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Translation Tip

By Elise Brisco, OD, FAAO, FCOVD, CCH

Here’s a quick and effective tip to communicate with patients in any language.

I use Google Translate in the exam room. It supports translation to 90 languages including Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and French. It is available on both desktop and as a mobile app.

I type in a phrase that is translated into the patient’s language. The translation is in the the characters of the patient’s language including Chinese characters or Arabic alphabet.

For patients who cannot see the computer screen clearly, click on the speaker icon, and google translate will speak the translate so that your patient can hear the question or instructions. It works beautifully!

It doesn’t take much more time than speaking instructions and we are able to accommodate patients from any country.

On a side note, for deaf patients, I have a fair amount of my exam instructions in a word file in large print. I pull up the file in the exam room to save time. I type in any added comments and we are good to go!

Good luck with patients who don’t speak English and deaf patients!

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