Get Ebola info in your home language

2014-09-17 17:22

With the death toll rapidly exceeding 2500, the Ebola outbreak has people rushing to search engines to find out more about the disease.

But people who speak only Nguni languages have for the most part been left out of the conversation.

To solve this problem, Wikimedia ZA teamed up with global language service provider Rubric to provide South Africans with essential health information on Ebola in all eleven official languages should the virus spread to the country.

“Currently, there is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the disease which is hindering getting it under control. Some of this is due to there being a lack of knowledge in people’s own language,” said the Wiki Project Medicine.

The project is a medical and health content encyclopaedia created by Wikipedia in 2004 to inform the public about illnesses.

By searching the word Ebola and clicking on the translate button, the online encyclopaedia will now give South African users information about the disease in their home language.

“Ebola is a disease of great significance in Africa. It is very much stoppable if people have the right knowledge regarding how it is spread and prevented,” said Wiki Project Medicine.

The translation of Ebola information on Wikipedia is just one part of a larger project which is attempting to translate hundreds of core medical articles into as many languages as possible.

“This effort has been ongoing since 2011. More than 3.5 million words have been translated and we are working in more than 100 languages. We have been working on the Ebola translations for about a month and work is ongoing.”

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