ULG's Language Services Blog

Supporting the Work of International Non-Governmental Organizations

Even before COVID-19 upended life in every country on the planet, numerous problems existed both globally and locally that international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) are uniquely equipped to solve. As vaccination efforts accelerate around the world through international programs like COVAX, the world is slowly approaching a sense of post-pandemic life. The global inequalities that existed in 2019 have been widened over the past year, and so the missions of the world’s INGOs are more critical than ever.

Speaking the World’s Languages

With goals that include the elimination of poverty, gender equality, and sustainable cities, INGOs such as The Nature Conservancy and Alight seek to provide bold solutions to help uplift individuals and communities all over the world. This monumental work, however, cannot be accomplished with a handful of English-speaking staff living thousands of miles from the people they seek to support. The process of decolonizing international development requires us to examine barriers to equity within our own organizations. Offering native language support and services is critical to this inquiry.

Expanding Access to Critical Information

The INGO program at United Language Group is ready to meet this critical need. Our Global Program Manager, Nicholas Hayen, also serves as the President of the Board for the Minnesota International NGO Network. Under his guidance, ULG provides direct translation and interpretation into hundreds of languages in nearly every corner of the world. In one recent example, the Minneapolis-based refugee services organization, Alight, required translation and graphic design support for their COVID-19 presentations, posters, and social media. ULG utilized our in-house team of expert desktop publishing resources to prep and edit Alight’s custom design-heavy documents to streamline the translation process.

Alight’s translation needs were unique. They operate in dozens of developing countries around the world and required translation into over two dozen languages. These included relatively common languages such as Lao, Cambodian, Bengali, and Kinyarwanda. But their projects also included rare languages such as Maguindanaon, Bari, Shan, Nuer, Mon, Taposa, and Juba Arabic. ULG worked diligently with its wide resource pool to quickly source these rare languages within only a couple days of the initial request. The results speak for themselves, as the lifesaving information in these materials was viewed by at least 129 million people around the world.

Delivering Quick, Accurate Translation that Fits an NGO’s Budget

Throughout the customized INGO translation process, ULG works closely with your INGO’s domestic teams to share information regarding branding, marketing style, and public-facing voice. ULG can also interface directly with your in-country team of experts to capture their translation feedback using an easy-to-use online translation feedback portal. Users can access this portal from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, enabling your on-the-ground staff to instantly update translations so they can speak in the tone and style most effective for your communities. ULG provides a quick turnaround for critically important projects while maintaining a budget that is sensitive to the financial limitations of NGO operations.

All over the world, the work continues to reduce global inequalities, fight the devastating effects of climate change, and uplift communities through international development. But these investments in people can be effective only when you deliver your messages in languages your communities can understand. United Language Group is ready to help your INGO’s mission to improve the world become a reality.

United Language Group employs linguists in more than 200 languages. We’re experienced at providing accurate translation and localization services for global enterprises, including those in the healthcare and life sciences industries. For more insights on ensuring accurate translation for your global markets, browse our blog!