How Professional Interpreting Services Are Important To the South Sudan Refugees

What do you think professional interpreting services or translation services will contribute for Uganda’s aid agencies, UNCHR, Red Cross society and the south Sudan refugees?

Right now as I share with you this article, there is a large influx of south Sudan refugees into northern Uganda through Amuru and Adjumani districts. 90% of the population is mostly women and the children and they need aid and relief items, like food, clothes, medication, accommodation and security as well. The men who attempt to cross, are abducted by the rebels to raise their manpower.

Recently, on 5th /July,  It’s estimated that about 2,442 refugees entered Uganda, 1,212 came through Elegu border point in Amuru district, 247 in Moyo, 57 in Lamwo and around 370 in Araba (Arua Axis). Another 555 received in Kiryandongo settlement. With this big number of helpless people, relief aid service providers face language problems since they both speak different languages.

South Sudan Languages

South Sudan is a multilingual country with over 6o indigenous languages; English is the official language that was introduced during the colonial era. The indigenous languages with the most speakers are Dinka, Nuer, Bari, and Zande. However, the Arabic pidgin also known as Juba Arabic is used by several thousands of people.

Though English is the official language in South Sudan, we can’t guarantee that all these refugees to be are fluent with it.  Aid service providers have to ensure that they are understood by the people and the people are able to communicate with them through the use of interpreters.

Other Humanitarian organizations such as Red cross, UNRC have volunteers who are multilingual and they do help in communication, distributing  relief items such as Posho, Beans, rice, sugar, clothes and etc to the people. This is the area where interpreting is paramount.

Which documents may need translation services and professional interpreting services

Translation of documents is all about enhancing proper communication between the helpers and the refugees. Documents such as;

  • Refugee registration forms
  • Health guidelines
  • Medical forms
  • Legal documents in case of legal help to any refugee.
  • Etc.

This south Sudan political instability which started in December 2013 has led to one of the world’s worst displacement situations with immense suffering. It’s not only Uganda, where Sudanese have run for refuge; about 831,582 are abroad in countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda.

What happens during the medication of the refugees?

Indeed, there will be need of professional interpreting services when it comes to providing medical attention to these people. Since some people can’t understand English, though it’s an official language in south Sudan, the medical field has its own language and vocabulary, so they also need medical translation and interpreting in place, no gambling shall be needed when it comes to translating or interpreting the medical condition of the patient to the doctor as well as interpreting medical prescriptions to the patient. Native medical translators and interpreters  are necessary to translate or interpret into their respective languages such as Dinka, Nuer, Bari, or  Zande.

In helping these refugees in Uganda, the medical team is  working hard to see in implementing health and nutrition programs at Elegu, the most popular point for entering Uganda by the refugees. These are the activities/ roles played the medical team to help the people in the camps;

  • Medical screening,
  • Nutritional screening
  • And immunization.

So many of them are receiving medication by the help medical volunteer team but because of the large population that is continuing to enter the country, there is fear that the resources are running out of hand.

Translation companies are good at  providing professional interpreting services and translation  services. Using translation and interpretation can solve language problems between refugees and relief service providers but, good enough some of them use volunteers who are native speakers of some languages spoken by the south Sudan nationals.