Google Philippines has marked the Buwan ng Wika 2020 with the launch of a special online site that translates the most commonly used Covid-19-related words to the country’s most used languages, Filipino and Cebuano.
The site, Isang Gabay sa mga Salitang Kaugnay ng Covid-19, initially provides the translation and definitions of up to 115 commonly used terms and phrases, their part of speech, as well as usage in a sentence. The initial list is still growing and is including scientific and medical terminologies, plus new vocabulary pertaining to the changes in the way of life, education, and business brought about by the pandemic. The site can be accessed on any device.
Isang Gabay sa mga Salitang Kaugnay ng Covid-19 is part of Google PH’s initiatives to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The effort recognizes the significant role of local languages in creating an understanding among Filipinos regarding Covid-19 and in disseminating helpful information.
“The pandemic continues to bring an overwhelming amount of information that we need to process every day,” said Google Philippines Head of Communications and Public Affairs Mervin Wenke. “Based on Google Trends insights, a lot of Filipinos are looking for the meaning of Covid-19-related terminologies in our local languages. As a response and as a Buwan ng Wika initiative at the same time, we collaborated with experts to build a progressive site to help more Filipinos better understand Covid-19-related words in Filipino and Cebuano in one place. We hope that this will be useful as well to students and to those who seek to expand their knowledge.”
Google PH collaborated with Assistant Professor Ellene Antoinette G. Narvaez of the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature at the University of the Philippines Diliman for the Filipino translations. She is also a member of the Filipinas Institute of Translation (FIT).
For the Cebuano translations, the tech giant worked with Hannah Marie R. Aranas, a former literature teacher of the University of San Carlos Department of Languages and Literature.