Meddling with Medical Machine Translation
by Nataly Kelly
July 09, 2009
July 09, 2009

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As international migration continues and language policy bolsters the rights of linguistic minorities, the demand for language services in health care has grown more acute than ever before. Machine translation (MT), also called automatic translation, continues to attract attention, especially the free online variety. But what happens when doctors and nurses turn to automatic translation on the web in order to communicate with patients? In this Quick Take, we review what happened when we used one of the most popular machine translation tools to convert 30 common clinical phrases from English into Spanish. Then, we translated the Spanish output back to English.

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