This multilingual glossary is designed to help humanitarian staff, interpreters, and translators working with crisis-affected people in northeast Nigeria. Using consistent, accurate, respectful and easily understood words in local languages is essential when conveying important humanitarian terms and potentially life-saving information.

The glossary is organized thematically, with a focus on protection, housing, land and property rights, and mental health and psychosocial care. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have added over 250 terms related to infection control, grief, bereavement, and dignified burials. As the humanitarian response evolves, we’ll add new terms and themes to the glossary.

Language glossary for Northeast Nigeria

View and use the glossary here.

We identified and translated the terms in collaboration with technical specialists and language partners, and through consultations with affected people. We hope these translations help interpreters, translators, staff, and volunteers who might translate and interpret informally.

This glossary is designed to be a practical, dynamic tool. If you would like to contribute, comment, or contact us, please write to, mentioning ‘Nigeria glossary’ in the subject field. As an online or offline web app, the glossary can be accessed through a computer, tablet, Android, or iOS device.

For more on how this glossary came to be, see the Translators without Borders blog.