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Ensuring effective communication amidst global turmoil

Over the last few years, unrest and war around the world, including in Ukraine, displaced thousands of families and citizens. Settlement schemes were quickly setup by the UK Government to assist those wanting to flee the conflicts.

This involved helping eligible nationals come to or resettle in the United Kingdom. Throughout 2022, the FCDO Services Translation and Interpreting (T&I) team were called upon to help translate a range of material to support these efforts.

Being highly experienced in delivering translations for partners across government, we were quickly able to assist our customers. This included the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Home Office, and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Supporting our government partners

By November 2022, over 160,000 visas had been granted to Ukrainian refugees. Furthermore, around 12,000 Afghan nationals were given indefinite leave to remain.

The scale of these schemes meant almost one hundred separate documents needed to be translated.

Our team were given two main tasks to translate:

  • forms and information into Dari and Pashto
  • advice and guidance into Ukrainian and Russian

The material was published on the GOV.UK website and other government channels.

It was crucial that the content translated from English was accurate, as well as easy to understand. This ensured that those going through the application processes weren’t unnecessarily delayed or confused.

Rapid delivery of translated material

With the international importance of this information, each translation had to be turned around rapidly. Sometimes within a matter of days.

Our close collaboration with colleagues across government meant we could efficiently prioritise translations to meet tight deadlines.

We did this at pace, while still delivering reliable content. It also allowed us to regularly complete translations ahead schedule, taking us on average just three days to deliver requests.

Working together to guarantee accurate messaging

The situation in conflicts were incredibly fast-moving. This meant policies continued to change day by day. As a result, our translators were in regular contact with stakeholders to ensure each translation reflected the latest information.

Our team understood the material’s original format and maintained it throughout the translation process. This ensured it was easily published online, so it could be freely available to nationals in desperate need of assistance.

The team’s hard work has supported the work of our partners across government, and enabled them to communicate effectively.

With these global events still ongoing, our Translation and Interpreting team continue to help the UK Government issue clear guidance, to aid those eligible to resettle in the UK. 

“The Translation Team has had a hugely effective impact on our work. From extremely quick turnarounds on translation requests to setting up meetings with the translator. Our team has been required to communicate complex messages to Afghan nationals, and the ability to use the Translation Team and incorporate Dari and Pashto translations in the communication has been invaluable.”
Afghanistan Citizen Resettlement Scheme Relocations Caseworker, Afghanistan and Pakistan Directorate, FCDO

Further links

  • Translation and interpreting

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    At the international climate change conference, we translated documents for the event in five United Nation language