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October 17th, 5pm local time


Gallery Boardroom, Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver


  • Getting to know each other
  • Which issues should we tackle first?

Discussion items



As more non-English-speaking countries join Snomed International and/or start using Snomed actively, more of us start to translate Snomed. Some languages possess a complete translation, e.g. Spanish, Danish and Swedish; others a partial translation, e.g. French and Dutch; and many have yet to start.

We translating countries have many things in common. The goal of this group is to determine what we can contribute and share to make translation easier for ourselves and for future translators. The goal of the face-to-face meeting was to meet those involved in translation from different countries and to determine concrete goals.

Ian Green and Rory Davidson were present to represent Snomed International, asking what that organisation can do to support translating countries. The main point of concern of members is that Snomed International’s productivity is increasing, which increases the burden on NRC’s with a complete translation to keep it up-to-date. The two months between the core release and the deadline for the extension release is quite short if you need to translate several thousand concepts. NRC’s would benefit by earlier opportunities to view new content: to have more time to translate, but also to provide feedback (as sometimes the new content is duplicate with existing content, and translation brings it to light) before concepts are released.

Several French-speaking countries (Canada, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Swiss) are setting up a separate collaboration effort, to look for consensus on the French translations. The Translation User Group will be very interested to see which forms of collaboration will be successful in that group, as many other countries share languages between them.

During the meeting, we listed the following desirable outcomes of the Translation User Group:

  • An overview of possible translation processes & workflows
  • A sound basis for guidelines: i.e. language-independent guidelines which NRCs can use to create useful language-specific guidelines. The language-independent guidelines should for instance specify:
    • Whether to translate FSNs
    • How to use synonymy
  • Patterns for translations
  • Shared lists of problematic concepts (duplicate, ill-defined, or angloculture-specific)
  • Provide feedback to Snomed Int before concepts are released
  • Sharing translations into a particular language between countries
  • Sharing patient-friendly translations

Meeting Files

Previous Meetings

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  1. We're even on the program now, so if you meet any others there who are interested in translation, please bring it to their attention!

  2. 5pm local time in Vancouver is in Belgium 2am. So I apologize for not being able to join the meeting this time. 

    Enjoy the meeting. 

    Ingrid Mertens (NRC Belgium)

  3. Dear all, I'm very sorry the notes on the meeting have been so long delayed. I had to take some time off for personal reasons and this got snowed under. However, we are obviously overdue for another meeting to get on with the desirable outcomes listed above... I propose a new meeting on either December 20th (Thursday) or January 8th (Tuesday), at 13.00 UTC. Preliminary agenda: 

    1) For each item above, decide whether to start or defer them: if the first, assign one or two people to take the lead.

    2) I will create a draft outline of translation processes and workflows, based on the old documentation and this discussion.

    Please let me know which of these dates suits you: if I have not heard anything to the contrary by this time next week, I will set the date at December 20th (wink)

  4. Dec 20th is fine by me.

  5. Hi, Both of the proposed dates are suitable for me.

  6. The 20th it is! I have created a new meeting page on 2018-20-12 - Translation User Group Meeting

  7. Sorry, Feijke, I won't be able to attend, will be flying by the time of the meeting. I will try to catch up later. 


    Jussara Rotzsch