To help the world combat the Covid-19 pandemic, Alison launched the course Coronavirus – What you need to know. In order to make sure that no one was excluded from accessing possibly life-saving information, Alison committed to translating the course into as many languages as possible. To achieve this ambitious goal, Alison reached out to its community of Learners, seeking volunteers willing to use their language skills to help translate the course and spread important information on coronavirus. Reward Emeka translated the course into Igbo and played his part in spreading free learning that has helped save lives.
Reward, tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised in Aba, Abia State in Nigeria. I have a Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Institute of Management and Technology in Nigeria as well as a Certificate in Electrical Construction from the Master Artisan Academy, South Africa. I’m currently residing and running my own business in Johannesburg, South Africa, and studying for an MBA at The University of The People. In 2014, I started Achinnor Investments Pty Ltd in South Africa. Achinnor imports and sells various types of hair products and cosmetics. In 2016, I started Rek Beauty Collections Pty Ltd. We make and sell traditional African outfits.
How did you learn that Alison was looking for translators for its coronavirus course?
I was approached by Alison to volunteer for translating through an email.
What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?
I have studied and completed several courses with Alison, including Diploma In Business Communication Skills, Diploma In Project Management, Introduction To Communication Skills, Introduction To E-Learning Theory And Practice and Skills For Speaking Effectively: The Art Of Speaking.
Why did you offer to translate our coronavirus course?
I have always been on the lookout for opportunities to give back to my community and I saw the translation as one. I believed that if I helped to translate the course into my language, it would increase understanding of the virus, the risks, and ways to reduce the spread of the virus.
Why is it important that everyone has access to important information on coronavirus?
I believe it is important for everyone to have access to information on coronavirus because it will help them to protect themselves and others from the risk of getting infected.
Tell us a little about your method when translating?
As opposed to direct, word-for-word translation, I focused on conveying the information in an easy to understand manner. I used spoken language translation, translating into the way the language is spoken in everyday life. For instance, I translated “COURSE” to “KỌỌS” as this is understood to mean ‘learning of a particular subject’, instead of the literal meaning, which could have been difficult to understand.
Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?
Learning is vital to attaining one’s full potential. It helps in becoming successful in family, at work and within the local community. However, the cost of learning has continued to deprive many people of these opportunities. Free learning is therefore essential for the less privileged to attain success. I know of people who are intelligent, willing and able to learn but cannot afford it. Free learning means a lot to them. It is important to translate learning into many languages because learning in your first language makes the learning process exciting and more appealing to the learner. It also helps to get a quick and better understanding of the subject matter.
How has the lockdown been for you?
The lockdown is not good news to many, myself included. The lockdown has affected me in different ways. First the good side: I have been upskilling myself, thanks to Alison’s free online learning. I have also been spending quality time with my family. The bad side: Just like many others, my businesses are closed and the cost of maintaining a business under lockdown is high. Banks calls for loan repayments, there is difficulty in accessing financial aid and much more. Nevertheless, I hope the lockdown will end soon so we can pick up our pieces and move on.
What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?
I would tell them to go ahead and do it to the best of their ability because it is a noble thing to do. By translating for Alison, you are helping to make free learning available to many, as well as making someone’s dream come true.
If you’d like to play your part in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic by helping Alison give people access to the information necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, please get in touch.