Leaving everything behind and arriving in a foreign country is a bewildering experience and your guests will have witnessed deeply traumatic events.

Your guests’ primary language will likely be Ukrainian, but they are also likely to be familiar, if not fluent in Russian. The Ukrainian and Russian languages use the Cyrillic alphabet so your guests will need to get to grips with the Roman alphabet, which may be unfamiliar to them.

Interpretation Apps

DeepL is a translation website, considered by many to be one of the most accurate translation websites available.

There are also many useful online resources for self-study, such as The British Council, Council of Europe, the Skills Workshop, One Stop English and Duolingo.

You can also find free online ESOL courses here.

There are several free interpretation apps to help you communicate. Google translate is probably the most commonly used app. This will enable you and your guests to communicate the gist of what you are trying to say but it is not always accurate and can lead to much hilarity!

Another very useful, more accurate app is Tarjimly, which was set up in 2017 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. This app enables you to request a translator for a particular language. You will be connected via live chat with a translator and you can send text, documents, and start a phone or video call.  The service is free.

The NHS and the Job Centre are legally obliged to provide an interpreter for pre booked appointments. For other interpretation needs, there are agencies such as Hertfordshire based Herts Interpreting & Translation or National based Clear Voice, but there will be a charge for these services.

Please contact your local CVS for details of Ukrainian and Russian speakers who may be happy to assist with translation.