Connecting refugees and immigrants with translators

Tarjimly is a Messaging service that puts refugees with translators in realtime

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Hi! I'm one of the creators of Tarjimly and we made this Messenger bot to provide refugees and immigrants instant access to our global network of over 1200+ translators. We felt helpless watching the refugee crisis unfold, and as Muslim Americans, we have family and friends directly affected by the Muslim Ban. Stories about language barriers being a constant (even life or death) struggle for refugees motivated us to find a technical solution to a logistical problem. Signup as a translator at http://tarjim.ly or connect us to people who work with refugees via email hello@tarjim.ly - thanks!
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@atifjaved really well done. How has the lift on the ban affected demand, and how are you getting the word out? Are you working with NGOs?
@rueter thanks Steven! There's much uncertainty around the state of the ban, but organizations like the ACLU, NYCLU, and International Refugee Assistance Project are still calling for translators to help lawyers and detainees. The problem hit close to home recently with the ban, but it's been a constant for refugees (particularly Syrians) for years. Many smaller orgs around the world reached out to us to see how they can use Tarjimly or partner for early availability for refugees as far up the pipeline as Greek camps or as far down as resettling in San Diego. The beauty of the bot is that it doesn't necessitate any formal partnership with refugees and aid workers - they just message the bot, select their language, and instantly and anonymously connect with a translator. So we're hoping more internet exposure will get us on their radar directly now that we have so many translators. A truly crowdsourced approach.
Amazing idea! And love the name!! Best of luck @atifjaved!
@sandrojazzar Haha the name took a while, glad you like it!
This is a really cool idea. I'm a native French-speaking translator and often wanted to use my skills to help out but, as horrible as it sounds, I didn't have the time/energy to find relevant organizations and didn't feel like doing test translations for what would be volunteer work anyway (lots of paperwork/effort for maybe one or two jobs?) If Tarjimly allows me to translate straight from Messenger though I'd be so happy to help. I can only do English <> French <> German, so not sure how much these languages are in demand among refugees, but who knows. I signed up and look forward to receiving my first request. Edit: if this works, it's a beautiful example of how you can encourage more people to do volunteer work by minimizing the effort! Great job @atifjaved
@translatelab Precisely!!! The right tech can lower the barrier to entry and keep the quality high - that's where we're heading hopefully :) It hasn't gone unnoticed that the applications can easily expand beyond refugees to connect and route any translation requests. I can imagine if this works well, we're definitely in for a cool expansion in the future!
This is a wonderful concept - look forward to seeing its use explode across the globe in multiple contexts!
Brilliant initiative. Have you guys considered giving them access to language lessons to help on the long run (give the man a fish kind of thing?)