Syria mother child refugee

Volunteer Your Language Skills from Home

Guest PostApril 27, 20213-min read

"International Day of Living Together in Peace" (yupp that's the official name) is coming up on May 16th and we want to highlight how volunteering can help foster cultural understanding and integration.

Make a difference and be part of a community. Volunteer work is one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences life can offer. It can be valuable for your personal growth, well-being, and even your career. Become a volunteer in language learning with Tarjimly and have an intercultural experience all while helping someone in need!

Want to skip to see how you can help? Go to Use Your Language Skills for Good.

The All Too Familiar Feeling…

If you’ve ever lived abroad in a country where you didn’t speak the local language well or at all, then you know how difficult it can be to do the simplest things. Suddenly going to the grocery store becomes an ordeal. By the end of the day, you’re mentally exhausted.

Once the novelty of the new experience wears off, you begin to feel the frustration and isolation of not being able to express yourself fully. Instead, you come off as a simplistic, superficial thinker with a flat personality. At times you want to scream, “I’m complex, interesting, and smart in my own language!”.

Imagine if leaving your home country was not a choice but rather a matter of survival. There would be no excitement to wear off. You would be left with the anxious feeling of navigating a surrounding with few resources and without the ability to communicate. You couldn’t shake the feeling that people saw you as simple, less educated, and less capable; all because you could not speak their language.

This is the experience most refugees and immigrants face. Covid-19 has left many feeling powerless, not knowing what to do or how to help from the confines of their homes. I’m here to tell you that there is something YOU can do!


A Solution Was Born

Tarjimly is a technology non-profit with a mobile app that trains and connects volunteer translators/interpreters with humanitarian organizations, immigrants, and refugees to provide on-demand translation. It all started in 2017 as a response to the Syrian refugee crisis. While volunteering to help refugees, co-founders Atif Javed and Aziz Alghunaim witnessed how thousands of refugees and NGOs struggled with language barriers - even in life and death situations. As a result, Tarjimly was founded with a mission to eliminate humanitarian language barriers.

Tarjimly currently provides free interpretation and translation services in 60+ languages provided by over 14000 volunteer translators serving 9000+ beneficiaries. Thus far, Tarjimly has been able to help refugees and immigrants globally access services, creating countless impactful stories.


Use Your Language Skills for Good

Through volunteering with Tarjimly, not only will you be putting the language skills you’ve developed over the years to good use, but you’ll also have an intercultural experience by connecting with native speakers, all from the comfort of your couch.

The process is easy, flexible, and rewarding. If you speak a language at an intermediate level or higher and feel comfortable translating or interpreting, sign up to volunteer by following these simple steps:

  1. Click here to download the app
  2. Read and agree to our Code of Conduct
  3. Fill out your profile
  4. Begin receiving requests!


How It Works

When someone makes a request for your language expertise, you’ll receive a ping on your phone. You can choose to accept or reject the request. If you accept the request, you’ll be connected to a chat with the person in need where you can text, send images and voice notes, or make an internet call for interpretation.

The more sessions you accept, and the higher ratings you receive, the more likely you’ll be pinged in the future. The app will also provide some training modules that you can take to learn more about ethical interpretation and best practices.

The frequency of requests received depends on the demand for the languages you speak and the number of volunteers for that language pairing. If you don’t receive requests right away, don’t fret!


Rare Languages/Language Pairings

Tarjimly would love volunteers of all languages, but there are some languages that are more in need than others. Please consider volunteering if you or someone you know speaks any of the following languages:

Vietnamese, Mam, Karen, Tigrinya, K'iche, Kurdish Sorani/Kurdish Kurmanji, Hmong, Kinyarwanda , Somali, Rohingya, Amharic, Bengali, Burmese, Uyghur, Kirundi, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Tagalog, Shona, Lao, Malagasy, Khmer, Chewa, Kyrgyz , Kazakh, Xhosa, Hindi, Malay, Sundanese , Nepali, Malayalam, Kunama, Zapotec, Ghari.


Your rare language skills could save the world!

Volunteer with Tarjimly to serve as a remote translator for refugees, asylum seekers, or humanitarian workers.