Eglė, tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Eglė Šerutytė and I am from Lithuania. I have lived both in Ireland and in Iceland. I graduated in Public Administration from Klaipėda University and then I went to Turkey to do my internship. When countries were about to close their borders, I decided to stay in Turkey, so I’ve spent 5 months (instead of 3) in this amazing country. I just came back this week, so I am trying to find a job and a place to volunteer here in Lithuania. I really love traveling and interacting with people from all around the world. It’s one of the reasons why I enjoy participating in projects like this one.
How did you learn that Alison was looking for translators for its coronavirus course?
I found out that Alison was looking for translators when I was searching for free online courses.
What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?
Actually I hadn’t a lot of experience with Alison before translating this course. I had an account but I hadn’t yet found the will to start some courses, even though I wanted to.
Why did you offer to translate our coronavirus course?
I really wanted to help people during this crisis but it was really hard because I don’t speak Turkish and in the city where I was staying people didn’t speak English. I couldn’t help people in Lithuania either because I was in Turkey, so translating courses was an attempt to help Lithuanians remotely.
Why is it important that everyone has access to important information on coronavirus?
Knowledge is powerful tool. I guess we should get used to the fact that coronavirus is going to be around for a while. Even though there is no cure for coronavirus yet, reliable and accessible information sources are extremely important. It is important because it helps to decrease the impact of the virus by making people aware. The more knowledge people have, the more people know how to protect themselves and others from coronavirus.
Tell us a little about your method when translating.
I am not professional translator so I was using literal translation as much as possible. There were some English expressions that I couldn’t translate into Lithuanian (because we don’t have them in our language), so I had to use the Lithuanian expressions without changing the meaning of the sentences I was translating.
Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?
Not everybody is able to pay for learning. There are a lot of gifted people in the world but education is not accessible to them because they don’t have the money. And so because people are unable to get education, they can be trapped without any chance of reaching their life goals. As I already mentioned, knowledge is powerful tool. Not everyone is a polyglot and no one should be restricted in their ability to learn simply because they do not speak certain languages. There’s a lot of useful information sources which could help people but those sources are not always accessible because they are in different language. So translating those useful sources into different languages is the only way to let the majority of people benefit from them.
Have you been learning through Alison during the pandemic? How has the lockdown been for you?
I haven’t been learning with Alison yet but I am sure I am going to do it in the future. Even though I was far away from my relatives during the lockdown, I had a really useful and productive time in Turkey. I read a lot of books, learned some Turkish language basics, met a lot of people, gained a lot of knowledge about another culture and, most importantly, I stayed healthy.
What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?
I would say go ahead. It won’t take a lot of time for you to translate it but it’ll be of huge value to your fellow native speakers.
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.