The Languages of Covid-19: Implications for Global Healthcare

Grant number: COV19\201019

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    British Academy
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    Queen's University Belfast, School of Arts, English and Languages
  • Research Category

    Policies for public health, disease control & community resilience

  • Research Subcategory


  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


Recent scholarship has identified that an interdisciplinary approach is urgently required to make sense of the biomedical, social and political implications of Covid-19. This project makes the case for the vital though to date underappreciated role that modern languages and translation studies, working together, can play in generating new understandings of the disease. Moving beyond the codes, contexts and cultural values that underpin anglophone articulations of Covid-19, the project aims to analyse what new facets or understandings of Covid-19 might be revealed by a linguistic and cultural encounter with non-anglophone languages and societies. The project will focus on the language used to frame Covid-19 in multilingual healthcare settings, in international public health campaigns and by patients across the globe, asking how these reveal new, and potentially useful, ways of thinking about and communicating the disease. The project will therefore be of benefit to medical practitioners, global policy makers and patients.