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. Lerato Matsoso translated the course into Southern Sotho and played her part in spreading free learning that has helped save lives.
Lerato, tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Lerato Matsoso, a 34 year old woman from Rustenburg, North West Province in South Africa. I studied Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Legal Regime under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
How did you learn that Alison was looking for translators for its corona-virus course?
I learned after I received an email from Alison in which we were invited to participate.
What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?
Yes, I had studied courses with Alison before volunteering. I had an invaluable experience studying with Alison.
Why did you offer to translate our coronavirus course?
It’s my UN Human Rights obligation to extend my help to people who can’t afford to learn the English language, especially people in deep rural parts of my native language geographical area. It was going to be easier for them to learn in their indigenous language.
Why is it important that everyone has access to important information on coronavirus?
It’s an Obligation under the UN Human Rights Declaration, Articles 26, and the WHO International Health Protocol, Article 2005, that people have this information at their disposal.
Tell us a little about your method when translating.
This was my first time translating. Certain English words were easy to translate into my language but some other English words I found difficult. I used an extensive collaborative mechanism to resolve the translation of challenging English phrases to Southern Sotho.
Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?
In terms of the UN Human Rights Declaration, Article 26, everyone has the right of access to free learning. Translating the course will also promote a language’s dignity.
Have you been learning through Alison during the pandemic? How has the lockdown been for you?
No, I haven’t been learning with Alison through the pandemic period. The lockdown measures resulted in not an easy situation. It’s the first time we have experienced national disaster measures like this.
What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?
I would encourage them to translate for Alison because they will get the chance to work with a cohort of educators and a supporting team.
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.