BABELVERSE: Responding to a crisis

A screenshot of  the Japanese Tsunami crisis response page – 15th March 2011

When disaster hit in Japan, like everyone following the news, we wanted to do whatever was possible to help. We realised that Babelverse could be a big help to foreign aid teams, by allowing them to better communicate on the field.

So, during an all night coding marathon in an Central Athens flat, Josef & Mayel set up a dedicated and completely free service, meant to break down language barriers between aid teams, NGOs, media and locals.

With it, anyone fluent in English and Japanese could very easily make themselves available, so that anyone in Japan needing interpretation could call a single local number or Skype account (or even use their web browser) to automatically be connected with one of the available volunteer interpreters.

The response was amazing! In it’s first 48 hours of operation, more than 100 bilingual (Japanese<>English) speakers volunteered their time (4 hours each on average, totalling more than 16 days of online time!)

Thank you!

We want to take the opportunity to thank our VoIP provider Tropo for sponsoring the cost of the local Japanese phone number as well as the NGO Translators Without Borders and all the others who spread the word.

A screenshot of the service page

Japan - english

All members of Babelverse are available to volunteer during any crisis situation. This is integral to being part of the Babelverse community.