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Woman using her smartphone while wearing a face mask

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Multilingual corona blogs: "Thank you so much for doing this"

Information about corona can be vital. In order to reach people who live in Bavaria but do not speak German fluently, BR24 and Bayern 2 decided to create a multilingual corona-blog. Reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.

The weekend of March 14 and 15 was a crucial moment in the corona crisis: schools and daycare centers across Germany closed and exit restrictions were imminent. That's when we knew that now it was particularly important to keep everyone in Bavaria up to date - even those who do not speak German fluently. Less than 24 hours passed from the idea to the implementation of our multilingual live blogs in English, Turkish, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Arabic and Italian on March 16. Recently, we added a Romanian live blog.

Overwhelmingly positive reactions

Reactions to our multilingual service are overwhelmingly positive. Many users are very grateful. Here are some comments that made us particularly happy:

"I just wanted to thank you so much for doing this.  I check this site in the morning and the evening to stay on top of information, and the information you provide is so thorough and complete.  I know I am doing everything right and able to follow the rules in Germany based on the updates you provide. Thank you for being a country that paid attention to the world and enacted a system that protects people and helps people. I worry about my family in the United States, but I am not worried about myself in Germany in large part because of your focus on data and protecting people. I consider myself very fortunate to be in Germany, one of the safest places in the world to be during this crisis." - Deborah, BR24 user
"Thank you for offering information in English. As a foreign researcher in Germany, I read minimal German, and computer translation doesn't always provide nuance, and in particular doesn't offer an opportunity to ask further questions." - Ann Barcomb, BR24 user
"Can't thank BR24 enough for having initiated this service, I think its a big help for the expat community living here." “bijucyborg”, BR24 user

Fill the information gap

We also receive emails with specific problems. Our users are concerned about a wide range of questions, such as: “Why shouldn't we go hiking in the mountains?”, “Where should I go if I suspect that I am infected with corona?” and "How should I, being a truck driver, make ends meet with my short-time allowance income?". Especially when users attach letters from their employers about short-time work regulations or other notices and ask for translation, we notice that getting information in your own language is not that easy. We are very happy when we can fill the information gap. In most cases we are able to help. Sometimes we have to relegate our users to authorities in charge.

Our live blogs are updated two to three times a day

What information do our multilingual users already get from other sources and which information is missing? This is the central question we ask ourselves when updating our blogs. The answer: The focus must be on Bavaria. That is why both, news concerning Bavaria and everyday help, are most relevant in our live blogs. Our team translates current reports two to three times a day. BR24 works with freelance translators and a team of translators from our ARD studios in Rome, Vienna and Istanbul. The choice of languages is primarily based on the composition of the migrant population in Bavaria. We want to reach as large an audience as possible and hope that those, whose language is not represented, can get information they need from the English offer, for example. In addition to the six live blogs, our team also translates longer articles on important corona topics into English.

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💡 “Corona in Bavaria”: What questions do you have?Do you have any suggestions or feedback about our multilingual offer? Write to us at feedback@br24.de, subject: International.