During a period in which there is an urgent need to distribute information about coronavirus (COVID-19), it is vital to remember that 20 percent of U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home. This means that one in five patients or citizens seeking testing or other information may require that content translated in a foreign language.
A natural question for healthcare providers, government agencies, and businesses would be, “What content should I prioritize having translated?”
Content that is currently available
Translations are already available in multiple languages from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and State Departments of Health.
Are these materials a good fit for your patients, citizens, and customers? It depends.
These materials are often written at a very high – almost academic – level. Publicly disseminated content should generally be written at a fourth-to-sixth grade literacy level. These materials also may not include information that your specific hospital or government agency needs to distribute.
In other words, there is a chance that information from the CDC, WHO, or Departments of Health is not adequate for your audience.
What content should I prioritize?
As you might imagine, we have seen a big surge in the need for translated materials over the past several weeks. These are the most frequently requested documents:
- Coronavirus symptoms posters
- COVID-19 patient letters
- Coronavirus screening forms
- COVID-19 coverage updates
- Fact sheets
- General patient notices
- Public health notices
- Risk-assessment forms for providers
LanguageLine can help
LanguageLine is here to assist with any of your translation needs, including posters, fliers, notices, web pages, patient-education materials, and FAQs. Need assistance? Please contact us via our website or call (800) 752-6096.