English is the working language of ADB. Nonetheless, ADB recognizes the need to communicate more widely and effectively by expanding the extent of information made available in languages other than English used in ADB's developing member countries.
In March 2007, ADB’s Management approved a translation framework which became the basis for systematic decision making as to what documents should routinely be translated. In accordance with ADB's commitment to increase shared information under the Public Communications Policy (PCP), the framework complements ADB's communications efforts with external stakeholders in line with its operational needs. In December 2012, Management approved an update of the 2007 Translation Framework in the context of ADB's revised Public Communications Policy (PCP) 2011.
Since the implementation of the framework, the volume of translation work has grown fivefold across ADB. The top five languages, where demand for translated documents has been the highest, are Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, and Khmer. ADB also translates documents periodically into 24 other languages of its member countries including Armenian, Azeri, Bangla, Dari, Fijian, Filipino, Georgian, Hindi, Hindustani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Sinhala, Tajik, Tamil, Tetum, Thai, Tok Pisin, Tongan, Urdu, and Uzbek.
What documents or information are mandated for translation by ADB Policies?
- Country Partnership Strategies (CPS) and Interim CPSs which outline ADB’s medium-term development strategy and operational program as agreed with each developing member country (DMC)
- Safeguard Information on a project’s environmental, resettlement, and indigenous peoples issues including project information to facilitate dialogue with affected people and other interested stakeholders
- Project Data Sheets (PDS) which include summary information about projects and programs for all loan, grant, and project preparatory technical assistance projects with concept paper approvals after the PCP’s effectivity date of 2 April 2012
What other documents are recommended for translation under the translation framework?
- Awareness-raising documents, such as information on ADB, and on ADB and its member countries
- Policies, strategies, and guidelines that help external stakeholders engage with ADB and Information intended for the web
- Information for stakeholder consultations to allow for meaningful participation by interested stakeholders
- Selected summaries of evaluation reports such as country assistance program evaluations and sector assistance program evaluations Summary information about other programs, such as the Greater Mekong Subregion Program and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program, where the scope of the programs is relevant for those who do not speak English
The public may request that a document be translated into a particular language by sending an e-mail to the Department of Communications' (DOC) InfoUnit.