MATCHeN, a collaboration project by Ghent University, VUB and HOGENT, supports social workers in their communication with newcomers who speak other languages. Untranslate took care of the translations from Dutch into no fewer than five different languages for this project. Thanks to their critical insight and accurate working methods, the team produced high-quality translations of essential medical information, such as COVID-19 guidelines and medication regimes. Because sometimes ensuring translations are correct can literally be the difference between life and death.
Non-native speakers often have lower health literacy and lack the language, knowledge and self-reliance to make active use of the health system. With the aim of supporting them, researchers from Ghent University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and HOGENT joined forces. They jointly developed MATCHeN, a project with which they try to close the language gap between social workers and newcomers. MATCHeN guarantees useful and up-to-date material for professionals by maintaining close contacts with the specialist areas.
MULTILINGUAL DIGITAL KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM
In addition to the educational establishments involved, other regular partners participated in making this project a success. Untranslate, which has many years of experience and expertise in this field, was one of these partners and it took responsibility for several languages. As part of the MATCHeN project, their translators provided streamlined multilingual communication in no fewer than five languages: Arabic, English, French, Farsi and Turkish. One of the tools provided by MATCHeN is a knowledge platform and Untranslate took care of the translations for it. This platform can be freely accessed and it offers multilingual information on a wide range of health topics, from preventive measures for countering the spread of COVID-19 to information brochures from Kom Op Tegen Kanker [Stand Up to Cancer] on the impact of a COVID-19 infection on cancer patients.
VISUAL AND AURAL MATERIALS
In addition, MATCHeN also offers a multilingual app that helps to communicate with non-native parents on such matters as toilet training and medication management. The app combines text with audio and video clips, making the information available both visually and aurally. Finally, MATCHeN also has an e-learning module for communicating on sexual health matters with non-native speakers in a manner that recognises cultural sensitivities. This module provides interactive training exercises with adapted animations about contraception, HIV, inappropriate behaviour and family planning.
CULTURALLY SENSITIVE TRANSLATIONS
Translating the information correctly and getting the message across clearly to the target group, demanded a lot more than merely outstanding language skills. Untranslate paid due consideration to cultural and religious sensitivities and possible prejudices. The translators made the information accessible to the broadest possible target group through the use of supporting audio and visual material and by avoiding technical jargon.
ONLINE TRANSLATION PLATFORM
Untranslate used an online translation platform to optimise the translation process. The platform stores approved translations in a translation memory, thus guaranteeing consistency in choice of vocabulary and terminology. This innovative translation platform even takes in its stride documents with a specific layout, as was the case with the posters and information brochures, for example.
COMPREHENSIVE QUALITY CONTROL
For the translation of the video material, Untranslate worked with a voice-over. By way of guaranteeing quality, voice-over artists related the translations in their native language. The translators also performed an additional quality check when the brochures in Farsi and Arabic were published. These brochures were published in reverse order because these particular languages are written from right to left. To eliminate any inconsistencies, native speakers checked all the pages in minute detail. In this way, Untranslate was able to guarantee the quality of each translation.
CONCLUDING STUDY DAY
On 25 November 2021, the partners involved held a concluding study day during which they reviewed the MATCHeN project together. With transparency, diversity and cultural sensitivity holding centre stage, the day was a successful and instructive experience for all concerned.