Yle beefs up coronavirus info in Arabic, Somali, Kurdish, Persian

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Yle has increased services in four foreign languages spoken in Finland in a bid to ensure that as many people as possible have the latest updates about the novel coronavirus situation.

According to News and Current Affairs head Riikka Räisänen, the service will ensure the availability of up-to-date information.

“To ensure common security, it is important that everyonr living in Finland now receives reliable and current information about the coronavirus situation regardless of whether or not they can speak Finnish,” Räisänen said.

Yle’s expanded service began on 20 March and provides news and other content about the pandemic in Arabic, Kurdish, Somali and Persian at yle.fi/coronainfo.

“We can only slow the spread of the virus if awareness of official guidelines, for example, is disseminated as widely as possible. In Finland especially, there is a lot of misinformation and superstition around,” Räisänen added.

Updates in the four languages will be based on content from Yle’s Finnish language service. Content will be available on the Yle website as well as on social media in the form of text articles as well as brief video updates. It will be provided by Yle translators as well as external professionals recruited for the project.

According to Statistics Finland, at the end of 2018 nearly 392,000 people living in Finland spoke a foreign language as their mother tongue. Nearly 30,000 were Arabic speakers, while just under 21,000 spoke Somali, 14,000 were Kurdish speakers and 13,000 spoke Persian or Farsi.

Apart from Finnish, Swedish and Sámi, Yle currently provides additional content in English, Russian, Finnish Sign Language, Simple Finnish, Roma and Karelian.

Source: Yle