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Google Medicine

Paramedics Use Google Translate While Delivering Baby 132

First time accepted submitter myatari writes Irish paramedics transporting a pregnant Congolese woman to a maternity hospital in Cork had to use some quick thinking when the mum-to-be went into labor en-route. The two paramedics (neither of whom speak Swahili) fired up Google Translate to communicate via English-Swahili and successfully delivered baby girl "Brigid" (named after an Irish Saint no less!).
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Paramedics Use Google Translate While Delivering Baby

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  • I'm a Paramedic... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2015 @04:03AM (#49036359)

    ...and I use translation services (either via google, or more usually a paid up telephone translation service provided by my employer) semi-regularly!

  • Alternative (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhol13 ( 1087781 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @04:05AM (#49036363)

    I wonder what would have happened had they not had Google Translate. A boy?

    • Depends on labor conditions. Most likely, the baby would be born normally. But in case of special conditions, where the mother/baby life is at risk, it could be necessary to follow some guidelines taught by a paramedic.
    • Re:Alternative (Score:5, Informative)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday February 12, 2015 @10:42AM (#49037817) Homepage Journal

      I wonder what would have happened had they not had Google Translate. A boy?

      Depending on the circumstances, the alternative could have been death of mother and/or baby. The alternative almost certainly would have been an even more unpleasant experience for the mother, with no ability to communicate with the EMTs about her state or the progress of the birth.

      (Now let's see if my AC stalker shows up to crapflood responses to this post, too.)

      • You have an AC stalker? How do I get one of those? Hmmm - maybe post more than once every six months...
        • You have an AC stalker? How do I get one of those? Hmmm - maybe post more than once every six months...

          I can tell you how I did it... you know those APK crapflood posts, about how hosts files are great and AdBlock is evil? Just respond to a few of those criticizing the crapflooding.

          Enjoy!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2015 @04:07AM (#49036367)

    Given that the official language of both Congos (DRC and RC) is French, couldn't they just have tried that?
    Swahili is not a language commonly spoken in either Congo.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2015 @04:21AM (#49036403)

      Swahili is one of the 4 official non-European languages in DRC with approximately 33 million DRC citizens speaking the language.

      So... the story makes sense... kind of. I agree though, French would have been my go-to language for someone from DRC. I've traveled in DRC (eastern side) and French was always the first thing anyone spoke to me.

      • Some more information would be useful. I'm going to guess that she spoke into the device and auto-detect picked up Swahili.

    • No. Apparently the lady spoke Swahili not French. Did you even read the summary you moron?
      • by Shimbo ( 100005 )

        From the summary, you don't know that she didn't speak French as well. And to be honest, they could probably have delivered the baby, even if she hadn't understood a word they were saying.

    • French would have been the more sensible option, but I heard quite a lot of Swahili in markets in RC at least. Maybe she thought it would have a better chance of being understood? From what I understand, giving birth is a little, um, uncomfortable, and you might not think completely straight at the time...
    • Since when Irish people speak French???
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Would you believe if I told you that some people actually speak another language besides their native one?

        • Non English speakers speaking English, a lot. English speakers speaking something else: a few.
          • by dave420 ( 699308 )
            Where you live, maybe. Don't tar every native English speaker with that brush - it doesn't reflect very well on anyone involved.
          • The problem is English speakers speaking another language have a whole slew to choose from. Some more helpful than others, but much of that has to do with likelihood of having to use the other language. I should've learned Spanish instead of French in high school, because I'm more likely to come into contact with that language. But someone in say England, might want to learn French over Spanish due to proximity to France. And someone from New Zealand might want to learn Maori.

      • Just like any other country, some people do and some people don't. Did the two paramedics? Did the woman? I'd like to think that both parties would have tried any/all the languages they knew before resorting to Google translate.
    • It's one of a few languages of both the belgian congo and the democratic republic of congo

    • by erice ( 13380 )

      They may have tried that but her French wasn't that good or the accents were mutually unintelligible.

      That French is the official language does not guarantee perfect fluency and certainly does not mean that French is her native language. It almost certainly is not.

      A given African country will have many languages. Educated Africans typically speak several languages with varying fluency. The Congolese woman would be most fluent in her tribal language but they may not be in Google Translate and it would be di

  • I use google translate pretty often with my foreign patients. My practice is located in the coast of Spain and even though I also speak french and german, sometimes I must deal with scandinavians, russians and eastern europeans.

  • It's great that it worked out for them, but sometimes translations don't come out quite right.
    • by dissy ( 172727 )

      My hovercraft is full of eels
      *Runs google translate*

      Ooh, why of course. *hands ranger some matches*

      It's great that it worked out for them, but sometimes translations don't come out quite right.
      *Runs google translate*

      Wait, you want WHAT to come out of my nipples?!?

    • This.

      I can't say anything about the quality of google translate when it comes to Swahili. But usually when the languages are to some degree different (like, say, anything European to anything Far East and vv), you usually end up with something that makes little, if any, sense. If you want to see for yourself, go to any Chinese website, take the text there and paste it into Google translate and take a wild guess what the article is about.

      It can work out if you don't want to transport complex, nuanced meaning

  • I have a few friends in Europe on facebook. Unfortunately, facebook defaults to bing for translations, and bing's translations are pretty poor.

    .

    The google translations are a lot better, but I found out that if I go from, say french to arabic to english, instead of directly from french to english, the idioms seem to be translated better.

    go figure......

    • google tranlate is quite good

      Obviously, it is better than my spelling. :)

    • I have a few friends in Europe on facebook. Unfortunately, facebook defaults to bing for translations, and bing's translations are pretty poor.

      Facebook favors Bing over Google for the wrong reasons.

      The google translations are a lot better, but I found out that if I go from, say french to arabic to english, instead of directly from french to english, the idioms seem to be translated better

      Try English => Japanese => English, you'll be surprised ....

    • Google translate is possibly hillarious, but good? Let's try something I saw recently:

      The letters are your own business.

      google translate to Swedish:

      Bokstäverna är ditt eget företag.

      or German if you prefer:

      Die Buchstaben sind Ihr eigenes Geschäft

      and then I'll translate it back to English for you using my brain (the Swedish and German mean the same thing, I'm fairly sure, though I don't speak German):

      The ABCs are your own corporation.

      That's not good, that's incomprehensible. You have to kn

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well if the original sentence was comprehensible in English I would agree with you. Alas it is not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2015 @05:13AM (#49036547)

    I'm a husband and I feel that google translate is missing the most important language: "english"->"wife". When she says "Do I look ok in this dress?" and I say "yep.", she seems to hear something different.

    It'd help clear up many misunderstandings.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm a husband and I feel that google translate is missing the most important language: "english"->"wife". When she says "Do I look ok in this dress?" and I say "yep.", she seems to hear something different.

      It'd help clear up many misunderstandings.

      Ah, the typical "insecure wife" bullshit. Your mistake is to try to deal with it.
      If you want it to stop. Whenever she starts some bullshit, just leave. Don't say anything. Go for a one hour walk or whatever.

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:57AM (#49037233) Homepage

      The trick is that you give her an answer but not an answer to specifically her question, and then shift it to a different conversation. For instance:

      Wife: Honey, do I look ok in this dress?
      Husband: Babe, you look great in everything but even better out of it.

      If you follow it up with trying to get her out of it, and do it enough times, eventually she'll start to ask you less. Or at least that is what I hope will someday happen with my wife.

    • by complete loony ( 663508 ) <Jeremy.Lakeman@g3.14mail.com minus pi> on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:57AM (#49037519)

      Do I look ok in this dress?

      "Ok? No, you look amazing. I can't wait to get you out of it."
      "That dress is ok, but it would look better on the floor."

      Don't answer yes or no. Remind her of how easily she can wrap you around her little finger.

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      I'm a husband and I feel that google translate is missing the most important language: "english"->"wife". When she says "Do I look ok in this dress?" and I say "yep.", she seems to hear something different.

      It'd help clear up many misunderstandings.

      Jokes aside, men misunderstand the question. Men hear "Question! Please respond to my question!" when in fact, the words the woman spoke are not a question at all. These words are an invitation to a conversation about style and fashion. The woman is angry that the man dismissed her invitation to have a discussion. The question is irrelevant.

    • by hodet ( 620484 )

      Wife: "Honey does this dress make me look fat?"

      Husband: "No baby, not at all, it's your big ass that does that."

  • The two paramedics (neither of whom speak Swahili) fired up Google Translate to communicate via English-Swahili and successfully delivered baby girl "Brigid" (named after an Irish Saint no less!).

    There's a bit of an unwritten implication in that use of the word "and," but I suspect the paramedics would probably have been able to deliver the baby without Google's help.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google translate can be pretty useful at the conception stage too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    yrs ago we had a crew replacing siding on our house that stopped & refused to go back to work b/c they saw a snake. I was able to use google translate w/my laptop to show them there's only a few venomous species in georgia & this wasn't one of them (was actually able to identify it - their descriptions led to finding a picture & a bunch of: "oh, si! no est problema! gracias!"

    I remember thinking "wow! what an amazing world we live in now!"

  • by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @10:33AM (#49037743) Homepage

    "A certain woman who had taken the vow of chastity fell, through youthful desire of pleasure and her womb swelled with child. Brigid, exercising the most potent strength of her ineffable faith, blessed her, causing the child to disappear, without coming to birth, and without pain. She faithfully returned the woman to health and to penance."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Brigid [wikipedia.org]

    Was the mother of that child trying to hint something with that choice of name?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      "A certain woman who had taken the vow of chastity fell, through youthful desire of pleasure and her womb swelled with child. Brigid, exercising the most potent strength of her ineffable faith, blessed her, causing the child to disappear, without coming to birth, and without pain. She faithfully returned the woman to health and to penance."

      And abortion is illegal in Ireland.

  • ... name this service GooGoo?

  • "Brigid" (named after an Irish Saint no less!).

    Or maybe the Irish goddess [wikipedia.org].

  • Can this be used for making babies?

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