Jump to content

Submissions/The medical translation project as seen from the translators side

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Wiki medical information for Humanity: The medical translation project as seen from the translators side

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

Enrique Cavalitto

E-mail address



Enrique Cavalitto

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Translators without Borders

Personal homepage or blog

Medical Translation Project Home

Medical Translation Project Control Panel

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Knowledge is power. It saves lives, lifts people out of poverty, ensures better health and nutrition, creates and maintains economies. Access to information is critical, but the information is useful only if available in a language that those who need it can read and understand.

Doctors without Borders and other humanitarian organizations report horror stories of people dying in villages of Africa and India while the medicine and preventive tools provided to them were not used simply because nobody in the village could understand the English-language documentation. English will be understood in Nairobi, but it will probably be useless in most Kenyan villages.

Translators without Borders facilitates the transfer of knowledge from one language to another by creating and managing a community of humanitarian organizations who need translations and professional, screened translators who volunteer their time to help. Through the sophisticated Translators without Borders platform, important aid groups easily connect directly with professional translators, breaking down the barriers of language and building up the transfer of information to those who need it, one brick at a time. Since 2011 we have delivered over 23 million translated words.

In the Medical Translation Project, Translators Without Borders joined forces with WikiProject Medicine and the Wiki Project Med Foundation to provide high quality, easy to understand medical and health information in as many languages as we can. Wiki Project Med Foundation and Translators Without Borders are both parts of the global initiative: Healthcare Information For All by 2015!

Working together since early 2012, we have delivered almost 4 million words translated into 72 languages for deployment into the local versions of Wikipedia. The is equivalent to about 5 times the number of words in the King James Bible. A total of 18 of our translations have been selected by the community as features articles. We are currently targeting 117 languages, some of them really hard to get. You can follow the status of the project in our on-line control panel and adopt a language!

We have achieved much, but at the same time we are sailing in uncharted waters. Even within the limited scope of working on 117 languages we have been unable to get translations done in 45 of them, and there are thousands of languages in the world!

This represents challenges that should be faced with an open mind and a lot of creativity, so I plan not only tell you what was done, but also share with you what has not worked yet. Hopefully this will plant seeds that will help bring down further language barriers, saving lives in the process.

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

This session should be ideally tied to Carl Fredrik Sjöland's presentation on "Medical Translation: Ebola & more..." as he will present a complementary view, as seen from the Wikipedia point of view.

Special requests

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 23:27, 18 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:12, 19 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Slowking4 (talk) 01:42, 21 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. It would be a really honor to meet my collaborator of 3 years for the first time. Hope this is chosen :-) Doc James (talk) 05:20, 24 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. CFCF (talk) 17:57, 8 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 04:43, 26 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. --Adert (talk) 14:41, 19 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Add your username here.