Updated Pharmacy Translation Kit now in 11 languages

Monday 12 December 2011, 9:28AM
By Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand

Patients who have difficulty with the English language can now get good healthy advice in one of 11 languages from their community pharmacy, thanks to the updated Pharmacy Translation Kit.

Published by the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (Inc), the Translation Kit comes with general and pharmacy related phrases and is designed to help pharmacists and their staff communicate more effectively with non-English speakers.

The Guild published the first Translation Kit in 2008 in Māori, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Samoan and Tongan. The new Translation Kit has added Arabic, French, Spanish and Thai. It contains over 80 words and phrases that include basic greetings, questions about medical history, information about prescriptions, instructions for using medicines and explanations about what medicines are for.

Guild President, Karen Crisp, says there are lots of stories about ways in which the kit has been needed, such as when patients don’t want a family member translating. The Guild has also heard that the Translation Kit proved a very useful tool with tourists during the Rugby World Cup and that it has assisted a surprising number of Japanese tourists on the West Coast of the South Island.

“The Translation Kit is an increasingly relevant communications tool for helping patients know how and when to take their medicines. Simple, consistent messages make a big difference to patients’ health and the Translation Kit makes sure that language barriers are no obstacle to getting the right messages across.

“Many of our member pharmacies serve an increasingly diverse range of patients, many of whom are new migrants or international students. But it has been pointed out that this is also useful for communicating with tourists seeking healthcare advice.”

Ms Crisp says patient wellbeing is a priority and it is vitally important to provide the necessary support to pharmacies to enable them to ensure the best possible outcomes.

“The Guild has taken great care to ensure the accuracy of the content. Where possible, we also asked ‘mother tongue’ speakers to review the final versions and made more amendments based on their feedback.”

The Pharmacy Translation Kit has been distributed to all Guild member pharmacies and is available for sale to non member pharmacies and DHBs.


Media Contacts:
Annabel Young - 027 440 9160 or 04 802 8201
Karen Crisp - 027 434 2301

• The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (Inc) is a national membership organisation representing community pharmacy owners. We provide leadership on all issues affecting the sector and we advocate for the business interests of community pharmacy.
• For additional information on the Guild and community pharmacy, please go to