Marma Language Lead – Promoting language inclusive education in Marma

  • Contractor
  • Bangladesh
  • TBD USD / Year

CLEAR Global

Contract Length: up to January 2025, possibility to extend depending on funding

Location: Bangladesh, preferred if located in Bandarban or Khagrachari districts

Hours: Full time

Travel: some, to communities in the Hill Tracts; non-travel time will be home-based

Reporting to: Program Manager

Remuneration: 113,00-119,00 BDT/month

Application Deadline: 8 May, 2024

CLEAR Global/Translators without Borders (TWB) is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to having a diverse team where individuals of all backgrounds collaborate and learn from one another. We believe we can be most effective with diverse experience and expertise in our team. We recruit on merit, actively seek diverse applicant pools and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, marital or parental status, or sexual orientation, and welcome all types of diversity.

We offer in addition to salary:

  • Provident fund (both contributory): 10% of gross salary of individual staff members/month
  • 10 days of casual leave and up to 15 days of recognised public holidays per year


Education in Bangladesh has historically been in Bangla, and there has been limited scope for indigenous children and adults to become acquainted with their mother tongue in written form. In 2010, the government recognised indigenous children’s right to education in their respective mother tongues and updated the National Education Policy with activities to arrange indigenous textbooks and teachers. Since then various initiatives have been taken to implement the policies however the work has not yet reached the desired scale and reach.

CLEAR Global, commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), has undertaken to investigate language and communication challenges faced by speakers of indigenous languages, focusing on speakers of Marma language in the Chittagong hill tract region. The project is two-fold: a baseline study will be carried out to better understand the communication needs and challenges of the Marma people in Bangladesh, and in parallel the team will explore how language technology and inclusive digital solutions can improve access to government led initiatives (ICT tools) that aim to increase quality of education through online training and skill development for teachers.

The Role

The Marma Language Lead, under the guidance of the Program Manager, will be responsible for enabling the delivery of both project streams (baseline study and language technology development) through the provision of Marma language expert guidance and language services. The Language Lead will play an important role facilitating communication as a focal point with Marma communities participating in the project and through the provision of translations, interpretation and other language services. The Language Lead will also support the development of a Marma language technology prototype by supporting CLEAR Global’s tech team with expert inputs on the Marma language and content development in Marma.


Language expert support across project activities

  • Provide advisory support across all project activities, sharing linguistic expertise and insights into existing challenges and opportunities within the Marma linguistic context
  • Act as a primary point of contact with the Marma community, fostering positive relationships with communities
  • Identify resources and Marma linguists and connect relevant contacts with the project team
  • Review project materials and share language-related inputs
  • Deliver regular updates to the project team and contribute to meetings with CLEAR Global’s project partners

Delivery of translation and language services

  • Use TWB online platforms and translation environment to provide high quality and timely language services into and from Marma, including translations, transcriptions and audio recordings
  • Contribute to the development of terminology in Marma, including defining and translating field testing terms
  • Evaluate and document translation quality of existing resources in Marma

Support to research and user testing

  • Provide interpretation to facilitate communication between research participants and researchers
  • Contribute to research tool development and data analysis, ensuring language-related considerations and clarifications are addressed

Support to language technology prototype development

  • Identify and review relevant existing resources in and about the Marma language
  • Support CLEAR Global’s computational linguist in activities including but not limited to: evaluate open source models, prepare machine translation data and test sets, curate sources for text and audio data
  • Actively participate in meetings, learning sessions and discussions to help shape technology solutions

Please note that these roles and responsibilities are approximate and will evolve as activities develop based on research findings.


The Language Lead should be a creative self-starter with a strong sense of initiative and enthusiastic about the importance of giving a voice to marginalized communities, improving access to knowledge through language. The right candidate is an energetic team player who agrees with CLEAR Global/TWB’s basic beliefs and values and who can work virtually with team members based throughout the world.

Required qualifications:

  • Fluent Marma speaker with excellent Marma writing skills, ideally Khagrachari or Bandarban based dialect
  • Ability to provide linguistic guidance around the various dialects of Marma, including script variation, tonality etc.
  • Knowledge of the Marma community in Bangladesh and understanding of challenges and language exclusion in the contemporary education system in Bangladesh
  • Experience in community engagement, communication and/or digital solutions
  • Proven experience in working with marginalized communities and speakers of minority or indigenous languages
  • Ability to work independently, flexibly and with remote teams
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and representational skills
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills and proficient knowledge in Bangla.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Higher education degree in one of the following fields: linguistics, social science or other relevant international development field or within information and communication technology field
  • Professional translation and/or interpreting experience
  • Understanding of language dynamics in Bangladesh
  • Experience or interest in research an advantage
  • Experience or interest in language and communication technology an advantage.

About CLEAR Global/Translators without Borders

CLEAR Global exists to help people get vital information, and be heard, whatever language they speak. We believe that everyone has the right to give and receive information in a language and format they understand. We work with nonprofit partners and a global community of language professionals to build local language translation capacity, and raise awareness of language barriers. Our network of over 100,000 linguists translates millions of words of lifesaving and life-changing information a year.

Core values

CLEAR Global/ Translators without Borders employees and volunteers are made of people who believe passionately about the value of this work and take personal responsibility for achieving the mission. Translators without Borders’ mission and organizational spirit embody the core values established in its strategic framework:

  • Excellence: As the leading voice for communicating humanitarian information in the right language, Translators without Borders is a leader in the translation industry and in the non-profit sector.
  • Integrity: Translators without Borders believes that every person, whether it is the people who we serve, our volunteers or our staff, has value, deserves respect and has inherent dignity.
  • Empowerment: Translators without Borders believes in using language to empower people around the world to control their own development and destiny.
  • Innovation: Translators without Borders recognizes and celebrates the power of innovation to address humanitarian and crisis issues around the world.
  • Sustainability: Translators without Borders recognizes that meeting our mission necessitates establishment and maintenance of a solid financial and organizational infrastructure.
  • Tolerance: Our staff and volunteers are highly knowledgeable and skilled; value each other, our partner and our recipients; create a supportive work environment; and conduct themselves professionally at all times.

CLEAR Global/ TWB may re-advertise the vacancy, cancel the recruitment, offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration at its discretion.

How to apply

To apply, please click here

Deadline: 8 May 2024