Until recently, if a patient in the US didn’t speak English and didn’t have access to on-site interpreters at a healthcare facility, there wasn’t a simple, standard solution. Fortunately, nowadays, technological advances, combined with a dramatically increased need for remote communications during the COVID-19 pandemic mean that healthcare providers and patients can easily access a medical interpreter via phone or video. What a time to be alive! ….But as a new article in The
In 2010, the US government passed the Plain Writing Act, which requires federal communications to be written in the clearest language possible, as opposed to jargon, legalese, or obscure vocabulary. As anyone who’s turned in a paper at school probably knows, English-speakers are often encouraged, implicitly or more subtly, to use big words and flowery language when discussing important matters. This has been so drilled into us that the Center for Plain Language is still monit
One of the many steps involved in selling a medical device internationally is what’s known as in-country review (ICR) -- the process of having translated material reviewed for accuracy in language, localization, and brand communication.
ICR seems like a completely reasonable step, but even a cursory internet search will show that it’s a source of frustration for many companies.
A major reason for this is that companies often use internal employees to review their translat
What’s the most annoying thing about going to the doctor’s office? For many of us, it’s all the time spent in the waiting room. But there’s good news: Soon, long waits at the doctor’s may become a thing of the past. Telehealth has changed a lot about healthcare. In a fascinating interview, Dr. David Berg, co-founder and chairman of the board of Redirect Health, mentions how it’s impacted one aspect of doctor’s visits you might not expect: real-life waiting rooms. Berg explain
AI has become an increasingly helpful part of some aspects of medicine - for instance, some programs help with things like scheduling and billing. So why not also with translating standard documents like patient consent forms? As advanced as some translation AI is, we’re not there yet. To be absolutely certain that a patient understands and consents to treatment, healthcare providers have to clearly explain the treatment to patients and be able to answer any questions, as we
Buzzwords are concise, often catchy terms that sum up what’s on our mind. They’re especially important in healthcare, where they can help patients express complex feelings and issues and find others who might be going through the same thing. A recent article from online health community portal Health Union looks at five buzzwords used by people with chronic health conditions. These words offer important insight into the patient experience. For instance, “scanxiety” is a term
In 2020, the Unicode Consortium released realistic-looking heart and lung emojis. For Dr. Shuhan He, that’s just a start. Dr. He, who helped design those anatomical emojis, wants more organ emojis to be accepted by the Unicode Consortium, not to mention additional medicine-related emojis like a pill pack and IV bag. In a recent JAMA opinion piece, Dr. He and his colleagues advocate not only for the creation of additional medical emojis, but establishing a standard for their u
On October 1, the official Twitter account of the Paris Tourist Office tweeted a charming photo of the Eiffel Tower, lit a bright, Barbie-like pink against the night sky, with a couple taking a selfie in the foreground.
The photo evokes many feelings: romance, delight, a desire to visit Paris. But believe it or not, that’s not what was intended.
The tweet that goes with the image says that the Tower is pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Without that explanat
This month, aiaTranslations has been celebrating transcreation - that is, translating content in a verbal as well as cultural sense.
Let’s make this last blog post of September a fitting homage, by sharing some fascinating transcreation facts!
1. “Transcreation” isn’t a recent word. It may seem modern and somewhat buzzwordy, but the term “transcreation” dates back to 1964, when it was coined by Indian scholar Purushottama Lal. 2. Transcreation isn’t the same as localiza
Who doesn’t love a good translation fail? Well, maybe not the companies that unwittingly unleashed it on the world…or outraged or confused consumers…. Translation fails may be a source of delight for those of us browsing the internet, but they can cause some serious problems. So, why do companies and organizations keep making them? It often comes down to choices like word-for-word, amateur, or machine translation. But there’s another factor that can make an ad campaign veer i
Marketing is all about communication -- brands’ messages have to be cleverly conveyed to clients. But believe it or not, behind the scenes, marketing is a field plagued by jargon. Most industries have their specific vocabulary, of course. It’s only logical that precise terms would arise to help professionals quickly explain or describe a particular issue or process in their field. But marketing jargon is particularly tricky, and the problems it causes can have a far reach. Wh
Language is always changing. In recent years, that’s included wider use and acceptance of inclusive terms for patients. The idea behind this is admirable: Words allow us to acknowledge our differences and show all patients that they’re accepted and safe. But in some ways, this inclusiveness may be harmful. Recently, Dr Christian Pettker of Yale School of Medicine and Dr. Sarah J. Kilpatrick, who works with the obstetrics and gynecology departments of Helping Hand of Los Ange
Does the word “Comirnaty” mean anything to you? How about the words “Pfizer vaccine”? If that last phrase rings a bell, then it turns out you know what “Comirnaty” is, too. Now approved by the FDA for people aged 16 and above, the Pfizer vaccine will be marketed under this…rather odd name. Why is the Pfizer vaccine’s name changing? This isn’t an unusual case, it turns out. Many vaccines take on a new name once they’ve gotten official approval. In fact, journalist Claire Wolte
Since the start of the pandemic, telemedicine has been on the rise, with a 33% increase in use among US patients. With its many advantages, including access for those who live far from healthcare providers, specialized care, eliminating patient wait and travel times, and allowing patients to see their healthcare providers without the risk of catching or transmitting COVID-19 or other diseases, it’s pretty certain that telemedicine is here to stay. Still, many telehealth platf
Recently, Australia’s ABC News profiled Erin Zhao, who did a good linguistic deed for Australia’s Chinese community. But criticism reveals troubling underlying truths about the nature of census and survey translation.
Despite being home to a number of groups with limited English proficiency, Australia’s census is only available in English. While family members often help translate questions, the pandemic has complicated things, with lockdown measures in place in many areas
AI has infiltrated many aspects of our lives, including healthcare and wellness. While there are many benefits, AI can put patients in danger. If you’re thinking about some sort of I, Robot-like scenario, it’s not quite as overtly dramatic as that! Still, the consequences could lead to tragedy. How is AI being used in healthcare? Artificial Intelligence is being used in a wide range of ways - from wearables like smartwatches, to complex medical devices. Some of the latter are
A few days ago, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles made headlines around the world. Not for her performance at the Games, but for the opposite: a favorite to win the gold in several events, Biles bowed out of a majority of them, citing mental health concerns. The result has been overwhelming support from the general public and public figures alike. While this may seem like a (happy) surprise, for those who have been watching social and marketing trends, it’s only natural. In the pa
Recently, when hosting Saturday Night Live, Elon Musk described himself as having Asperger’s, causing a shock wave of controversy in the mental health community. Why has “Asperger’s” become a controversial term, and if it’s so controversial, why do people still claim to have it? Asperger syndrome, or Asperger's, was first formally identified and given its name in 1981, in honor of Dr. Hans Asperger, an Austrian pediatrician who had first diagnosed the condition in the 1940’s.
These days, the term “representation” can often seem like a buzzword. But it goes much deeper than that. A profile on the website Healthline shows just how important representation can be for patients - in this case, patients with breast cancer. The article asks us to imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer. You’d feel afraid and also want to know what to expect. But what if you did an online search for “bilateral mastectomy” and only found photos of people with skin diffe