Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Translation task force

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Coordination efforts have moved to Wiki Project Med Foundation. Details here are for historical purposes. Efforts are ongoing there.

The Healthcare Translation Task Force[1] – brings high quality, easy to understand health information into as many languages as possible.

It was originally created as a joint venture between WikiProject Medicine, Wiki Project Med Foundation, and Translators Without Borders. We translated together over 1,900 articles in more than 90 languages! This translated content is getting about 40 million views a year.

Over 5.7 million words of Wikipedia medical content were translated by volunteers in the TWB workspace during the 2011-2018 period . Our heartfelt thanks to the many Translators without Borders contributions to this first stage of the project.

At the beginning of 2019 this project is being relaunched primarily within the Wikipedia - Wikimedia environment, making use of a native translation tool and a translation management tool made available by

Texts are translated where they are needed the most; currently: diseases, medications and drugs, anatomy, nutrition, sanitation, and women's health. To see our list of articles for translation check out: our summaries.

Language shouldn't be a barrier
for health information!

What's happening


  • 500 short articles ready for translation
  • Launch of offline medical apps in 10 languages.[2]

  • 58 Vaccine articles live during April (165 total)
  • Rubric donated 9 articles in African and Indian languages on sanitation and preventable infectious disease!


  • 74 articles translated in 19 languages!
  • 107 Vaccine articles live by February


For older news go to: this link...

Year started 2011 2013
Article goal # 100 1000
Ready for translation 33 1,000
Language goal 50 100
Translations done 637 1,337
FA/GA translations 65 12
Needing integration Done borderless 4
Last updated: 2016-06

Get involved

Community organization
We need Wikipedians to engage the community on the different Wikipedias.
Assessing content
We need local-language speakers to determine which articles need to be translated into the target language.
We are always on the look-out for dedicated translators to work directly with our content, especially in smaller languages!
Posting jobs on Translators Without Borders website
We need people to manage languages. This involves posting new translation jobs on the TWB website.
Translated articles need to be integrated into local Wikipedias. This process is done manually and needs to be in harmony with existing local articles.
Template installation
For translations to be more useful templates and modules should be installed. We need people with the technical know-how to help out.
Several of our processes are in need of simplification and many could be improved with bots.
Writing content for the translation project
Writing for translations may be slightly different from writing other articles on Wikipedia. If you are interested in improving articles contact James Heilman ( or simply create a Wikipedia account and start editing.

Why help?

We're working together with Wikipedia Zero to spread knowledge where it is needed the most!
Health care site traffic comparison in July 2014. Light blue portions represent official Wikimedia Foundation data for all medical articles. Other data is estimated from SimilarWeb.[1]

Wikipedia is the most used health care resource on the Internet−both by unique visitors and by pageviews. For all those interested in global health this is an opportunity to help bring high quality healthcare information to the world.

In the beginning effort primarily concentrated on 80 medical articles of global significance. In the month of February 2012 these pages in English received a total of 10.6 million page views.[2]

In 2014 we switched our efforts to a larger number of shorter articles as we believe translating more short articles rather than fewer long articles will have a greater impact. A more in depth breakdown can be found at popular pages of the translation taskforce

As of July 2014, the more than 500 full articles translated via this project received over 1.2 million pages views per month[3] in their local languages.


Imagine if all our health information was available only in Dutch!

Lori Thicke, TwB[4] GlobalVoices-Rising Voices: Translating Health Content Without Borders[5]

We are working to build a world where knowledge doesn't have borders

Lori Thicke, TwB[4] The Guardian: Translators fight the fatal effects of the language gap[6]

  • "Antidote for a stigma: Translated content on vaccines helps fight a taboo",[7] Times of India, October 22, 2016
  • "Making Wikipedia’s medical articles accessible in Chinese",[8] Wikimedia Blog, June 2, 2015
  • "A Fight for Awareness in the Age of Globalization",[9] Huffington Post, October 2, 2014
  • "Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap",[10] Global Voices & Wikimedia Blog,[11] July 27, 2014
  • "Translating Health Content Without Borders",[5] Global Voices, August 30, 2012
  • "Leveraging the Web to Overcome Challenges in the Developing World",[12] EContent Magazine, July 5, 2012
  • "Translators fight the fatal effects of the language gap"[13] The Guardian, April 11, 2012

Get in touch!

Heilman round.png

Doc James
Dr. James Heilman
ER Physician, Project Lead

Sjöland round.png

Carl Fredrik Sjöland
Medical student, Project Coordinator

This project has partly been funded by Wikimedia Foundation Individual Engagement Grants
and partly by personal contribution from Dr. James Heilman


1.^ Also known as the "Medical Translation Project"


  1. ^ Heilman, JM; West, AG (4 March 2015). "Wikipedia and medicine: quantifying readership, editors, and the significance of natural language". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 17 (3): e62. PMID 25739399.
  2. ^ "Translation Page Views".
  3. ^ "Page views in category Medical_articles_translated_from_English on all wikis with translated articles".
  4. ^ a b "Translators without Borders". Translators without Borders.
  5. ^ a b "Languages: Translating Health Content Without Borders". 30 August 2012.
  6. ^ Tran, Mark (11 April 2012). "Translators fight the fatal effects of the language gap - Mark Tran" – via
  7. ^ "Antidote for a stigma".
  8. ^ "Making Wikipedia's medical articles accessible in Chinese – Wikimedia Blog".
  9. ^ Henderson, Francoise (2 October 2014). "A Fight for Awareness in the Age of Globalization".
  10. ^ "Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap · Global Voices". 27 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap – Wikimedia Blog".
  12. ^ "Leveraging the Web to Overcome Challenges in the Developing World". 5 July 2012.
  13. ^ Tran, Mark (11 April 2012). "Translators fight the fatal effects of the language gap - Mark Tran" – via