Need: Since 2000, the segment of the U.S. population that speaks a language other than English increased by more than 8 million, bringing the total to nearly 55 million. Forty-four percent of this group, or 24 million, has a limited understanding of English (United States Census Bureau, 2006). Nationally, one in five (19.7 percent) say they speak a language other than English at home, compared to 17.9 percent in 2000. These numbers are important because clear communication is a cornerstone of patient safety and quality health care. Unfortunately, many health care organizations lack the training and resources needed to overcome the increasing language barriers. As a result, many patients are at greater risk of adverse events (Cohen, Rivara, Marcuse, Mchillips, & Davis, 2005).
Who Should Use These Tools: The Toolkit is meant for translation requestors – individuals (or departments or organizations) responsible for initiating translations of health care text of all types whether they work directly with translators or through translation vendors.
How to Use This Tool:
Section 1: Translation Involves More Than Words
Section 2: The Translation Process
Section 3: Tools for Driving and Defining Quality
“Bilinguals speak two languages fluently, but are not necessarily good at moving information between the two, especially in writing. And experience shows that many people described as bilingual overestimate their communication skills altogether.” – Translation: Getting it Right, ATA 2003