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. Eurika Thabile Mogane translated the course into Zulu and played her part in spreading free learning that has helped save lives.
Eurika, tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Eurika and I’m from South Africa. I have a degree in Medical Science and I specialised in Neuroscience. As a medical scientist with a passion for neuroscience, I want to continue changing lives with the information that we as medical specialists have at our disposal. I enjoy doing research and supplying information and medical advise to many. My focus is on offering free consultations to those who are from destitute spaces.
How did you learn that Alison was looking for translators for its coronavirus course?
I took the coronavirus course that Alison offered at the beginning of the year. Afterwards, I saw a notification outlining that Alison was looking for translators for the course. I was excited because that is something I already do locally.
What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?
I have studied a number of courses through Alison which have helped in enhancing my passion for the medical industry. Before completing my qualification, I had to drop out from university in 2012 because of finances. However, when I found out about Alison, I realised that my passion could still be exercised. I enrolled and acquired certificates which added value to the volunteering work I was doing at various organisations, such as the Cancer Association of South Africa.
Why did you offer to translate our coronavirus course?
I offered to translate because I believe in sharing information with our people. After completing the course, I noted how efficient and also very easy to follow it was. I knew that once translated, even those who are not from a medical background would be able to benefit from it. We believe in Ubuntu here in South Africa – that unity is built through offering help and guidance to others. I believe it is that nature, instilled in us from a young age, that encouraged me to volunteer.
Why is it important that everyone has access to important information on coronavirus?
As the saying goes, “It is far better to be forewarned than forearmed!”. Information goes a long way, especially when it comes to health. If people know what they need to do to reduce the risks of infection, the better it will be for us all. Africa already has a very stretched health system, the least we can do is come together through quality information and ensure that everyone is safe from the get go – so that we are not faced with a similar situation as with ebola.
Tell us a little about your method when translating.
My method of translating was to review and edit the translated content on the Alison draft. Then I did my own separate translation directly from English and compared this translation to the Alison one to see what differences there were. This way I could ensure that I used the right idioms and phrases that placed emphasis on the key words.
Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?
Free learning is very important, because an informed nation becomes a compassionate nation. Free education also gives the learner a sense of satisfaction and confidence. I referred the coronavirus course to others and the fact that they received a certificate in the end made it more worthwhile for them. People want the honor of having a certificate and knowing that they have completed something that can help save lives. Translating information to many languages ensures that we reach even unreachable and destitute places. It is an honor to know that, through translations, we have covered more ground and offered quality content to those who need it the most. In English, we see daily posts, adverts, etc. But for those who aren’t fluent in English, that data is lost.
Have you been learning through Alison during the pandemic? How has the lockdown been for you?
I am currently enrolled in a course in nutrition. The lockdown has been good and also a wake up call. Because of my profession, I have had to be readily available at all times to offer community health support wherever needs arise.
What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?
I would quote my life motto which is “If the pen can convey the intended message, then don’t let the ink run out!”. If your time and efforts in translating the content can bring about change that is needed, then please commit to it. There is no honour in keeping information that could have saved many in your community to yourself. Through this platform, you will be able to add value to lives you may never meet and live with this fulfillment for the rest of your life. What will you say to future generations when they ask, “What role did you play during the 2020 pandemic?”.
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.