I was scheduled to be on the first field research trip to South Africa for my new project, Accommodating Linguistic Diversity in Conversation: Modal Expressions and Multilingualism in South Africa right now. Instead, I am attempting a remote version of the first research stage, in collaboration with a number of wonderful South African language experts. More on that later, I hope!
In the meantime, I would like to help publicise an effort to spread accurate and trusted information about COVID-19 in the world’s minority languages, which often contend with the dual problems of lack of quality information and the easy spread of misinformation. The project, called virALLanguages, is working to create and share “reliable and memorable information” amongst minority language communities. If you are a speaker or work with speakers of a marginalised language, there are many ways to get involved.
The project is a collaborative effort between the KPAAM-CAM project (University at Buffalo, SUNY, USA), the SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), and the Community for Global Health Equity (University at Buffalo, SUNY, USA). I’m not directly involved, but I think it’s a great idea and I’m trying to spread the word as much as I can!