Eriksen Translations Provides Urgent Medical Translations for Public Use in Haitian Relief Efforts

Eriksen Translations, a leading language services provider, is working together with the Language Technologies Institute (LTI) of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science (CMU SCS) to make urgently needed translations of medical triage and treatment phrases available to relief organizations in Haiti.

1,600 phrases in English and Haitian-Creole have been released and are available with limited restrictions at Already being used by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, the terms that Eriksen’s linguists translated consist of questions and answers that are part of any medical providers basic interactions with a patient from first contact to simple instructions on what to do after being treated.

“When Jeff Allen, the former lead linguist of the original Haitian Creole DIPLOMAT project at CMU’s LTI/Center for Machine Translation, put out a call for help with this project after the earthquake, we responded immediately. Thanks to our extensive work with government and healthcare organizations serving the Haitian population here in New York, we had the linguists and the process in place to be of service right away,” said Vigdis Eriksen, president and CEO of Eriksen Translations. “The wonderful thing about the Carnegie Mellon project is that we are both attending to the immediate need for simple phrases and providing sector-specific customization for a machine translation database that will be utilized for language technology applications that are being developed.”

Eriksen’s translations are augmenting data that was collected by CMU over a decade ago for the only fully functional speech-to-speech Haitian-Creole system in existence, a part of the NESPOLE! translation project, which was jointly funded by the US National Science Foundation and the European Commission fifth research framework. LTI is providing the speech and text data with minimal restrictions in order to allow others to develop language technology for Haiti, in parallel with their own efforts to help with this crisis. Data is being published to the website on an ongoing basis as it is completed, in order to be of use to organizations as quickly as possible.

About Eriksen Translations Inc.

Eriksen Translations Inc. is a comprehensive provider of multilingual services in over 100 languages including translation, interpreting, typesetting, project management, Web localization, and cultural consulting. Founded in 1986, Eriksen helps organizations in a broad range of industries excel across print, desktop, and Web environments in the domestic and global marketplace. For more information, please visit

About Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Technologies Institute

The Language Technologies Institute (LTI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) conducts extensive research on computational linguistics, machine translation, speech recognition and synthesis, information retrieval, computational biology, machine learning, text mining, knowledge representation, computer-assisted language learning, and intelligent language tutoring. For more information, please visit

Source: Eriksen Translations

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