“For many of Miami-Dade’s 2.6 million residents, one of Hurricane Irma’s very present realities is language. According to the most recent American Community Survey, 72.8 percent of the area’s population speaks a language other than English at home — for 64 percent, that’s Spanish.” When Hurricane Warnings Are Lost in Translation– The Atlantic

Meedan (My host organization)  is pooling efforts with #IrmaRelief, an open source initiative to support #HurricaneIrma victims with tools for relief & recovery. We’re looking for volunteer translators who speak Haitian Creole or Spanish to assist a number of translation efforts for disaster response effort Irma Response.

Irma Response is building a chat bot ‘Hurricane Irma Relief Assistant’, an automated service connecting displaced people with open shelters near their location. The service can be reached by text at (786) 420–6500.

To improve the bot, we need your help. Our process is simple:

  • clean this data.
  • Transfer it into a spreadsheet for collecting translations in Spanish and Haitian Creole.
  • Translators/editors approved by the bot creators ( Tracey Birch, Tom Dooner) will be responsible for reviewing and vetting translations before sending them to a dedicated i18n library on Github.

It’s a structure for two use cases:

1. Bot Responses: These are sentences and phrases that the bot might send to a user.

2. Words/phrases from users: These are short words and phrases that people sending text messages have sent or might send. There might be repetitous content, and that’s okay, because we want to make sure there’s a flexible range of words that the bot can understand, because it’s difficult to predict what a user might say to the bot.

During this time, we have also set up a new account @Irmaresponse_estranslating the @IrmaResponse Twitter feed, which is publishing content related to the response effort, and RTing others also providing key information.

Please contact Wafaa Heikal (wafaa@meedan.com) and An Xiao Mina (an@meedan.com) .

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