Sixth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations:

B-6 Developing written materials in other languages: Translation practice, evaluation, and beyond

Many providers of health care services are now providing linguistically appropriate care where spoken language is concerned by using bilingual care providers and qualified in-person interpreters, as well as telephone- and video-based interpreting assistance. However, the development of culturally and linguistically appropriate materials to communicate written information is a growing and important challenge faced by many who serve culturally diverse communities.


A wealth of information is available regarding translation – the act of conveying written words from one language to another. Extensive research has also been carried out in the field of localization – the process of adapting text, images and other information for use by individuals belonging to another, locale, language community, cultural group or target audience. Unlike translation, localization usually entails more than words on paper – it may involve web sites, spoken language recordings, video and other multimedia formats.


Manufacturers of medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies have carried out translation and localization processes for decades – they have frequently shared their experiences through publications and presentations in the translation and localization industry.  However, on the side of direct patient care, minimal information has traditionally been available regarding the role of translated and localized written materials for linguistically diverse patient populations.


The information to be provided in this session takes a step toward filling that gap. The experts in this session have a diverse array of knowledge in developing materials in other languages. Particularly, they have important information to share in the areas of procuring, researching, organizing, and providing translation services. Collectively, they have hands-on experience in managing large-scale language services budgets across multiple business units, developing culturally and linguistically appropriate materials, both in writing and in other media formats, assessing quality of translation, as well as taking into account issues of literacy and health literacy.


In this session, panelists will share their views in response to questions relating to the best practices and lessons learned related to cultural relevance, industry standards, technology and views of quality, in the context of developing materials for multilingual patient communities, so that other organizations serving culturally diverse communities may benefit.

Monday, September 22, 2008: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
8th Floor - Excelsior/Lafayette (Minneapolis Marriott City Center)
HERS (Health Educate Respect and Survival), Passport Health Plan
Loretta Estes, CCDP, Passport Health Plan
More Than Words: Assuring Translation Quality
Yolanda Partida, MSW, DPA, Hablamos Juntos
Getting to Translation Quality & Efficiency: A California Health Plan's Experience
Carolyn Wang Kong, MPP, MPH, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
Going Multilingual: A Roadmap to Excellence in Translations
Diana Carr, MA, 'Health Net of California