Promising Practice

We Speak Translate

Posted on: October 19, 2019

(learn more about the project and how it benefits newcomers, and immigrant and refugee-serving agencies, in the above recorded Cities of Migration webinar)

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria's (ICA) We Speak Translate project started in April 2017 and ran until early 2019. The project was a first of its kind collaboration between Google Translate and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA). The project aimed to address language barriers to newcomer integration.

The project involved free in-person and webinar based 45 minute training sessions on how to use the Google Translate application, for community stakeholders, organizations, business and institutions. Participating businesses were provided with training and We Speak Translate decals and stickers to display. The symbol on the decals and stickers was used as to identify a place of business where Google Translate was being used and as a sign of welcome for non-English speakers.

From April 2017 – January 2019 over 2600 community members and stakeholders received Google Translate training through the We Speak Translate project.

Learn more about the project on the Cities of Migration site:

"Building digital capacity in human service nonprofits can be challenging. Clients tend to be more tech savvy and demand technology-mediate services. Forward looking agencies are looking more closely at how they use technology as a tool in resettlement and integration.

Many organizations connect with local volunteers or civic tech groups in their communities to accomplish amazing things with technology, on a small scale. Longpre decided to go big. She reached out with her idea to use Google Translate both as an integration tool and a symbol for inclusive and diverse communities. Google liked the idea and the partnership was born.

Longpre says the “What’s In It For Me” is obvious for a resettlement organization. She says it’s also obvious for Google. Google’s ability to align a product with a broader mission, focused on integration and welcoming communities, is a tangible form of corporate social responsibility. We Speak Translate illustrates how their technology can have deeper impact."

You can take their virtual training:

Additional information and useful resources:

WST-Translate-Evaluation-October-2018

Summary

The project involved free in-person and webinar based 45 minute training sessions on how to use the Google Translate application, for community stakeholders, organizations, business and institutions. Participating businesses were provided with training and We Speak Translate decals and stickers to display. The symbol on the decals and stickers was used as to identify a place of business where Google Translate was being used and as a sign of welcome for non-English speakers.
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