Language volunteers vital as Beijing inbound travelers focus amid epidemic
China Daily

A growing number of volunteers with foreign language skills have participated in the the novel coronavirus epidemic prevention work as inbound travelers have become the focus in the capital.


Student volunteers from the University of Science and Technology Beijing provide translation services at the New China International Exhibition Center in Beijing on March 25, 2020. (Photo: China Daily)

In Dongcheng district where many foreign residents live in Beijing, many social workers and volunteers have provided language services for foreigners.

Yao Yuan, who has studied in Britain for eight years, is one such worker helping foreigners living in communities nearby with better disease prevention by providing language service.

Yao gave calls one day to two foreigners, one from the United States and the other from New Zealand, who had just returned to Beijing, for preregistration of their health condition.

"Foreigners were very concerned about making an appointment before meeting," Yao said. "So, I called in advance."

Yao visited the two foreigners the next day, also bringing thermometers for them.

"Foreigners are also part of our strong forces in the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus," Yao said.

Jiang Hao, a British who has lived in China for 18 years, started the language service for nearby communities earlier this month.

He was recruited as one of the foreign volunteers by his community.

He has helped foreigners whose Chinese language skills were better to get their paperwork done and explained the policies.

Foreign affairs authorities in Dongcheng district of Beijing have issued foreign-language versions of notifications regarding the observation of expats' health condition and guides for better prevention and control of the novel coronavirus epidemic.

The multilingual notifications, available in languages ranging from English to Japanese and Korean, would help foreigners living and working in the district to better prevent the disease, after their return to Beijing, according to the authority.