Google Translate should not be used for discharge instructions, report says

Google Translate has been found to be inconsistent between languages ​​for emergency room exit instructions, according to a March 5 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The study asked 20 native speakers to rate 400 frequently used emergency exit instructions in seven common languages: Chinese, Armenian, Korean, Farsi, Spanish, Vietnamese and Tagalog.

Here are four things to know:

1. Google Translate’s statements were 94% accurate when translated into Spanish, the highest of any language tested.

2. When translated into Armenian, 55% of the statements were correct, the lowest of all the languages ​​tested.

“You can take over-the-counter ibuprofen as needed for pain relief,” was translated into Armenian as “You take as many anti-tank missiles as you need for pain.”

3. Chinese translations, including Cantonese and Mandarin, were accurate 81.7% of the time. Volunteers mentioned the differences between traditional and modern Chinese writing systems and the potential damage they can cause.

4. Tagalog had an accuracy rate of 90%, Vietnamese 77.5%, Korean 82.5%, and Farsi 67.5%.

To read the full report, click here.

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