Poor comprehensibility presents an obstacle not only for laypeople, but also for professionals. In my career I have come across many texts which I would find difficult to read as a patient or clinician. The information being presented is complex, but there are many ways to improve comprehensibility, and they typically are not fully utilized.
A particular challenge for study administrators is the recruitment of participating patients. There is clear evidence that concise, understandable patient education materials are likely to lead to improved enrollment into studies.
In addition to delivering an accurate and complete technical translation, I have made it my goal to maximize the comprehensibility of texts as a principal focus of my work. As a translator, I use established translation techniques to simplify and structure the text, without compromising on content. As a medical writer, I use linguistic, structural, and graphic techniques to provide content that is not only accurate but understandable to a clinical or lay audience.
They Are Deaf and Blind, and Social Distancing Has Now Taken Their Ability to Touch
The need for social distancing has disrupted everyday life in significant ways. For many in the DeafBlind community, however, social distancing has created unique worries and exceptional challenges. Many say it's forcing them to grow increasingly disconnected at a time when they need more than ever to be aware of what's happening around them. How is a population that relies so heavily on touch coping now that grabbing a doorknob or standing closer than six feet from a stranger carries risks?
The Washington Post (DC) (04/08/20) Vargas, Theresa
The Shallowness of Google Translate
The program uses state-of-the-art AI techniques, but simple tests show that it's a long way from real understanding.
The Atlantic (01/30/18) Hofstadter, Douglas
The practical utility of Google Translate and similar technologies is undeniable, and probably it’s a good thing overall, but there is still something deeply lacking in the approach, which is conveyed by a single word: understanding. Machine translation has never focused on understanding language. Instead, the field has always tried to “decode”—to get away without worrying about what understanding and meaning are. Could it in fact be that understanding isn’t needed in order to translate well? Could an entity, human or machine, do high-quality translation without paying attention to what language is all about?
Katharina D. Jones
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