Translation is extremely important for refugees, and communication is often hindered by interpretation problems or delays in organising translations. Tarjimly could soon be a faster connection to a translator, on a platform that many people already use: Facebook Messenger.
Tarjim.ly is a Chatbot for Facebook Messenger that connects refugees with volunteer translators. This provides refugees with simple and rapid access to support when visiting authorities, consulting a doctor or simply receiving a letter.
A Translation Tool for Refugees Abroad
Currently, 65 million people are fleeing persecution, war or violations of human rights. 21 million of them have had to leave their home country. For many of these refugees, translations are extremely important in order to find their way around, to be aware of their rights and to fulfill their duties. It is very time consuming to come to an understanding or to organise translation when contacting authorities, supporters or doctors.
Three MIT graduates have tackled this time-sensitive issue and come up with a chat bot that could help: Tarjimly. In order to use the bot, all you need is to log into your Facebook account and start a chat. Translators need to register in advance and enter which languages they speak in order to be matched to the right chat partners. At the moment, the options are English, Arabic, French, Farsi, Turkish, Urdu, German and Pashto; translators need to master at least two of these languages. Over 2000 users have already done this, and the user version of the bot should start operating soon.
Quality and Safety
Translators in the demo version are being rated and the final version will include a feedback system to ensure the quality of the translations. Particularly trustworthy translators will be preferentially selected. Both participants will chat with the bot, which will forward their messages, and they will only see the first name of their partner. Whether they wish to disclose any other information is up to them. If either partner is not satisfied with the way the conversation is going, they can leave the chat and connect with another user.
You can see the chatbot in action in the following video:
This is a translation by Terri Kafyeke of an original article that first appeared on our German language site.