Over the past several weeks we have seen several large scale natural disasters from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to earthquakes in Mexico and now Hurricane Maria. These disasters have forced millions from their homes, and caused billions of dollars of damage. The areas affected will be dealing with the repercussions of these events for years to come.
It is in times like these we all look to do our part, and help our neighbors as best we can. One need that can often go over looked is the need for translators and interpreters in times like these. While millions of people seek shelter and safety they will need to communicate with those around them, and not all speak English. In order to communicate directions, safety measures, instructions, medical emergencies, and endless other information, we will need multilingual first responders ready to aid in this effort.
Spanish will certainly be the largest language need, as Texas, Florida and now Puerto Rico have large Spanish speaking populations. However, many other languages will be needed including American Sign Language, Arabic, and Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and more.
These events are an important reminder of the key to multilingual communication and translation. Language can often be a difficult gap to bridge, but in times of crisis conveying important information in as many languages as possible can help save lives.