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Season's greetings (5)

29 December, 2022

Dear Nicodemus Soko,

Thank you for your season's greetings from Tanzania...

You said: "we would kindly seek to put this work in to Swahili language which is read by more than 30m people of the world and is national language to TANZANIA... However we may help to translate; but I don't have resources... what's Dr thoughts..."

When you say "this work" I think you are referring to our HIFA discussions? HIFA messages on HIFA-English (this forum) are occasionally translated manually for distribution on HIFA-French, HIFA-Portuguese and HIFA-Spanish, but are not routinely translated. I am confident that HIFA discussions (and other global online health communities) will be available in any language within a few years, thanks to machine translation. That said, everyone needs to be aware of the potential for errors.

Machine translation also has a role in meeting the healthcare information needs of people who speak a language other than English, including Swahili speakers. Professional manual translation remains preferable in most cases, especially for clinical healthcare information where, to paraphrase Mark Twain, someone might die because of a mistranslation.

HIFA is also keen to hear the voices of health workers and others who speak Sahili but not English. This is more challenging, but it can be done by HIFA members who are bilingual in both languages. They can act as a bridge. We did this quite successfully with community health workers in Uganda a few years ago and we would welcome more inputs.

Best wishes, Neil

Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator

Healthcare Information For All

Global Healthcare Information Network

Working in Official Relations with the World Health Organization

20,000 members, 400 supporting organisations, 180 countries, 6 forums, 4 languages

www.hifa.org neil@hifa.org