Tag Archive for cultural adaptation

Culture is Key to Effective Healthcare Translation

Communication gaffes can have a real impact on your organization’s reputation. In the healthcare industry, they can also be potentially dangerous. So you must be exacting when producing translated materials for your multilingual audiences. Anything less can be costly.

The first question to ask is whether you need to simply translate the materials, or if transcreation is more appropriate. While everyone is surely familiar with how translation works, transcreation might be a new term for some. Here’s a quick primer:

Transcreation combines the creative writing and marketing translation processes to adapt translated content to be more culturally relevant to your audience, making the communication both more meaningful and more effective. In order to reach your audience at an emotional and intellectual level, you must really understand the specific culture to which you are communicating, such as their country of origin and maybe even their region as well. Transcreation might be the preferred strategy when dealing with creative pieces that need to connect with your audience on a cultural level, such as health promotion materials or community programs.

In general, translation is the recommended strategy when the materials to be addressed must adhere to specific product or service requirements, such as with forms, guides, or other documents with little creative content. It is also typically the most cost-effective solution as it allows you to maximize your translation memory savings.

While both translation and transcreation play an important role in your multilingual communications, the right translation partner can help you understand the protocols and taboos for effectively communicating with all your healthcare communities. Click here to learn more about Transcreation.


Flu Vaccinations and Ethnic Disparities

There has been a lot of media attention about the flu this month – with good reason – by all reports this year’s flu outbreak has been particularly severe. As of last week, forty-eight states reported widespread geographic influenza activity. Looking at the CDC’s published statistics on flu cases requiring medical care – including hospitalizations and adult and pediatric deaths – it’s clearly important to communicate the need for seeking appropriate care as well as relaying the message that it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

It’s especially important to communicate this message across all cultures and communities, and to do so at the appropriate health literacy level. Racial and ethnic disparities in immunization rates continue to persist even as health plans and Medicare cover the cost.

Research has shown several factors are associated with low flu immunization rates including cultural and linguistic barriers that limit access to care, living in linguistically isolated areas and newer immigrant destinations, consumer lack of awareness about the need for the vaccinations, and consumer fear that the vaccines will cause severe illness.

Keep in mind that cultural adaptation as well as localization plays a role in consumer/patient education. Partnering with a professional language service provider that specializes in the U.S. healthcare market is a good way to ensure vital health information resonates with culturally diverse communities. Regardless of a populations’ language, location or culture, prevention of the annual flu is one of the many areas where effective communication can have a significant impact on public health.