With the continuing wave of refugees and migrants seeking refuge in European countries, it is inevitable that a gap in communication due to language differences will occur, which the Austrian government fully acknowledges, for it had released a German language app to help refugee children.
The language app is called “Hallo App Deutsch” that contains sound and pictures and about 1,000 German words applicable to everyday life. This is meant for children still unable to understand Roman script. The language app’s release was announced on Thursday and will be available for tablets and smartphones. Hallo App Deutsch is envisioned to help make the integration of young children into their new environment faster. The government also announced that they would likewise release a version applicable to adult refugees.
App crucial to integration
Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, the Austrian Education Minister said that faster integration could be facilitated if refugees learn the language and Hallo App Deutsch is an app that will promote language learning on their own.
Some undisclosed corporations co-funded the development of the app, which, according to a statement, would also be available in Germany, a country that is being favored by migrants these past few months.
Wave of refugees
Since the start of September alone, there had been over 200,000 refugees that have entered Austria. Some of them stayed, but a majority of them travelled onward to Scandinavia or Germany. Still, Austria is expecting to have about 85,000 asylum applicants in 2015, and based on per capita figures, Austria will be Europe’s highest recipient of refugees this year.
The country is in two minds about the refugees’ inflow into the country. Many are getting concerned about it while there were many supporters as well, some of them taking their support to the streets, bearing placards with words of encouragement and pleas to the government, organizations and fellow Austrians.
The far-right political party, Freedom Party (FPOe), is riding on the concerns of many Austrians, and at the moment it seems that they are leading in national opinion polls, having received about 30 per cent of the votes. It is predicted that it would help them in the elections to be held in Vienna on October 11, which is a first for the capital city. This puts a lot of pressure on Chancellor Werner Faymann right now.