The world is growing more connected than ever through the internet; this interconnectivity provides interesting opportunities for global translation efforts. Around the world, various endeavors are being undertaken that utilize global translation services. Ranging from revealing propaganda in China to the halls of the New Brunswick legislative assembly, the following examples reveal the importance of global translation.
Unearthing Pro-Russian Propaganda In Chinese Media
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China has been put in a difficult diplomatic position. While Russia and China are erstwhile allies, China has not condemned nor condoned Russia’s invasion. To the outside world, China has managed to maintain a facade of neutrality; however, heavily regulated Chinese social media tells a different story. The Twitter account, “The Great Translation Movement”, is dedicated to the cause of translating and revealing the posts of influential and other state-sponsored actors on various Chinese social media platforms.
The account acts as a crowdsourced translation service. Anonymous individuals submit translations of posts in Chinese that are clearly pro-Russian or amplify pro-Russian conspiracy theories. Even though these individuals are at great risk, they continue to submit translations in an effort to increase the transparency of Chinese social media.
Google Translate Struggles With Translation For Medicine
A new study in the Journal for General Internal Medicine shows that, while GoogleTranslate’s medical translations have improved, they are still insufficient for providing healthcare translation services to patients who don’t speak English. Unfortunately, many doctors must resort to using Google Translate due to a lack of access to professional medical interpreting. The study found that for some languages, Google Translate was 80% effective. For others, the efficacy was closer to 50-60%. This level of accuracy is insufficient for the medical field. Mistakes in medical translations can lead to serious complications for patients. Hospitals are better off relying on the professional interpreting services of a translation service company for their medical interpreting needs.
A Global Translation, 15 Years Overdue
The legislative assembly of the Canadian province of New Brunswick has fallen quite behind on one of its constitutional requirements. According to the Canadian Constitution, all of the “statutes, records, and journals” of the New Brunswick legislative assembly must be published and printed in English and French. While the transcription of legislative proceedings has been kept, no translation exists for the years 2005-2020. Professional government translation services are in high demand, and provincial underfunding for this translation effort has led to a serious backlog. The 2022-23 New Brunswick budget has allocated $220,000 dollars specifically to fund translations. However, fully translating 15 years’ worth of legislative proceedings could cost up to $4.5 million.
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