Translate Ireland is bringing its multilingual services to DCU

29 Sep 2023

Dr Catherine Clifford, co-founder of Translate Ireland. Image: Jim Coughlan/JMRL Photography

With 100,000 people struggling with the English language in Ireland, the company is joining a long-established DCU agency to provide information in multiple languages.

Translate Ireland, a multilingual video-messaging company, is moving its operations to a translation agency owned by Dublin City University (DCU).

The company works to create easily understandable video messages that can be understood by those who struggle with the English language, to give them important information and better access to vital services.

Translate Ireland said translated written material doesn’t work for everyone as it can “lack impact and cultural appropriateness”. The company uses native speakers and trusted sources to present its videos and said the videos help as they include physical communication – such as hand gestures.

Last year’s census indicates that there are nearly 100,000 people in Ireland who do not speak English well or who do not speak it at all, which could prevent them from accessing information. Translate Ireland was founded by Graham Clifford and Dr Catherine Clifford in 2020 to help migrants in Ireland understand important information during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company has worked with various organisations since it was founded, including the Health Service Executive (HSE) on its ‘My Health, My Language’ initiative that was launched last year.

This project aims to make health advice more accessible to people from migrant communities living in Ireland, through the use of multilingual videos. The initiative was praised by Dr Michael Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organisation’s health emergencies programme. Ryan said the initiative showed lessons had been learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need to reach people where they are, in the ways that are most effective in getting them the information they need to protect their health,” Ryan said. “Every community member deserves this.”

From next week, Translate Ireland will become part of the portfolio of services supported by DCU Language Services, which is more than 30 years old and offers translation services for more than 70 languages.

Dr Catherine Clifford said Translate Ireland has worked with the DCU company before for script translation.

“We have always found them to be so professional and accurate in their work and respectful of what we have been trying to achieve,” Clifford said. “With a long and proven track record of excellency in the provision of translation services they were the natural hosts for this service, and we’re delighted they agreed to take on our initiative which we are so proud to have built.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic