Engaging volunteer translators: the Malaysian experience

Date & Time
Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Translation (linguistic translation of Cochrane content)
Ho J1, Tan ML1, Sasongko TH2, Pillai NP3
1Cochrane Malaysia, RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus, Malaysia
2Cochrane Malaysia, International Medical University, Malaysia
3Cochrane Malaysia, Malaysia

Background: The Cochrane Malaysia Malay translation initiative depends on volunteers, and our success is due to them.
Objectives: We describe strategies we have used to keep volunteer translators engaged. Methods and
Results: Since its establishment in 2015, we have depended on volunteer translators. Most volunteers join us through cochrane.org. We have attempted to maintain engagement with them in several ways and report these here. We designed strategies to acknowledge their contribution, build relationships, reward them, enhance their capacity, and involve them in decision-making (See Table). Feedback from individual volunteers has been very good, with many stating that they feel they are making an important contribution and others stating that they have learned a lot doing the work. While we thank them for their contribution, many thank us for the opportunity to contribute.
Conclusions: There are many ways to keep volunteers engaged. We have shown some examples of what we have attempted to do. Feedback has been very good. Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer relevance and involvement: The purpose of the Malay translation initiative is to provide plain language summaries to the public, the majority of whom are Malay-language readers, allowing them to be involved in their own healthcare decision-making. We encourage patients and their caregivers with the appropriate language skills to translate plain language summaries related to their condition.