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. Tariqur Rehman translated the course into Pashto and played his part in spreading free learning that has helped save lives.
Tariqur, tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Tariqur Rehman and I’m from Pakistan. I did my master’s in Microbiology and Immunology with a Project on Virology. My primary language is Pashto.
How did you learn that Alison was looking for translators for its coronavirus course?
When the coronavirus epidemic began in Wuhan, China, I realised that it would spread to the whole world. So I decided to learn more about this new virus by searching online. I found that Alison was already providing education to people about this virus for free in one language, English, and that they wanted to translate this course into many languages around the globe. I offered my services for free translation and took part in translating this course into our language, Pashto.
What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?
I created an account on Alison 5 or 6 years ago as I saw that Alison provides an opportunity to learn any subject in any field. I have previously taken a course on the ebola virus.
Why did you offer to translate our coronavirus course?
Everyone has the right to get information about the coronavirus in order to be able to understand it and to protect themselves from infection. I wanted to help educate local people.
Tell us a little about your method when translating.
I used Google Translate to translate the course but Google is not 100% correct so I used my own skills to correct the translation, as I have studied my language.
Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?
Nowadays almost everyone has access to the internet. Everyone wants to learn and to gain knowledge, and free learning will provide this opportunity. Translating knowledge into many languages will be the best way to spread understanding. Even if you learn many languages, you will think and better understand in your own language.
Have you been learning through Alison during the pandemic? How has the lockdown been for you?
I have learned about the coronavirus on Alison during the lockdown, but it has been a hard time for me.
What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?
I have had a good experience translating this course for Alison. I would like to say that translating a topic provides you with the best opportunity of understanding it.
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.