How Translators Are Helping in the Fight with COVID-19

Last Updated On: May 27, 2020

inGeneral, Translation Skills, Translation Trends

Fight with COVID-19

Many translators work from home taking on translation work from individuals and organizations when required. COVID-19 hasn’t changed the way translators work but they aren’t confronted with quite the same situations as workers who have never worked from home but have now been asked by their employers to do so. Meanwhile, the translation industry is in the forefront since the COVID-19 outbreak has had an effect globally as countries seek out as much information as they can about COVID-19.

Experienced translators of scientific documents have been taking up the frontline translating scientific research, vaccine information and successful treatments for COVID-19. This information is coming from all areas of the world with its origins in many different languages. It is the job of translators to translate key information so it can be shared globally with as many people as possible. Scientists studying COVID-19 in Australia need to know the outcome of other research in other countries around the world. For example, a scientific breakthrough discovered by French scientists will need to be translated into English, so English speaking scientists can clearly understand what the research has discovered and use it to help with their own research.

COVID-19 information that has been translated into the languages of those who are studying the disease helps the scientists quickly read and then assess the information, rather than just guessing the meaning if they don’t feel comfortable with the language the information was originally written in. Translators can assist researchers to quickly communicate the results of their studies and receive feedback so no time is lost.


    I agree to the Privacy Policy and the Collection Notice under the Australian Privacy Act.

    Medical Translations must be Accurate

    All medical document translations require 100 percent accuracy. This means translators must have in-depth knowledge of scientific concepts and terminology so that they can produce an accurate translation.

    Translators in the National Context

    As well as handling translations from overseas scientists, translators are also busy working hard in their own countries translating key information about COVID-19 to people who are not fluent in the country’s native language. For example, in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health provides key information about COVID-19 in many languages, so that all who live in the country know what COVID-19 is and what they should do if they believe they have the disease.

    The advice in relation to COVID-19 on the official Ministry of Health website can be found translated into the following languages:

    • Arabic
    • Farsi
    • French
    • German
    • Indonesian
    • Italian
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Simplified Chinese
    • Te Reo Māori
    • Thai

    In the United States, the second most spoken language is Spanish so most states should have COVID-19 information and advice at least translated into that language.

    How Chinese Doctors Shared COVID-19 Information

    Most people probably know that COVID-19 originated in China. As facts about it became known a handbook describing lessons drawn from the China experience and the best ways to handle it. Through collaborating with the Centre for Medical Language Service of Guangdong University of Foreign Languages all the necessary information in the handbook was translated into key global languages so that the information about the virus could be freely shared.

    Since the publication of the handbook many organizations and language service providers have collaborated to ensure that consistent information flows between all of the countries who have been affected by the virus. By doing this, clinicians, researchers and patients have the access they need to the latest research, articles and treatment plans so that no time is wasted in advising governments in their countries what the latest information is on the virus.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *