27 Jul 2020

Translation in a Pandemic: а language that saves lives

What is the role of translation in a pandemic? Shared knowledge and information are essential to scientific advancement. That is especially true today, as the world looks for answers in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Nowadays, translators and interpreters are in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic. They are taking important initiatives, such as assistance to health workers. Medical, life sciences and pharmaceutical translators are skilled specialists, capable of understanding the nuances of special information and accurately translating them into different languages. Thereby many doctors have gained access to the current foreign treatment protocols, recommendations for the treatment of patients with coronavirus from the leading world experts and many other documents.

Providing reliable coronavirus information to the public. Combatting misinformation.

There were a number of viral content on the World Wide Web in the early days of the pandemic. People shared the methods of treating an infectious disease. A wide variety of medicines (from vitamin C to garlic and seawater) were voiced to help a person to restore the health. Translators help to track and combat misinformation as it travels across social media, as Translators without borders and the BBC are doing it. For example, the BBC Media Action team has created an animated video in various languages urging people to fact-check before they share information online. Translators are also helping to provide reliable information to the public, translating tricky concepts like “social distancing”, “index patient” and so on into a variety of different languages. 

Remote interpretation. Lockdown has put the working process of thousands of businesses on hold. Many executives had to take urgent steps to ensure the stability of their companies. However, there are business processes that cannot “go on vacation”. International meetings, negotiations, searching for the foreign specialists – all this became possible thanks to remote interpretation.