Translation Toolkit for Health Professionals
This toolkit is intended to help those who work with the estimated 55 million individuals in the United States who speak a language other than English in their own home (U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Reports, Language Use in the United States, April 2010).
Use the following icons to access resources related to addressing language barriers. Instructions for using this website's built-in Google Translate button are also included.
This website contains a built-in button for Google Translate, a free translation service that provides instant translations between 64 different languages. It can translate words, sentences, and web pages between any of these supported languages.
To use Google Translate click the icon that appears at the bottom of each website page or use the translation box below. Choose the language that you would like the page to be translated into. Be an educated reader:
TRANSLATION DISCLAIMER: Automatic translations provide the sense of a translated document, but they are not as reliable as translations by a trained professional. Therefore, any automatic translations should be used with caution.
Caution needs to be exercised when using any machine-generated health information; however, recent studies indicate that translation services can be useful when professional translation is not feasible. For example, research conducted by the Tufts Evidence-Based Practice Center and published in April 2012 by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (see Accuracy of Data Extraction of Non-English Language Trials with Google Translate under Translation Services and Resources) indicates that Google Translate has potential as an approach to help reduce language bias (omitting non-English sources from research). The authors note, however, that ‚Äúreviewers may need to be more cautious about using data from these translated articles.‚ÄĚ
If you are using Google Translate to assist you in translating materials for targeted audiences (which is very different that using this service to help you understand materials written in a language other than English), please remember to use good materials development processes and work with your intended audiences to ensure that the correct meaning of your document is expressed. Remember, dialects can change word meaning dramatically.
Best Practices and Standards
Beyond Translation: Best Practices for Healthcare (2012)
CDC Clear Communication Index
Effective Communication Tools for Healthcare Professionals
National Standards for Interpreters (2004 and 2005)
Health Care Languages Services Implementation Guide
Improving Access to Language Services in Healthcare: A Look at National and State Efforts ¬†(2009)
Language Access Portal
National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) (2001)
Patient Centered Guide to Implementing Language Access Services in Healthcare Organizations (2005)
Plain Language and Health Literacy
Clear Communication: An NIH Health Literacy Initiative
Health Literacy Resource Brief
Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit (2010)
Glossaries And Medical Dictionaries
Conozca las Preguntas (Know the Questions)
Cross Cultural Health Care Program
Ethnologue: Languages of the World
Materials in Other Languages
Consumer Health Information in Many Languages
Healthy Roads Media
Multicultural Resources for Health Information
Multilingual, Multicultural Health Information
NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service
Refugee Health Resources
Spanish-Language Health Resources Knowledge Path
Translation Services and Resources
Read our disclaimer about automated translations.
Apps for Mobile Devices
Google Translate (Mobile Version)
Language Services Resource Guide for Health Care Providers (2006)
Limited English Proficiency (LEP): Interpretation and Translation
More Than Words Toolkit
You Have the Right to an Interpreter Campaign
Disclaimers. This website strives to ensure the accuracy of content included on this site; however, this information is not intended to replace guidance from a health professional. As a convenience to our non-English speaking readers, the site can be translated from English using Google Translate. However, neither the authors of this website nor Georgetown University guarantee the accuracy of any information translated by this system and shall not be liable for any losses caused by such reliance.
Translation Toolkit for Health Professionals. (September 2012).