Is the reliability of Google Translate now adequate for the translation of medical journals?

1 November, 2022

Dear HIFA colleagues,

The October edition of Global Health: Science and Practice (GHSP) is now available here:

I was interested to read the text at the top of their email announcement:

"The GHSP website is now fully available in more than 100 languages! Click on the language of your choice in the menu to read all of our content in any language you choose."

The facility is provided by Google Translate.

Movement in this direction over the past decade has been understandable cautious. Many have pointed to the inevitable errors produced by machine translation (although these are less over time as Google Translate improves). As Mark Twain said over a hundred years ago: "Be careful of reading medical books, you may die of a misprint".

Conversely, machine translation might be the only pragmatic answer to enable access to full text where the costs of professionalo translation are prohibitive.

HIFA has a long and ongoing commitment to meeting healthcare information needs in languages other than English:

The innovation by GHSP raises a question for us to explore on HIFA: Is the reliability of Google Translate now adequate for the translation of medical journals such as Global Health: Science and Practice?

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where every person has access to reliable healthcare information and is protected from misinformation - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health movement (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. HIFA brings stakeholders together to accelerate progress towards universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK based non-profit in official relations with the World Health Organization.

Twitter: @hifa_org