A Munster translation firm is offering its technology and language services to help Ukrainian refugees to better integrate into Irish society.
Translit is a language services provider based in Cork that also has offices in Limerick. The chief executive of the company, Alex Chernenko, is a Ukraine national from Odessa.
He believed Translit could offer their community interpreting training programme to various local organisations throughout Ireland who work with Ukrainian refugees.
The initiative has already resulted in 37 newly-trained community interpreters in Co Clare. Translit’s training development manager Svetlana O'Farrell collaborated with the Clare Local Development Company to provide the training, and this was financed by Sicap — the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme.
"We are pleased to have an opportunity to work with the local authorities and start providing our services to a bigger cohort of refugees fleeing this terrible war," said Mr Chernenko.
“It’s great to see so many volunteers devoting their time to provide language assistance to people in need. But volunteers need support themselves, training in particular. Effective communication between local public services and Ukrainian refugees is very important if we want to ensure that we look after our guests well.
Translit’s training allows the Ukrainians who have a good command of English to learn core principles and skills of community interpreting, so they can provide better service to their community.
“Our training also includes a module on how interpreters are to look after their own wellbeing when they are faced with interpreting in emotionally challenging settings. We think that this is extremely important, considering that the interpreters themselves have just gone through an awful trauma of fleeing their homes.
“The feedback from the Ukrainians who have attended Translit’s training has been overwhelmingly positive so far.”
Translit will also look to help these refugees communicate with their updated Translit RSI interpreting technology for meetings, conferences, events, seminars and workshops.
The company launched this interpreting platform in 2021 and it has already clocked up over 1m minutes, while the latest updates will see it becoming the most advanced of its kind in western Europe.
“There is so much to be done and we are trying our best to help out. Hopefully more local authorities can come onboard so we can access even more refugees and upskill them to become community interpreters," said Mr Chernenko.