What’s the Somali word for ’damp’?

Or why we produce energy advice materials in foreign languages

17 November 2015

Some of our popular energy advice leaflets can now be read by more people, thanks to new versions in Polish, Arabic and easy-read English. The translated leaflets cover subjects such as central heating controls, dealing with damp and mould in the home, and using a night storage heater. Somali versions of these were produced last year. 

We've been asked whether energy is really a priority for non-English speakers, or if translating our materials is necessary at all. To both, our response is 'very much so'. Kate Thomas explains.

“New UK residents often end up in poor housing, where damp and mould are commonplace and which have unfamiliar heating systems. This can present a challenge to people from other countries. In Poland, night storage heaters are almost unheard of, and there is no word for 'damp' in Somali.

And the risks of fuel poverty and fuel debt are high for people who come to the UK without a command of English.”

“The Arabic leaflets will help, among others, people and families involuntarily displaced from Syria and Iraq,” she added. “And while they’re learning English, the information we provide will help them live more comfortably and with dignity."

The easy-read leaflets are designed to be understood by those with low levels of literacy, and are available in both English and Polish.

Funding for this work comes from the Big Lottery’s Award’s for All funding stream.

All of our foreign language leaflets are available at cse.org.uk/advice-leaflets-in-other-languages.

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