I've done several stories on efforts in health care to overcome communication barriers in health care. Some facilities have internet links to instantly hook up with someone who speaks the language of a person who comes in for treatment. There's also a special laptop link with a sort of text messaging to use with the hearing impaired. Many of us have trouble understanding the technical-medical speak anyway, but we can just ask a doctor or nurse to restate it in more plain language. I never really thought much about the other translation efforts beyond just that they were cool. But if you saw my husband's recent post in the Photogs' Blog, you know I have a new found appreciation for overcoming communication barriers. As the doctor tried to use sign language, then ducked into a neighboring room to ask how you say, "Itch," in English, I realized how difficult it can be to overcome language barriers. Imagine if this had been a more life-threatening situation? Fortunately, a nurse on duty spoke more fluent English and we didn't have much of an issue. Seeing the other side is always eye-opening. How about you? Any situations - funny or serious - where something got lost in translation?!
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