why and when their citizens are in danger and in need of coming back home.

The best example here is when the Homophobic violence against black working immigrants that broke up in some parts of South Africa earlier this year. Non English persons like Somalis had to express themselves about their experience of being hunted down like animals to journalists through interpreters. A few governments finally paid attention and devised means to get their nationals out of South Africa and danger like Zimbabwe.

For world relations to move smoothly, translation services have to become part of these relations.