Knowledge translation in different languages

Only about 6% of the world’s population are native English speakers, while 75% of people don’t speak English at all.

Many people do not have access to high quality health information, because it is not readily available in a language that they understand. We translate Cochrane evidence to make it more accessible, and to reduce the linguistic barrier to global evidence-informed health decisions. We have published more than 28,000 translations of Cochrane Review plain language summaries and/or abstracts as of June 2019.

Cochrane groups in different parts of the world lead our knowledge translation activities in different languages. They translate Cochrane Reviews and related Review content, such as podcasts or blogshots. But they typically also or instead write and disseminate news and other content in their language, do social media, work with professional societies, policy makers, patient groups or the media in their country, and offer training.

Most Cochrane groups have no or very little funding for translations. Some have support from their local funders, for example ministries of health or hosting universities, central Cochrane funding, or temporary grants, but most involve substantial volunteer time.

Get involved

You're a Cochrane group and want to translate Cochrane Reviews or related products? Please contact Juliane Ried.

You would like to participate as a volunteer translator? Read more about what to expect as volunteer translator in one of our Review translation projects, or join TaskExchange.

You would like to stay informed? Join our mailing list for updates on multi-language activities.

Translation projects

We regularly translate Cochrane abstracts and plain language summaries in the following languages. These translations are published on the Cochrane Library and cochrane.org with the English Reviews, and they have their own translated version of cochrane.org, where you can browse and search in those languages. Projects vary in capacity and duration, so the number of available Review translations also varies from language to language.

Language cochrane.org / Cochrane Library Project start More
Croatian cochrane.org/hr 2013 Cochrane Croatia website, news and social media
French cochrane.org/fr 2011 Cochrane France website, news, newsletters and social media
German cochrane.org/de 2014 Cochrane Germany website, news, newsletter and social media
Cochrane Switzerland website, news, newsletters (French, German, Italian) and social media
Cochrane Austria website, news, newsletter and social media

'Wissen was wirkt' German-language blog
'Medizin Transparent' German-language blog answering patient questions
Japanese cochrane.org/ja 2011 Cochrane Japan website and social media
Korean cochrane.org/ko 2014 Cochrane Korea website
Malay cochrane.org/ms 2014 Cochrane Malaysia website, news and social media
Persian cochrane.org/fa 2017 Cochrane Iran website and news
Polish cochrane.org/pl 2015 Cochrane Poland website, news and social media
Portuguese cochrane.org/pt 2013 Cochrane Brazil website, news and social media
Cochrane Portugal website, news and social media
Russian cochrane.org/ru 2014 Cochrane Russia website, news, press releases, newsletter and social media

Russian Blogshots
Russian Podcasts
Cochrane Knowledge Translation Framework Russian translation
Simplified Chinese cochrane.org/zh-hans 2014 Cochrane Knowledge Translation Framework Simplified Chinese translation
Spanish Biblioteca Cochrane (Spanish Cochrane Library) cochrane.org/es 1998 Cochrane Iberoamerica website, news, press releases, newsletter and social media

Spanish Blogshots
Spanish Podcasts
Spanish resources for Review authors
Cochrane Interactive Learning in Spanish
Tamil cochrane.org/ta 2014  
Thai cochrane.org/th 2017 Cochrane Thailand website
Traditional Chinese cochrane.org/zh-hant 2013 Cochrane Taiwan website

Resources for translation and dissemination in different languages

The resources for translation and dissemination include:

  • Information on our approaches to translation
  • Tips for translators and editors
  • Planning and managing a Review translation project
  • Using Memsource, our translation management system
  • Dissemination and promotion of translations
  • Translating podcasts and blogshots
  • Translating press releases and working with the media
  • Using social media to disseminate translations

Translation Strategy

Cochrane’s Translation Strategy started in 2014, and aims to increase our capacity to translate Cochrane content from English into other languages and strengthen our impact in non-English speaking countries.

We have established translation infrastructure and management, encouraged and invested in innovative and sustainable methods and approaches, and sourced partnerships to support the endeavour. The strategy relies on the Cochrane community to provide the translations, and also integrates crowdsourcing and machine translation.

Since the start of Cochrane's Knowledge Translation Framework, we are working to ensure that translation and multi-language activities are aligned and incorporated with knowledge translation efforts.

Past and other translation projects

Language Responsible group / organisation Project details
French, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish World Health Organization
  • Scope: Review abstracts
  • Priority setting: Topics relevant to the WHO Reproductive Health Library (not all content for all languages)
  • Publication: WHO Reproductive Health Library
French Cochrane Back, Musculoskeletal, Oral Health, Upper GI and Pancreatic Diseases, and Infectious Diseases Group & Center for the Development of Best Practices in Health, Cameroon
  • Project duration: 2010-2012 (integrated with Cochrane France, when their translation project started)
  • Scope: Review abstracts and plain language summaries
  • Priority setting: Reviews of the respective groups
German Cochrane Germany
  • Project duration: 2004-2007
  • Scope: Review plain language summaries
  • Completed translations: 700 (largely outdated, partly updated by ongoing Cochrane Germany project)
  • Publication: cochrane.org
Portuguese Cochrane Brazil
  • Scope: Review abstracts
  • Completed translations: 650 (largely outdated, partly updated by ongoing Portuguese project)
  • Publication: The Cochrane Library for Latin America and Caribbean; Cochrane Brazil website; Cochrane Brazil Consumer website
Simplified Chinese China Effective Health Care Network &
Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group
  • Project duration: 2012
  • Scope: Review abstracts and plain language summaries
  • Priority setting: Reviews of the Infectious Diseases Group
  • Completed translations: 100 (largely outdated, but mostly updated by ongoing Simplified Chinese project)
  • Publication: cochrane.org
Traditional Chinese Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
  • Project duration: 2008-2011
  • Scope: Review abstracts
  • Completed translations: 3600 (largely outdated, partly updated by ongoing Cochrane Taiwan project)
  • Publication: Cochrane Library and cochrane.org (now taken down, unless updated)
Turkish Kanitlar, Derya Senturk