Andyono, tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I am an Indonesian national, based in Jakarta. I have over 10 years professional experience in the private security industry, as regular staff, analyst, consultant and as both a regional and national manager. Prior to that I had also pursued a career in journalism, while teaching English as a foreign language as a side job.

How did you learn that Alison was looking for translators for its coronavirus course?

I was checking out Alison’s Covid-19 course back in February 2020. After finishing the course I noticed that Alison was looking for volunteers to translate their material into various languages including Bahasa Indonesia. So I enlisted as a volunteer.

What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?

I have taken some online courses with Alison, although all of them were in English.  

Why did you offer to translate our coronavirus course?

I think it is important that more people in Indonesia get to know the basics of the pandemic better through a good online training course. At the time when I signed up, awareness of the pandemic was not yet really widespread in Indonesia.

Why is it important that everyone has access to important information on coronavirus?

Awareness of the pandemic and its health consequences are fundamental to ensure people will adjust their daily behaviour accordingly to mitigate the health risk. It’s very much the same as in security management – awareness is key. No amount of restrictions or instructions will matter without it.


Tell us a little about your method when translating.

Basically, I do not translate word for word (as some people tend to do) and instead focus on the contextual meaning of the sentence I am translating. Literal word-for-word translations tend to be confusing for me and I believe a good translation is one that provides ease of understanding, not the opposite.

Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?

Knowledge and professional skills are key to advance ourselves in whatever industry or field we are pursuing a career. It used to cost a lot of money to do those courses. Online free courses like Alison’s are a game changer which, in my opinion, help level the playing field for everyone across the globe.

Have you been learning through Alison during the pandemic? How has the lockdown been for you?

I have planned to do so but the internet connection has not been reliable enough to do so, ever since the pandemic restrictions were put into effect by the government. We never had a real lockdown here in Jakarta, more like large scale restrictions in public spaces. That being said, me and my family have cut down significantly on going out for non-essential matters since at least March. It has been quite frustrating at times, but at least we have remained infection free due to our own self-imposed precautions.

What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?

Go for it. There’s really nothing to lose from doing it. At the very least you will gain more experience while also helping others access the course which is Alison providing for free globally.

If you’d like to play your part in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic by helping Alison give people access to the information necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, please get in touch.

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