Lancet Global Health: A francophone call for more inclusive global health research (4)

16 April, 2019

Hear, hear!

High quality research and evidence based conclusions/recommendations are indeed an absolute must to advance the HIFA mantra and SDGs, but it addresses itself mostly to academics and medical professionals who, for the most part, understand English (more or less).

On the other side, there are those in the field who are called upon to apply the new knowledge. They need two types of translations:

- into practical knowledge (e.g. textbooks and tutorial videos)

- into their own language

The problem with machine translation is that it can also yield confusing or misleading results, i.e. be counter productive or even dangerous* and must ALWAYS be verified by someone who SPEAKS the language and is familiar with the cultural context. This someone does not necessarily have to be a highly paid professional translator, many a local volunteer could do this as well.

* Translating recently a tutorial about breastfeeding, Google Translate promptly returned the name of a bird rather than drink or gulp for the word swallow.

Best regards,

john m.

HIFA profile: John Miescher is a veteran communication specialist and consultant. miescher AT