We believe in the power of language to change lives through our programs

 

Thank you for your interest in our multilingual COVID-19 health and safety poster-maker. 

If your question is not answered below, please email us covid19@translationcommons.org

Information about the posters

What is the COVID-19 Multilingual Poster-Maker?

The COVID-19 Multilingual Poster-Maker is a webpage created by Translation Commons, PanLex, and translators around the world for making and sharing posters containing the 5 basic health and safety instructions from the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Posters can be shared through email, social media, or as printed hard copy.

Why is it called a “poster-maker”?

The webpage allows users to make posters in any language following a common format. It is not simply a single poster.

How many languages are included in the poster-maker?

The poster’s drop-down language list has 7,000 languages to choose from. These languages are further broken down into dialects or regional variants, and sometimes multiple scripts. Counting all of these options, there are nearly 13,000 choices.

The list of fully translated posters is here.

How do I find the poster for my language?

Start typing the name of your language in the white text box below the poster title. A list of suggested languages will appear below. Click on the language you want from the list. If you do not see your language, try typing another name for it. For example, you could type español, castellano, or Spanish, or you could type Tamil or தமிழ். You can also enter the 3-letter ISO code for your language, such as spa for Spanish or tam for Tamil. You can also scroll down the list of Languages and when you find your language click on the link: “Poster”

If you are unable to find your language in the list, you may email us at covid19@translationcommons.org to request that we add it.

The words on the poster-maker do not display correctly, or the page does not look right. What can I do?

Please try on a newer device or in a newer browser. The page displays well in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. If you are still having trouble, you can contact us at covid19@translationcommons.org and explain the issue.

I see single words separated by dashes instead of a full translation. Why is that?

Single words separated by dashes, such as no — touch — face, serve as initial translations of the main words in the WHO instructions. Single-word translations appear when translators have not yet submitted translations for a language. Along with the illustrations, they are meant to communicate as much as possible of the central message of the poster when full translations are not available. These word translations are generated from the powerful PanLex translation database.

If a full translation in your language does not appear and you would like to submit one, please contact us at covid19@translationcommons.orgWe invite each contributor to use their best judgement to express these instructions inclusively and appropriately for their culture.

Why are the single-word translations sometimes incorrect, or sometimes in multiple languages?

The single-word translations are based on the best available data in the PanLex translation database. Sometimes these translations are incorrect because of dialect differences, limited dictionary sources, or other complications. When the PanLex Database has no available translation in the poster’s language, the poster-maker looks for single words in other languages, such as the languages you have set in your browser and English.

How can I print a poster?

The best way to print a poster is to click the print icon below it. It is designed for A4 paper, but also works on US letter size.

Information about adding new languages

How can I add full translations for a new language?

Write to us at covid19@translationcommons.org and state the language you want to add and we will send you a special link as well as instructions. 

Once you receive our email, click on the link (included in the email) and follow the instructions from the email. Please do not forget to translate the title: “Stop Coronavirus” and the word: “Language” as well as the five health instructions.

Do I need to add my name and email?

Your name is optional. If you would like us to add your name in the Contributors list, please enter your name in the box.  You may choose to add a nickname and not your full formal name.

Adding your email is important and necessary. If we have a problem with your language we will need to contact you and ask you questions. 

Information about the creation of the posters

Why did Translation Commons create this poster-maker?

When the Coronavirus pandemic began, Translation Commons assembled a group of interested partners and associates who recognized a need for a multilingual outreach tool to support the dissemination of the health and safety information promoted by the World Health Organization. As veterans of the translation industry, and supporters of the linguistic rights of people all over the world, this group is acquainted with the disadvantages suffered by those who cannot access information in their native language or even in their regional languages. In order to reduce this disparity of access, and to help communities act early to reduce the spread of the virus while time is of the essence, the group organized quickly to create a translation tool, a poster-maker, that could accommodate an unlimited number of languages and dialects, and share important health and safety information as widely as possible. The poster-maker is a collaboration between Translation Commons volunteers, the PanLex team and MasterWord Services, Inc.

What is PanLex?

PanLex is a project of The Long Now Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, California, USA. PanLex’s mission is to overcome language barriers to human rights, information, and opportunities. For the past 12 years, the team has has built the world’s largest lexical translation database. By transforming thousands of translation dictionaries into a single common structure, the PanLex Database makes it possible to derive billions of lexical translations that are not found in any single dictionary. The PanLex Database currently contains translations among 5,700 of the world’s 7,000 languages. The team participates in projects that support the linguistic diversity of the world, and are a natural partner for Translation Commons who spearheaded the COVID-19 Multilingual Poster-Maker project. Find more information on PanLex, its translation app, blog, and team here

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