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. Annesha Kar Gupta translated the course into Bengali and played her part in spreading free learning that has helped save lives.
Annesha, tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Annesha Kar Gupta and I’m from India. I’m an advocate at the High Court in Calcutta and I’m a law student at the University of London. I’m an author, an academician, a legal researcher and also a criminologist in English and international law.
How did you learn that Alison was looking for translators for its coronavirus course?
I received an email from Alison that they were looking for translation volunteers, so I volunteered for my languages.
What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?
Yes, I often study with Alison. It provides a very nice working environment, without any conflict with others.
Why did you offer to translate our coronavirus course?
I offered because I love helping people. If I can translate this course, then thousands of Bengali people can learn about coronavirus and the protective measures which will help Indian and Bengali communities to protect themselves from coronavirus.
Why is it important that everyone has access to important information on coronavirus?
After SARS and MERS, this virus is a second generation virus and can bind to human cells quicker than previous generations. We don’t yet have a vaccine approved by the WHO so knowledge is the only power to fight against this virus. People must know the reasons behind protective measures in order to best apply them.
Tell us a little about your method when translating.
I don’t believe in Google Translate. I translated the document using Bengali Online Keyboard.
Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?
The right to education is granted to everyone by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Charter. If a country’s constitution skips that right, or fails to implement it, then people have their right to education enforceable under international law. Free education is required because it’s a right.
Have you been learning through Alison during the pandemic? How has the lockdown been for you?
Yes, I studied the course on coronavirus. I had a busy schedule during the lockdown. I was explaining the actions of the British Government to people about why it’s necessary to stay at home at this time. I’m also advocating on coronavirus for UN2020, which includes all UN organisations, as well as participating in Hackathon & Matchathon, events arranged by the UN, the EU, Switzerland, Greece and Latvia. I also did translation and revision work for Translators without Borders on Covid-19.
What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?
Devote as much time as possible when you are translating because if one person studies this course, then you are saving one life.
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.