On April 12, more than 200 Community Partnership Network (CPN) and community members attended a presentation on innovative tech tools that organizations can use to better understand and engage with newcomers. The 2-hour event was hosted at the Ocean Pointe Resort.
|Presenters and organizers from ICA, United Way, Uvic and Google Translate session.|
The spark for the presentation originated with Google and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), who recently partnered to launch a pilot project with the translation app Google Translate.
Google Translate is a free multilingual translation service that translates text, speech, websites, and images from one language into another. Google Translate supports more than 100 languages at various levels and serves over 200 million people daily.
Google presenter Roque Silva travelled from San Francisco to attend the event. Roque was one of the co-developers of the Google Translate App. Roque is also an immigrant from Colombia and understands the challenges of relocating to a new culture and learning a different language. Drawing on those personal experiences, Roque led participants through a hands-on tutorial that explored the useful functions of Google Translate with their cell phones in hand.
Following Roque’s Google Translate presentation, UVic educators David Leach and Ken Josephson presented on technology tools that have been developed for use by community agencies to foster greater inclusion of newcomers. Ken Josephson is an instructor at UVic’s Geography Department. Ken showcased the Online Community Mapping Resources for Newcomers – the CRD Community Green Map – an online tool that features sites and stories under three broad categories. The map connects and celebrates people, places and projects in Greater Victoria that foster communities that are healthy, vibrant and sustainable. The CRD Green Map includes a specific section for Newcomers to connect and access. Click here to view CRD Community Green Map.
The final presenter, David Leach, is a professor in the UVic School of Journalism. David outlined the growing use of Digital Storytelling and Social
Roque Silva of Google Translate (right) reviewing the tools of the Google Translate app with a participant.
Simulation as a tool to deepen understanding the challenges and experiences newcomers face when relocating to a new country. Leach spoke about how digital storytelling is an engaging platform to share newcomer stories online and invite the viewer to experience real-life situations of immigrants. One example of digital storytelling can be viewed here: Digital Storytelling
At the conclusion of the afternoon, participants received an exclusive “We Speak Translate” decal to put on their organization’s window. The decal demonstrates our collective commitment to reach out to, serve and connect with newcomers from all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Excited about being able to use Google Translate, one participant shared:
“It is exciting that we have access to and training with the Google Translate tool. This will facilitate better communication between people who don’t speak or understand each other’s language. Providing further opportunities to organizations who are part of the CPN is a great move. It might increase use of the App and encourage employers that don’t hire newcomers, for example, to consider doing so.” CPN Member
Want to book Google Translate training?
CPN members are eligible for no-cost training in the Google Translate app. This 45 minute training is provided by ICA. For more information or to arrange a training session please contact:
Kate Longpre, ICA Community Integration Coordinator