If you’ve ever been to a foreign country without knowing the language, you know how hard it is to get around or navigate it without any help.

So, in an effort to welcome and help integrate new immigrants and refugees into Canadian society, Google Translate and the Inter-Cultural Association (ICA) of Greater Victoria have partnered up!

Google Translate has launched their pilot ‘We Speak Translate’ project in Victoria, to help promote diversity and reduce communication barriers in the city.

The project will work with community stakeholders, businesses, community agencies, institutions, and the public sector to train them on how to use the Google Translate app.

Once they finish the training, they will be given a ‘We Speak Translate’ decal, which will be a beacon of inclusiveness for immigrants and refugees who see it!

The same training will also be given to newcomers, and coupled with English language classes through the ICA, will serve to lessen the communication gap and help them succeed in their new hometown.

Around 1400 immigrants and refugees come to the region every year (Victoria Foundation, 2013), and ninety-five percent of them speak very little English – which makes programs such as the ICA’s English language classes, and training on how to use the Google Translate app essential to the city’s development.

“Google is humbled and excited to be supporting this project with the goal of helping New Canadians make the often challenging transition to life in Canada through language and engagement,” stated a Google Spokesperson.

The app is available on iOS and Android software – have you downloaded it yet?