Frequently Asked Questions

General Volunteer Translator Aid Worker / Refugee


💬 What does Tarjimly mean?

"Tarjimly" means "Translate for Me" in Arabic, but the root "tarjim" is found in Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto, Urdu, and Turkish. It's the perfect word for the communities we are trying to help :)

📱 Where do I download Tarjimly?

Tarjimly is currently available just on Facebook Messenger - download Messenger and search "Tarjimly". We are currently developing a separate Android and iOS app. Join our mailing list to be updated on the launch!
Get the latest Tarjimly news

🌍 What languages can I use Tarjimly in? Can I help correct some of the text phrasing for my language?

Tarjimly can be used in 18 languages today. You can help validate our strings and internationalize our app with our Message Editor. Email us at for the login info.

🤔 What use cases is Tarjimly for and which ones are not allowed?

The general principle is that Tarjimly is for humanitarian purposes. The obvious scenarios are for situations in refugee communities like distribution, registrations, document translations, and meetings with medics and lawyers. They can be simple or complex translations, conversations, audio files, or documents.

However, the definition of "people in need" has many grey areas where we allow our translators to make judgement calls on what they are comfortable translating for. As an organization, we support people using Tarjimly for important translations that don't necessarily fall within the legal definition of a "refugee", but still have humanitarian needs such as asylees, recent immigrants, evacuees, and displaced people.

✍🏽 What can I do once I'm in a conversation on Tarjimly?

Once you are connected, we provide some helpful tips:
🗣️ Introduce yourself and explain your situation in detail to each other
🎙️ Use voice notes and calling as desired
🔚 Select "End Conversation" from the menu when finished

You can send text, audio notes, pictures, videos, and documents back and forth like a regular chat. Single messages above 1000 characters will be split into multiple message automatically, and if you are typing a long message, we encourage you to write it in a separate auto-saving notes app first.

📞 How does phone calling work?

At the beginning of every session, refugees and aid workers are given a unique TARJIMLY phone number based on the country they are located in (we operate Twilio numbers in 8 countries so far). When they call this number, it initiates a conference call to the translator based on the phone number they provide in their Translator profile (this number is also a local number based on the translator's country code). This conference call protects the numbers of both parties and is only active for the duration of the session on Facebook Messenger, after which it will time out.

We encourage translators NOT to share their personal numbers in a session and to update their number if they travel overseas to avoid international charges. We expect to have an internet call solution in our mobile app also.

👥 Can I be a Translator and use Tarjimly to get translation help for other languages?

Currently, each Facebook account can only have ONE role on Tarjimly (you cannot switch between refugee/aid worker and translator). However, you CAN make two separate accounts to sign up on Tarjimly from and flip between them which is simple on the Messenger mobile app.

📝 How can I provide feedback and share ideas and stories?

The best place for feedback that others can benefit from is in our Faceobok groups. We have one for Translators and one for Aid Workers. We strongly encourage you to share positive feedback and stories - we'll reach out to see if we can share the story more publicly!

For feedback that is specific to you or a specific session (which others might not benefit from) use the "Send Feedback 📝" form in the Tarjimly chat menu under "More ➡️".


How do I sign up? How do I update my Translator Profile?

After sending a message to Tarjimly and selecting your native language, when you select the "Translator" role, you will be asked to provide the second language you speak, your phone number (with country code), and agreement to the code of conduct, all of which takes about 30 seconds to complete to become a fully registered translator. However, your full profile is located in the chat menu with Tarjimly under "More ➡️" -> "Settings ⚙️" -> "Update Profile". This form will let you provide specific dialects, translator experience, availabilities, specialized knowledge, and much more. Completing this form will allow you more control over your experience and improve your Tarjimly Score to receive Tarjimly translation requests.

What if I'm bilingual but I don't think I'm skilled enough?

Don't worry - you should still signup with your honest skill level because Tarjimly handles all of the quality and routing based on many inputs. For example, being able to only speak the language (but not read or write) is still helpful when nobody else is available because you can use voice notes or calling and you can specify this in your profile.

Why have I not gotten a request to help yet?

For some language pairs, we are fortunate enough to have far more volunteers than people requesting help, so all we can ask for is your patience - we hope you will get a request soon! With Arabic/English for example, we have over 2000 volunteers. When a refugee or aid worker requests assistance, we send out a notification to several volunteers (usually 10) that best fit their profile - the first one who selects "Yes" will be connected in a chat session which automatically terminates after 60 minutes of inactivity. Thanks to this system, the waiting time to get connected is currently under 60 seconds for certain languages. Short waiting time is a game changer for refugees and aid workers.

In the meantime you can help spread the word about Tarjimly to refugees and aid workers, so we can increase the number of requests! We are also working on new features that will allow you to rate and review other translator's translations!

What do I do when I'm getting too many requests? How do I suspend or delete my account?

You do not need to respond to every request. We encourage you to respond "No" to incoming requests when you are not available so that we can reach out to other translators. You cannot suspend or delete your account currently, instead you should update your Translator profile and remove the languages from your profile (this way you will not be pinged for requests). If you want to completely stop messages from Tarjimly, you can select the Messenger Settings icon in your chat with Tarjimly at the top right and click "Manage Messages" and "Turn Off Messages".

What do I do when there's no response?

We can't know about people who don't respond sadly - we don't have any more signal than you do on them. The most we can assume is that they are a new user testing it out, because usually they don't do another session soon after that. You can tag the session as "No Response" after which helps us - thank you for your patience!

What do I do if I think this person isn't a refugee or aid worker?

You can ask directly if they are. You can ask for any context that will make you more comfortable as a translator. Think of it as good for the community too because then you can help preserve the integrity of the platform and root out bad users. After you end the conversation, select "😞", then tag the session as "Incorrect Use" or "Fake/Spam User", and then you will be given the option to ban the user from Tarjimly - we encourage you to excercise this as it helps us maintain the quality of the platform! In our mobile app, we are working on a "verified" status to help with this.

What if I'm being asked to do something other than translation such as teach a language or provide asylum information?

Tarjimly is currently focused on translation needs and not for teaching languages yet. Naturally, refugees are extremely eager to learn languages to integrate into new countries or get information, but we've made our messaging very clear. In the future, we might expand the uses of Tarjimly into language education, but we will make it distinct from translating.

When this happens, you can just politely explain that Tarjimly is only for translation and not language education (maybe point them to something like Duolingo if you like) or asylum info (maybe point them to or specific UN websites which you can help translate for them). Then you can mark the session as Incorrect Use.

Aid Workers & Refugees

How do I sign up? How do I update my Aid Worker Profile?

After sending a message to Tarjimly and selecting your native language, when you select the "Aid Worker" role, you will be asked to provide your email and organization you work with (you can write "None" if you are an individual), which takes about 30 seconds to complete to become a fully registered aid worker. However, your profile is located in the chat menu with Tarjimly under "More ➡️" -> "Settings ⚙️" -> "Update Profile". Completing this form will allow you more control over your experience, such as setting a custom greeting or optimizing for your location with your phone number.

How do you manage QUALITY & SPEED? How can I be sure of these translations and know I will get a translator quickly?

Think of Tarjimly like Uber for translators - scheduling becomes irrelevant when we can efficiently route requests to large pools of passive people. The goal of Tarjimly is to guarantee a translator in just a few minutes once you open the app. We use massive amounts of data to create a Tarjimly Trust Score for all of our translators. We use indicators like

1) self-provided proficiency, geographic location, and profile completeness

2) session ratings and reviews

3) engagement rate with the app and translation speed in sessions

4) translator ratings of other translators (coming soon)

All of these indicators give us a score that we use to provide you the optimal translator at your request. This score will be used to create a Tarjimly Certification which we will use to front to our best translators to our best users and partner organizations.

Can I run multiple translation requests at a time?

Because translation sessions are free, you can run text and document translations to multiple translators one after the other in order to further verify - just run another session after you select End Conversation to free yourself of the translator. You can also run multiple Messenger accounts to make multiple translation requests in parallel.

How do you manage CONFIDENTIALITY?

1) Tarjimly doesn't provide anything other than the first name between the two parties. So in the case of a refugee or aid worker using Tarjimly, the translator will only receive the first name of your Facebook profile (so they know they are talking to a person and not the application) and any other info is self-provided. Phone calls are routed through Tarjimly conference numbers in multiple countries to protect both parties actual phone numbers.

2) There is currently no option to actively reconnect with the same translator. This preserves anonymity.

3) All Tarjimly Translator's sign a Code of Conduct, go through a training manual, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use:
"I understand that refugees and aid workers are relying on my best effort and fast translation when I accept a request. I will not share any phone numbers or personal identifying information (PII) outside of the Tarjimly community to preserve trust and privacy. I will not abuse user's trust or privacy and will abide by Tarjimly's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use."

How many interpreters do you have and what languages do they speak?

Tarjimly currently has over 3,500 translators and interpreters that speak over 75 languages and are from 98 different countries. The distribution of these languages are very spread and affect the match rate and response time, which we try to improve every day.

How long does it take to get a translator?

The average connection time depends on the language pair. Some pairs such as Arabic/English take on average 60 seconds since we have thousands of volunteers for this language. Other pairs that are more unique can take several minutes and Tarjimly will ask if you'd like to keep waiting. Sometimes we aren't able to find someone at all because we don't have enough translators signed up for that language pair. We are regularly signing up hundreds of translators and you can help us by sharing Tarjimly with your communities.

What other filters and preferences can I set?

After you select the language you need a translator for, you can also select if you need a document translation (which will tell our translators the session will take slightly longer), a female translator, or if you have no extra preferences and just want the fastest translator available.

How long can I do a translation session for?

Sessions time out and automatically end after 60 minutes of inactivity (no messages sent between each other). It is up to you and your translator to determine how long you would like help for - generally we set an expectation of about 20 minutes, but some sessions have gone as long as one hour. It is best to give your translators as much context and expectation as possible.

Get the latest Tarjimly news

Tarjimly is a nonprofit organization