Why Multilingual is a Must for Your Health Website

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We are fortunate to live in a modern world, in which we are constantly exposed to cultures and languages that are different from our own.

But some often forget that expatriates, the people who make the world smaller through cultural exchange, face challenges unique to their situation. Many people never need to worry about language differences, but if you live in a country that speaks a language different from your native tongue, that challenge is something you need to think about every day.

Don’t wait for a user to ask you for it! Add various languages to your health website as soon as possible.

 

1.   When it comes to health, the details matter.

If you’ve ever learned a language, then you know how you often manage to “understand.” Even if you become near-fluent, or bilingual, some specific details fall through the cracks while you focus on the main message of what someone is saying.

That technique of mostly understanding works just fine for social interactions, but when it comes to your health, you need to catch everything.

People go to a health website for clarity. Maybe they need to double-check information that they missed in person, or maybe they want to use an app to track their own health, like on health and fitness websites or healthy living websites. Imagine the users’ frustration when they find that they don’t understand certain nuances because the site was not offered in their native language.

These details are why health insurance websites and government health websites always offer multilingual options.

Screeshot of homepage for usa.gov enspanol.

(source: www.usa.gov/espanol)


Even if the user or patient really does understand everything, they may still experience doubt and anxiety if they do not find vital information in a language that they can use without fail. Including multilingual options will ease some of that anxiety.

 

2.   Expand your digital presence.

Having a multilingual medical website does not just benefit your users, but also your site and your brand. If your website is only in one language, it limits your audience severely.

In an increasingly global world, having a monolingual website is a less than favorable business and marketing decision.

The United States, for example, is expected to have more Spanish speakers than any other country by 2050. And remember, your health website isn’t just for patients. It should also be accessible to all doctors. In the UK an estimated 28% of doctors were born in a country other than the UK. Even for doctors that speak English fluently, they might be more likely to use an app or health site that went the extra mile and offered their native language.

 

3.   You are handling private information.

While operating online, what efforts are you making to protect your clients’ health data?

Here at Onsharp, whenever we have clients approach us for any type of mental health or physical health website consultations, we understand that the privacy and security of the user is the number one priority.

No one wants to take private healthcare information and try to run it through Google translate, potentially losing a lot of information in translation. Even if patients have access to a personal translator or a bilingual family member, they might not want a translator having access to their most personal medical information.

A certified medical translator will be able to translate your page and offer the option to switch to various other languages with just the click of a button. That way, your users can simply switch to their native language, or a language they understand, and they don’t need to worry about their information being compromised by a third party.

 

Conclusion

There are plenty of incentives, both for the benefit of your users, and your own personal benefit, to offer multilingual options on your medical site.

There are a few things to consider when making the switch and adding a multilingual option. That process might include choosing a specific content management system based on your needs for privacy and various language options, and it will certainly require technical know-how. Consider hiring professionals to make sure everything is handled responsibly.

 

 

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Click on the button below to download the PDF version of this blog post. Feel free to print or share with your business colleagues, or send them a link to this article.

 

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