How UK Translation Companies Helped Fight COVID-19
Many industries have rapidly changed since COVID-19, and UK translation companies are one of them. The global COVID-19 pandemic required a concerted global response, requiring efficient, fast, and most importantly, accurate communication. UK translation companies played a huge part in helping this happen, providing billions with access to public health information in a language they understand.
This article uncovers how healthcare translation services by UK translation companies helped in the fight against COVID-19. We’ll also discuss how they continue to bring benefits to today’s multicultural world.
How Translation Services have Helped in the Past
The Spanish Flu pandemic hit the world in 1918 and infected around 500 million people, accounting for a third of the world’s population at the time. Of these 500 million, approximately 50 million perished. This public health catastrophe made it clear that the rapid distribution of information between relevant parties was pivotal to fighting disease. It taught us hard lessons and caused the world to collaborate.
Following the outbreak, information and data sharing were seen as essential tools in the worldwide efforts against illnesses in the future. UK translation companies thus created unprecedented scientific translation techniques to deal with future pandemics. Research units, hospitals, universities, and medical institutions could benefit from this rapid communication and save lives.
UK Translation Companies & the Emergence of COVID-19
A century later, a new global pandemic emerged: COVID-19. The first cases of COVID-19 began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on the 20th of January 2020.
From that moment, both WHO and China started sharing information concerning the virus with the world. Researchers needed to communicate their findings, governments needed to communicate their restrictions, and COVID-19 patients needed to communicate their symptoms to doctors.
As the virus spread to other nations, these countries also began sharing information and advice. Indeed, the first tool against the virus was data and information sharing, meaning UK translation companies were placed on the frontline. People from different nations needed to understand safety protocols, lockdown measures, furlough schemes, unemployment benefits, and housing rights.
Passing on all this information was by no means an easy feat for UK translation companies, especially true when you consider that over 700,000 people in the United Kingdom don’t speak English fluently. There are over 300 languages spoken in London alone! All these UK citizens need to be informed of government changes, highlighting the importance of the language services sector.
Why not Use Machine Translations in COVID?
With a sudden surge in demand for medical translations, you might wonder why machines cannot be utilised instead of relying on UK translation companies. Some proponents of machine translation would claim that it has made leaps and bounds. However, accuracy and context are paramount when it comes to COVID-19 and medical translation.
While it might be easy to translate simple text using Google Translate, machine translation lacks the nuance of human language services. An example is a Japanese translation of “wash your hands” using Google Translate. While technically grammatically correct, the text was presented in a way in which a parent might talk to a child. When used on a poster, this comes across as condescending or patronising, reducing compliance.
Another issue with machine translation is that it is unavailable for certain language translations. The most popular translator Google Translate supports just over 100 languages out of over 7000 languages worldwide. And while less than 2000 people speak 40% of the languages, machine translation cannot reach everyone, UK translation companies can!
For this reason, professional translation service providers are much better equipped for widespread language translation under high-pressure situations. COVID-19 information was vital and needed to get to everyone to help reduce the pandemic risk. To this end, the translation industry had to make the information available in various languages.
What more can UK Translation Companies Do beyond COVID-19?
The changes COVID-19 brought to the world didn’t stop at just health and medicine. As a result of lockdowns, more people are spending time working from home. The way we work has changed seemingly forever! We have had to switch from casual meetings and face-to-face events to online video calls and Slack messaging.
Video is now the most crucial content form on the internet and has become a communication tool for organisations and businesses. Therefore, providing video-based language services to companies—such as transcription and voiceover—is crucial for business communications. UK translation companies are the primary facilitators of this change, helping to shape our new online future.
Let Renaissance be Your Trusted UK Translation Company
Renaissance Translations were one of the UK translation companies helping the world fight through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our network has expanded considerably since the global crisis, and we have a large network of linguists specialising in multiple subjects. This includes medical and healthcare translations alongside engineering, legal, financial, and other sectors.
Our expert linguists and project managers are ready to help with all your language translation projects. We are members of the Association of Translation Companies in England as well as SDL LSP Partner Programme. Contact our UK translation company today!