Medical students around the world need access to up to date information on medical research. In addition to the many challenges faced by students in poor countries, there is the problem of a language gap. More than 15 years ago, our supercourse group at the University of Pittsburgh (www.pitt.edu/~super1) argued that language barriers block the globalisation of health information resources, and they still do.1
In 1954, the Georgetown-IBM was an influential demonstration of machine translation—more than 60 Russian sentences were automatically translated into English. Since then improvements have been made to machine translation, but problems still remain.
On 9 December 1997, Digital Equipment Corporation and SYSTRAN SA, launched AltaVista Babel, the first European language translation service for web content.
Our supercourse group provides lectures on global health and prevention. We tested Babel Fish for the translation of the scientific articles, abstracts, and online lectures in the early 2000s, but the