It is compare and contrast type of essay.
Explain how community translation has been put into effect to serve the Coronavirus covid-19 pandemic, comparing the situation between Sultanate of Oman and UK. Support your argument with examples.
The idea of the assignment is to compare the translation efforts in Oman and the UK during the Coronavirus covid-19 pandemic.
Note: I’ve uploaded Two attachments named “Oman” and “UK”. read both files and get information with them.
*** Words count = 1900 words.
*** In-Text Citations and References using Harvard style.
*** Two attachments has been uploaded named “Oman” and “UK”.
Translation, throughout history, has contributed significantly in the field of knowledge, research and culture interchange. It is not only about the act of transferring the meaning of a word or an utterance to the other language; it is the art of creating, editing and rendering either a written or a spoken utterance to the other language, where it meets and accomplishes the target language standards and systems. Currently, and as Coronavirus is spreading worldwide, countries are facing many challenges not only in the sector of medicine and prevention, but also challenges that are related to other fields such as diseases awareness and knowledge, economy, education, security, etc. This article discusses the role of translation during such pandemic, and specifically to what extent translation has played role in the United Kingdom (UK) addressing various communities and expats.
Translation and community translation:
Due to spread of Coronavirus worldwide, translation plays a key role in ensuring everyone is able to access services, from healthcare to education to other procedures made by any authority to control the spread of the pandemic.
According to Catford’s (1995) definition, “translation is the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL)”. The Catford’s definition reveals that translation is a type of process that could be considered as an activity which is done by translators while utterances and expressions are translated within the same language, rewording and paraphrasing, or from one language into another. Whereas Ghazala (1995), defines translation as it “is generally used to refer to all the process and methods used to convey the meaning of the source language in to the target language”.
On the other hand, community translation as explained by Taibi and Ozolins (2016), “discusses the different types of texts produced by public authorities, services and individuals for communities that need to be translated into minority languages, and the socio-cultural issues that surround them”. For this, community translation guarantees and ensures that privileges and rights of all communities and foreigners of any country are accessed and for their service. In the UK, the population of non-UK nationals is almost 6.2 million people, which is (9%) of the total population in the UK, and the migrant population is concentrated more in London capital city[footnoteRef:1]. For this, the government and concerned authorities must take precautions and necessary procedures to ensure that all communities and expats, especially those who are not native speakers of English, are getting the information and updates in their own languages with regard to the Coronavirus pandemic as issued by the authorities and government. [1: According to the UK migration statistics 2019. ]
The translation role in the United Kingdom (UK) during Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak[footnoteRef:2]: [2: The last part of the article will include samples of the efforts done by the UK various authorities. ]
All countries of the world have not prepared to encounter such outbreak. An outbreak that changed every prospective of life. As Coronavirus spreading and continuously challenging countries to face such pandemic, all countries are struggling to compact the spread of the Virus for its people and citizens, and to finally pass the novel Coronavirus with less losses possible. The UK, for instance, is one of the countries that has been fighting the spread of the Virus, and is taking measure and procedures to control the spread among its nationals and expats, non-UK nationals, who might be not native speakers of English. Translation, in such pandemics or similar conditions, plays a significant role in any country especially during times when all nationals and non-nationals within a country are needed to take a part and role to compact any relevant crisis.
The UK government and the governments of each member country (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) are providing information online, via the radio, and through the post, and according to the (Mayor of London and London Assembly 2020) official website, information, guidance and awareness messages on Coronavirus Covid-19 for non-UK nationals are provided in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu, and Welsh. This has been done to reach and cover various communities living in the UK to inform and update them regarding the pandemic. Moreover, the Government of the UK official website (GOV.UK 2020) published documents on “Covid-19: guidance on social distancing for everyone living in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults” in the following languages: Welsh, Urdu, Punjabi, Portuguese, Polish, Gujarati, French, Traditional Chinese – Cantones, Simplified Chinese – Mandarin, Bengali, and Arabic. Another procedure taken by the Government is to publish the guidance issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) through the country’s official websites in some languages including Russian, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.
Radio and television efforts:
In addition, various media channels are also spreading awareness in different languages. The British Broadcasting Company (BBC), for example, is providing live news coverage of Coronavirus in other languages besides English, in which it is also broadcasted in Vietnamese, Urdu, Turkish, Persian, Hindi, and Hausa.
What is more, in London as it covers most foreign communities in England, a community initiative called “Linguist Aid” was launched, and it is a support group of volunteers who speak a different language other than English to provide translations and interpretations for those who are suffering from getting the proper and required information in their own languages as their local communities and groups sites are closed due to the general lockdown[footnoteRef:3]. [3: Mayor of London (2020) official website. ]
[4: An online interview with Dr. Huddleson R. April 25th, 2020. ]
However, there are some issues and challenges the Government of the UK is facing when it comes to reaching some foreign communities as some of them are unable to meet in certain sites, for example, places of worship or community centers, then there is a worry that the message is not reaching everyone. In this regard, Dr. Huddleson (2020), PhD in Translation and citizen from London (England), believes that the UK still has a lot to learn in such tough times. Some services have made efforts to ensure documents are available in a range of languages, from Arabic to Pashto. However, the UK’s indigenous languages have been largely overlooked during this crisis. Some information has been made available in Welsh, but for Irish and Scottish Gaelic, there is little to nothing for them. Dr. Huddleson added: “Just recently, the Education Authority admitted to not having prepared documents in Irish for those who attend Irish-medium schools. As an Irish-speaker and as someone who pays taxes in the UK, I am not happy at this disregard for my right to access information in my language”.
The other issue is that of literacy. There are many communities in the UK, particularly migrants as well as Irish Travelers, where there are serious issues around literacy. Even if a document is available in a language, it counts for nothing if someone cannot read and understand the text, so the Government should do more and consider such cases in that regard to ensure everyone has access to information.
In conclusion, translation plays a key role to ease and control the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic in any country. The UK, one of the countries worldwide that struggles to handle the Coronavirus crisis, has taken many procedures that serve not only the nationals of the UK, but also the various communities and non-UK nationals who are currently living in the UK. For this, the government through different official websites, such as the “Mayor of London and London Assembly” and “the Government of UK”, has published awareness information and guidance in many languages including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Vietnamese, French, Welsh, etc. In addition, there are many efforts of broadcasting information and live news coverage of the novel Coronavirus through the BBC various channels in many other languages other than English such as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Russian, etc.
However, the Government of UK faces challenges with regard to reaching some communities of non-UK nationals as they struggle due to the city lockdown. Another issue is the literacy of some communities with the UK especially the migrants, and the struggle of ensuring everyone to get the access for the important information regarding the pandemic.
List of references:
· Catford, J. (1995) Alinguistic Theory of Translation. London: Oxford University Press.
· Ghazala, H. (1995) Translation as problems and solutions. Syria: Dar Elkalem ElArabi.
· Gov.UK. 2020. Covid-19 guidance. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people
· House of Common Library. March 06, 2020. Migration Statistics. Retrieved from https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn06077/
· Mayor of London. 2020. Information on coronavirus (covid-19) for non-UK nationals. Retrieved from https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/eu-londoners-hub/information-coronavirus-covid-19-non-uk-nationals
· Taibi, M. Ozolins, U. (2016) Community Translation. London: Bloomsbury.
Running head: CORONAVIRUS SPREAD 1
CORONAVIRUS SPREAD 9
Table of Contents
Importance of community translation and its relation to combat covid-19 in Oman 3
The role of the Ministry of Health in translating the information and guidance for the communities living in Oman that do not speak Arabic 5
The role of the Royal Police of Oman in translating the information and guidance for the communities living in Oman that do not speak Arabic 7
The novel that is Covid-19, commonly referred to as Coronavirus, has affected the world tremendously to what has come to be defined as one of the most significant pandemics in the 21st century. Coronavirus, a flu disease, has caused rapid changes in many countries. Among the main challenges affecting the effective management of the virus in many countries is communication. In a country like the Sultanate of Oman, translation is a critical factor in the effective management of communication. Oman is an Arab speaking country, and the issue of translation has been profoundly felt. The death toll is now recorded at over 2000, with many non-Arab speaking victims being recorded. In this article, the role of translation is addressed in the case of this pandemic, especially in the Arab speaking country of Oman.
Translation is an essential tool in the communication process of any country. Language, since the day of its invention, has been dynamic, and the number of languages spoken around the world is reported to be more than 6,500, this showcasing how complex language can be (Al et al., 2020). The translation is the process of changing or transforming a text from a particular language to another with the need to achieve the same meaning. The translation is written text, and in most cases, the word being translated has to be comfortably understood by the speaker of the language.
Covid-19, as a pandemic, has once again stood to test this field of language specialization. The country of Oman is an Arabic speaking nation that is surrounded by most Arabic speaking nations. The country has maintained a high reputation for a while, and one of the leading sources of its economic strength is tourism (Al et al., 2020). The country records a significant number of tourists visits due to its beautiful historic attractions and the peace it maintains. Tourism being the highest bidder to the economy involves many foreigners speaking different languages.
As of May, the number of recorded covid-19 cases is at 2637, with 12 deaths reported. The virus has already spread to all parts of the country, and Oman has taken measures towards the safe management of the virus. In March of 2020, the country halted the issuance of visas and the entrance of foreign ships and planes into the country (Ramadan Al Sherbini, 2020). By April, the country had declared a lockdown by restricting the movement of people from towns with the establishment of border patrols. Oman government has also been active with the issuance of statements to the public in the process. The country of Oman is among the countries that record a high number of foreign works. This highly showcases the importance of translation in the country.
In Oman, the highest number of people working in blue-collar jobs are migrant workers with the most significant foreign community from India. Oman has a high mandate in the field of translation when communicating with the workers. The country’s official language is Arabic, and it is mostly used in the issuing of government statements in the country (Language Barriers, 2020). However, the country has integrated different languages in learning, such as English, French, and Spanish. Translation’s importance is its direction to the foreign workers. These workers are mostly not well versed in the Arabic language, and since they work in congested areas, they may be easily affected by the virus.
The translation is vital in this case, with the number of deaths and infections profoundly affecting the foreigners. The country has established systems of language translation that can help develop secure communication and awareness of the virus. Evident on billboards and official websites of the country where the information on the virus is stated. Community translation in the awareness process of the virus, such as into Indian languages, especially with the high recorded number of Indian workers. The country has also been crucial with the preservation of their indigenous languages. The useful tool of translation has hugely helped with the management of the virus.
The role of the Ministry of Health in translating the information and guidance for the communities living in Oman that do not speak Arabic
The Ministry of Health in Oman has been highly effective in the translation system in the country. The strategic relevance of the ministry of health was established in the 90s. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Obaid Al Saidi leads Oman’s ministry of health. The ministry of health has set objectives that aid in the effective establishment of its service (Zia and Farouq, 2020). The ministry has made it clear towards the decentralization of decision making among different places for effective implementation of rapid decisions, especially during pandemics. Education and training for health workers have also been observed with many credible institutes of learning established.
The medical institutes of learning have with them accommodated different languages and students from foreign countries. This being part of the objective has helped in the establishment of effective communication during the pandemic. In the job sector of the ministry of health in Oman, a key source of handling of non-Arab speaking people is the diversity of the workers in the health sector. The job sector in Oman accommodates a high number of foreign workers from different countries. The country has offered itself the opportunity towards effective communication between the staff and the patients. A sick patient receives services from a health worker who understands their language and can transfer it to Arabic.
In Oman, a high number of healthcare professionals are foreigners, such as nurses. This provides cheap and affordable communication in the hospitals as these workers utilize the requirements of translators. The workers can communicate with their specific language speaking patients. The country whose improved healthcare services also offer information in other languages has helped in the easy understanding of the Covid-19 by non-Arab speaking patients.
The hospital systems offer information in other languages as well, such as English, French, Indian, and Spanish. The ministry of health has also established effective communication in their official websites mandated with the providence of the information. The official health ministry of Oman website the country provides information on the virus in several languages. The website offers information in Mandarin, English, Chinese, French, and Spanish. These languages are set to be selected by the user visiting the website. It is a reliable tool towards communication as the websites contain many tools on how to navigate and official statistics on the disease.
The ministry of health in the country has also utilized the media towards effective communication. While the country’s media primarily uses the official language Arab in the communication process, the ministry of health has made it an effort to communicate to different sources of media that offer diverse languages in their platforms. An identifiable media platform that provides such services is The Oman Times, whose language is subdivided into different languages, including English. Communication through the media is an essential tool towards awareness. When issuing an official statement on the novel coronavirus by the Oman Minister of health, they are written and released in different languages.
The Oman ministry of health is also utilizing the use of artificial intelligence in the active translation process. Artificial intelligence has become a well sort after tool in the field of communication, especially in the translation sector. The Oman Ministry of health has provided many of its occupants with practical means of communication (Tarassud, 2020). An app known as Tarassud+ was recently developed and launched together with the ministry of health in the country to help identify and provide information on the number of recorded cases. The app is capable of its diverse providence of language, which has helped reached the non-Arab speaking communities in the country.
The role of the Royal Police of Oman in translating the information and guidance for the communities living in Oman that do not speak Arabic
The Royal Police of Oman is credited as the primary enforcers of law and order. They are comprised of helicopter flits that generally control and safeguard the Oman coastline. The Oman police are mandated with a lot of responsibilities when it comes to Covid-19 prevention and awareness in the country (Royal Oman Police, 2020). The Oman police are responsible for safeguarding the borders and preventing restrictions in the movement from city to city in the country. When the coronavirus cases started being recorded in the country, there was an announcement on the immediate shutdown of the operations. The closure restricted visa entry and all kinds of foreign entry. This all mandates the Oman police to communicate effectively when reinforcing the order.
The Oman police have an identifiable tool towards this communication, beginning with their website. On the official website, the first noticeable tool is the use of language, such as English. The site also offers speech listening, which provides information on the virus, including contacts (Royal Oman Police, 2020). The website includes location for the police posts that help in the establishment of the information widely. The internet, which is becoming a rapid source of information, has been one of the biggest encouragements toward these decisions by the Royal police of Oman.
The police are an active force when it comes to the prevention of the virus in every part of the world. They are not only crucial in protecting borders but also in the effective communication of the virus spread and control. However, unlike other countries with few foreigners, Oman has a vast number of foreigners, most of who are non-Arab speakers. The Royal police of Oman have utilized the tool of translation in their process for a while. During training, most of the Oman police are offered a program that helps them in learning other languages such as English.
The police who are well equipped with diverse languages are then deployed into the field to help in the communication process with the non-English speaking people in Oman. The police are typically deployed in the checkpoint areas of the country. This effective translation provides an easy understanding and helps during testing of the people in the process (Royal Oman Police, 2020). Oman, which is also a highly technologically equipped country, has established the use of artificial intelligence in the police force. The police are provided with technical equipment that aid in the translation of words from another language to text in another language. A commonly used tool is the Google translate application.
The police system of Oman employs professional translators to help them cop with translation issues in the country. These translators are employed to facilitate easy and efficient translation of information. The Oman police have also utilized the use of social media for effective communication. Social media platforms such as Instagram provide a language-translation tool for many different languages. In their official Instagram account, there is the providence of information on the state of the virus that is updated regularly and can be translated by a non-Arab speaking person living in the country by touching the ‘see translation’ tool in the app. In the videos provided, captions in English are included proving a useful tool towards communication.
Oman, as an Arab speaking country, has offered effective measures towards the translation of language, especially in these crucial times. The country has established standards that have helped in the management of the novel Covid-19. Arab, unlike English, is not a universally spoken language. However, the country’s progress with the integration of common languages such as English has helped shape the pandemic’s development. One of the issues that may create a barrier in total effective communication under translation is illiteracy experienced within the non-Arab speakers.
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