This news article highlights the importance of translating essential information about COVID-19 into languages that refugees living in Indiana can understand.
More than 25,000 Burmese refugees live in Indiana (19,000 in Indianapolis alone), and most do not speak or read English. With the health threat of COVID-19 affecting all Hoosiers, it is imperative that everyone in the state have access to reliable information, such as preventive measures. Since Governor Holcomb issued a stay-at-home order on March 23, many refugees have been left wondering what they are to do. A group of undergraduate and graduate students at Indiana University who had been previously translating census information into Hakha Lai, a language used for communication between groups who do not share a native language in Chin State, are now translating written materials about COVID-19 from the Indiana State Department of Health and the World Health Organization. Their group, Chin Languages Research Team, is translating both scholarly and practical resources and have made them available on a website for all Burmese refugees to access.