Welcome to episode 66 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast.
In this episode, I'm presenting two interviews with women who are working to change people's lives through the power of language.
Madeline, Interpreter for Survivors of Torture and Trauma
Community Interpreter Madeline Vadkerty gives me an overview of what it is like to interpret for survivors of torture and trauma. This interview was an incredible chance to learn more about interpreting from her, and to hear why helping refugees and toture survivors get their stories heard matters so much.
The people Madeline works with were caught in situations that we take for granted in many other countries: running for political office, being a homosexual, or expressing different opinions to the mainstream.
She says got into her field "for the love of humanity", and shares what you need to know if interpreting intrigues you.
Marianne Manz, Religious education teacher...turned teacher for refugees
When Germany accepted a large number of refugees back in 2015, Marianne Manz sprang into action. She's a school teacher who has always loved teaching and languages, and thought to herself "we can do something here." Marianne pulled together a group of volunteers and started AG Reliwerk, a tiny local group of Germans who offer language courses.
In this interview, Marianne shared the joys and pains of teaching German to refugees, and what it's like when you have untrained teachers from 16 to 70 teaching refugees without regular internet access.
As a bonus, I also asked her if German is really so difficult to learn. A fascinating interview!
Go Further With Languages
1) You don't have to make this your full-time career
Marianne's interview shows that even a few hours a week can make a huge difference to the lives of other people, and give you so much joy.
2) Other skills really matter
In addition to their language skills, both of the women I interviewed stood out to me for their strengths in their field. Interpreting and teaching are skills in themselves and your new position will stretch them and help you grow in incredible ways.
3) Getting together with other is key
If you're reading these words right now, chances are that you're looking at a screen by yourself. Supporting others with your language takes you out of that state, and puts you deeply and intensively in touch with others. When you contribute to the world, you give to others but you also benefit in so many ways.
Check out the links for this episode to find inspiration of where to volunteer in the UK or USA.
- The Community Interpreter
- Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma · Causes
- Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma PSA - YouTube
Teaching Refugees and Migrants Links
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutsch | Deutschunterricht für Flüchtlinge entwickeln
- Tips for teaching English to migrants and refugees in the UK | British Council
- Hominum International e.V. - Home
- Wycliffe Associates | Accelerating Bible Translation
- Home | Do-it.org volunteering made easy
- A Few Simple Ideas for New Language Learners — Greg Thomson's approach to self-directed language learning.
- Public Service and Volunteer Opportunities | USAGov
- Creative Language Learning Podcast Episode 43: Wikitongues — Language documentation and preservation charity Wikitongues, interviewed by Lindsay for our show
Do you want to use your languages for good?
I'd love to hear what you think! Have you ever been able to help someone else thanks to your own language skills? Do you feel inspired to start teaching, translating, interpreting, or writing for others?