BlogBosses BlogTranslation costs in the NHS – value for money or an outrage?

Translation costs in the NHS – value for money or an outrage?

Translation costs in the NHS – value for money or an outrage?

The health think tank looking into the costs made no mention of the volume of work carried out for this price, or indeed the quality of the work produced.

They did however make a suggestion that free internet software (we assume Google Translate for example) should be used to cut costs. Can you imagine the likely outcome of that suggestion? The chances of an incorrect translation are minimal when a translator with the relevant experience and qualifications has been involved, but the often farcical efforts of the internet don’t bear thinking about.
 
One good suggestion was the use of centralised materials, instead of each trust having to translate their own information which duplicates the work involved. This surely must be the way to go, with at least the main body of common information provided centrally, and the option to personalise it to region or hospital.
 
They also mentioned it would be better to use simpler English which may be more easily understood by speakers of other languages. This applies to many translation situations, where clarity of the original is often key to getting a good translation.
 
So was it good value for money? There’s no real way of knowing unless we know more about what was actually done. There’s certainly a few ways to improve the situation and strategies which could help. I doubt however whether using Google Translate would be amongst my favourites if I were unlucky enough to end up in that hospital bed.
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