Jakarta. The Before Babel Brigade Korea, a non-governmental organization from South Korea, will bring its on-the-spot translation services to Indonesia in June ahead of the 2018 Asian Games.
The organization's Indonesian operations will be its first permanent network outside of South Korea and will seek to recruit multi-lingual volunteers.
The Games, which run from Aug. 18 to Sep. 2, will draw tens of thousands of athletes to Southeast Asia's largest economy. The event's organizing committee is currently recruiting thousands of volunteers to help guide visitors during their stay in the country.
Because many locals in the country may not be able to speak English, BBB is recruiting volunteers who can speak languages other than Indonesian to help foreigners. In 2017, Indonesia ranked 39 of 80 in English First's English Proficiency Survey.
BBB Korea seeks to smash communication difficulties for good by establishing a network of volunteers proficient in several languages who would be available by just a push of a button on a smartphone.
How BBB’s System Works
BBB's digital system works through an app, or via phone, which connects people to bilingual volunteers who provide real-time translations of event announcements.
Chuck Uisung Yoon, project director at BBB Korea, explains the benefits of his system: "[The system] is available everywhere at every time, unlike [on-the- ground] volunteers. [Also] Google Translate cannot translate 100 percent … it does not take into account the situation [of the conversation]."
Welcome to Indonesia
Established in South Korea in 2002, BBB's goal is to move towards a world of free communication. No more language barriers. With 4,500 volunteers and over 780,000 calls received, it provides top quality, on-the-spot translation services to tourists and South Koreans.
Yoon said that BBB has collaborated with Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second largest Islamic organization, and several universities to recruit volunteers and set up offices in the country.