Translated by people for people – Physiopedia and Plus in different languages

Physiopedia Plus (Plus) courses are translated into five different languages by rehabilitation professionals with linguistic expertise. Using artificial intelligence as a starting point, it’s the human expertise that ensures the highest quality results, let us explain how!

Have you ever stood in an underground station in a foreign country and wondered how you were supposed to find your way around all the unfamiliar characters and names? Many professionals in rehabilitation services feel the same way every day when they try to educate themselves online about their field. After all, the number one language of science these days is English, but most people do not master it. Apart from the 600 million people who speak English as their mother tongue, an estimated only 1013% of the rest of the world’s population have the ability to understand a basic level of English. Even with slightly higher figures among healthcare professionals, this is far too few to ensure that important and up-to-date medical information reaches service providers around the world.”

Not that science was ever a very widespread affair: in the early times, you would have to know Greek, Arabic, Latin, German, French or even all of them to keep up with the latest topics! English only became the scientific and medical language par excellence after World War I. With a uniform language in professional journals, congresses, courses and educational programmes, a great need for translation exists. Not everyone is able to overcome language barriers or even invest resources in understanding another language. In the 21st century, therefore, the solution seems obvious: artificial intelligence is fast, efficient and just about ideal for textual tasks. And indeed, automated translation services are already performing fabulously and amazingly on target for publications on health topics.

Problem solved! Right? Unfortunately, however, even the best AI tools are not yet capable of relaying content error-free and reliably. Even if the results are inspiring, general health texts generated with automatic translation read bumpily and are often riddled with errors. With technical texts, it becomes considerably more serious, because small distinctions are overlooked and can thus falsify entire findings and steer the reader in a completely different direction. Human translation, on the other hand, can recognise subjectivity, distinguish ambiguity, emphasise priorities, choose the right one among many meanings, and take cultural backgrounds into account. These nuances, which no automated tool can yet achieve, ultimately make the difference between a machine translation and a text that is immediately usable and effective.

That’s why at Plus we’ve been working with real, human collaborators since the beginning to translate course content into five different languages so far: Ukrainian, French, German, Italian and Spanish. At Plus, while the translators already have the best artificial intelligence at their disposal, the resources for Plus courses and Physiopedia pages are still manually revised and improved, corrected, adapted and tailored to the courses, at a rapid pace. This way our participants and readers get the highest quality results for the best understanding of our expert instructor team!

With care, quality and professional accuracy, our team of translators, made up of 100% rehabilitation professionals with linguistic expertise, guarantees that you can rely on the international content of Plus. You get to hear what professional experts around the world are talking about in a timely manner, and can absorb it comfortably in your native language.

Thanks to the generous support of USAID through ReLAB-HS, and Physioswiss, Plus thus manages to break down an important barrier for millions of professionals. “Improving global health through universal access to rehabilitation knowledge” – this is the motto we want to drive forward with quality and trust.

This work is supported by the USAID funded Learning Acting Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems (ReLAB-HS) project and is not possible without the generous and committed contribution of the Leahy War Victims fund.

ReLAB-HS is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented under cooperative agreement number 7200AA20CA00033. The consortium is managed by prime recipient, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.