Farm Radio resources educate and inform—in local languages

| May 15, 2023

Download this story

Most of our radio partners broadcast in local languages, reaching their listeners in the language they are most comfortable in. This means that radio broadcasters often have to translate resources from the Internet or from governments (including Farm Radio resources) from English or French into local languages.

It is a challenging and delicate process to ensure that the translations capture the meaning well and use the most recognizable words. When topics are sensitive or new—like COVID-19 or gender-based violence—it can be even more challenging. But we know our radio partners do their very best to serve their listeners in this way.

To better support our radio partners, Farm Radio has been producing some written radio resources in local African languages—including COVID-19 information produced in 20+ languages!

You can easily find all of our local language translations here:

Broadcasting partners in Burkina Faso recently shared how and why they use resources in local languages. Overall, broadcasters said that local language translations were useful because they provide the right terms to use in the local language, particularly for programs about agriculture and the environment. These resources enable broadcasters and listeners to better understand the content and help improve interaction between listeners and the radio program.

Ghislain Somé is a broadcaster at Radio Voice of Balé in Boromo, Burkina Faso. He said: “I am a producer of rural radio programs located in an area where farmers and herders meet every day. In order to respond to the concerns of our listeners who are mostly illiterate, we therefore produce most programs in local languages to allow greater understanding and greater impact. For new and accurate information on issues of agriculture, livestock, health, gender … we always visit the Barza Wire site. We also have the possibility of reading resources translated into local languages to facilitate understanding and use in our programs. They make it possible to enrich our programs, which boosts the radio station’s audience and strengthens listeners’ loyalty to our programs; they find them interesting, serious, and high quality because the information is up-to-date and we share the sources with them.”

He adds that the station shares a phone number to enable listeners to call in to share their opinions and suggestions on their programs, and that broadcasters have learned that the programs are successful at informing and training listeners. He says: “They always learn new practices thanks to these programs and often ask for the rebroadcast of certain programs that they liked very much and find very interesting. All of these feats are possible thanks to FRI resources in general and those translated into local languages.”

Josué Bamogo is the head of programs at Nerwaya de Kongoussi Radio. He says: “We have made extensive use of FRI’s local language resources made available to us in the WhatsApp group to search for new ideas but also to document certain subjects to produce awareness programs. These resources in Mooré are very useful for us since they allow us to educate ourselves in a general way and to improve our programs. This positively impacts our listeners as we see a sense of satisfaction and it attracts many more listeners.”

We have recently produced several resources in Bambara on post-harvest practices in rice, and recently translated our Broadcaster how-to guide on Asking better questions into Portuguese and Swahili. For the latest resources, to go:

And for the latest local language translations, go to: