Promotes the community's own language, the agency spent thousands of dollars printing and distributing tips on measles information in Yiddish to hang at the doors of more than 45,000 homes in communities.
But something lost in translation: The Yiddish was cut off, according to language experts consulted by CNN.
Door hangers delivered to Rockland County homes are so numerous that there are errors that are partly "barely understood" and "almost inexpressible," says Chaya Nove, a Yiddish scholar.
"The translation is very ridiculous, almost unpleasant," he says.
"This is incredible," added Anita Norich, a professor of emotion at the University of Michigan and a Yiddish scholar. "Annoying."
Experts say that the Yiddish is also weak in two ads showing measles risks as the health department placed in publishers in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community last year.
Some say that bungled language is part of a bigger problem: The state has a problem talking effectively in his ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, contributing to the largest and oldest measles outbreak in the United States since at least 1
The state health department did not just make the mistake of the Yiddish, the agency failed to use quickly – or in some cases uses all – some well-known methods talking to ultra-Orthodox Jews, a community that can be closed to the outside world. For example, the department took three months to distribute a booklet that helped increase vaccine rates in an ultra-Orthodox community two years ago. Additionally, agency officials say that they have recently started working on two other communication platforms – a news phone line and a texting app – particularly popular with ultra-Orthodox Jews.
"To be convincing, you need to get the message through the methods commonly used by the community," Dr. Irwin Redlener, professor of health and management policy at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. "And since measles is rapidly spreading, there are bad delays."
Many are at risk of stopping this outbreak. Since October, more than 600 New Yorkers have contracted measles, with more than 30 new cases reported to the state during last week through state and city health departments New York. In New York City and Rockland County, two epicenters of outbreak, about 55 patients were hospitalized, and 14 were entered into the intensive care unit. Measles have spread from New York to many other states, including Connecticut, New Jersey and Michigan.
A spokesman for the New York State Department of Health said that ads and door hangers were just a fraction of a larger campaign. "The Department remains committed to working with our community partners to share information about measles and safety risks and vaccine effectiveness," Gary Holmes wrote in an email to CNN. "Supporting material information, which is distributed more than six months ago and has expanded to community feedback, is a small part of a great effort that helps to mitigate this proliferation once and for all. "
Holmes said that the overall effort – including meetings with dozens of rabbis, community leaders, parents and health care professionals as well as establishing a measly and hotline for clinics in the vaccine – worked, mentioning the increase in vaccine rates in areas where measles cases had occurred. For example, in Rockland County, there were over 20,000 measles vaccines administered from October – nearly four times more than the same period each in the previous two years. Other counties where measles cases have been reported have also seen this year's vaccine increase compared to previous years.
"What we do is working," Holmes said. "From the beginning, we understand that strong support and confidence in the community is critical," he said.
But some community leaders say that mistakes have given the impression that the state is not interested enough to get it right, and worse yet, they are worried that mistakes can be made by parents who are hesitant about the vaccines that health department officials will doubt when they say Vaccines are safe.
Talk to your health care concerns & # 39;
Three Yiddish scholars asked CNN to study the health department's Yiddish materials: Nick Block, an assistant professor at the German Studies Department at Boston College; Isaac Bleaman, who begins this fall as an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley; and Chaya Nove, a Ph.D. the theoretical linguistic candidate at the Graduate Center, New York City University, like Block and Bleaman published articles in Yiddish in scholarly journals.
While well educated in the Yiddish literature, three scholars specialize in the language it uses in today's ultra-Orthodox Jews communities.
They reviewed door hangers, distributed in mid-November, and two ads placed in three publications in November and December.
Experts say that despite mistakes, two ads can be understood, and their messages are clear. However, the door door is almost an invalid sentence, and parts of it are incomprehensible.
The cost of distributing error-ridden materials is huge: more than $ 33,000 to place two ads and over $ 23,000 to print and distribute door hangers.
Sometimes mistakes are really funny. In the door hanger and one of the ads, "Talk to your health care provider" has been translated into Yiddish as "Talk to your health concerns."
That error was corrected in a brochure distributed by the states of the months later.
Incorrect mistakes include: Instead of saying to call the state hotline, the door of the door and the first ad saying in Yiddish, "Summons 1-888-364-4837," with "summons" as noun.
"It's like a legal summons, like a subpoena. It does not mean anything," said Block, a professional Yiddish translator.
That mistake was corrected in the second ad.
Door hangers trimmed important pieces of information during the outbreak: the list of symptoms.
Yiddish experts say they have not heard the phrase used in "runny nose". Also, Yiddish lists "sad eyes" when it says "red watery eyes," and the word used for "rash" is not familiar with many Yiddish speakers at present.
"It's just a salad word," Bleaman says about the translation. "Not only that, but some of the words in the salad are wrong."
The wrong mistakes are many. The word "sneeze" has an additional letter. In the question "Who is the most dangerous?" the word "danger" is spelling wrong. Even the word "measles" does not escape: At the door of the door, it is spelled three ways.
And there are errors of grammar. The topics do not agree with the verbs. Words are correct but in the wrong order. Prepositions show where they do not belong, such as the translation that reads "Measles questions or from the vaccine?"
"The Yiddish is ridiculous. It's unfortunate, since measles outbreaks are a serious thing," says Bleaman.
He and other Yiddish experts have seen that a person with enough knowledge of Yiddish used Google to translate and then tweaked the translation. Bleaman said that when he put the English version of the Google Translate material, some of the health department's translation errors were re-created.
Holmes, department spokesman, said that two ads could be understood.
He said that advertisements were "evident but not optimal" and officials made changes to Yiddish materials that came later because "only understood is not enough."
How did the mistakes occur?
Holmes said that his agency has agreed to a licensed translation service, Language Language Services, to translate English materials into Yiddish. The cost to translate the three documents is over $ 900.
In an email, Melisa Eskin, vice president and director of corporate compliance and government relations for Language Service Associates, wrote that the company was "totally which stands out by the translation and the accuracy of the information it provides. "
" Please note that there are usually different views and preferences in the way the text transfers, "Eskin added. "That's why linguistic experts can create different – but equally accurate – translations from both source documents. Differences between professional and scholar translators often occur in languages derived from many different geographical locations and language sources, such as the Yiddish and Spanish. "
But experts consulted by CNN say that mistakes are even mistakes that is, independently of geographic differences or language sources.
"These mistakes are not differences in dialectal in Yiddish," says Nove. Holmes said that if it is Yiddish, Spanish, Haitian Creole or any other language, health health usually takes a translation from a licensed service and runs it past a native speaker in the community.
But he said that this did not happen with door hangers and first announcements.
"Sometimes, there are time barriers, and not always the chance" to run it by a member of the community, Holmes said.
When a person in one of the statements points out some of the mistakes, the health department released the ads. "We have a strong commitment to ensure that our materials are not just culturally competent but efficiently achieving the goals we are trying to achieve," said Brad Hutton, the deputy commissioner of the public health agency. "We always have the community's advice and improve the product."
The agency runs a new ad of Rabbi Hersh Horowitz, executive director of the Community Outreach Center in Monsey, New York.
Although the ad is an improvement, it still has errors, according to experts in Yiddish.
Horowitz said in a statement, "[New York State Department of Health] reached me for my thoughts. I'm glad to help and give some ideas for changes to some materials, most of which are included of the DOH in the final product It is my opinion that the rest of the language is more than enough message, and should not be used as a reason not to get vaccinated and not even damages the Health Department's exemplary efforts. "
The department uses different services to translate another tip of the pamphlet tip later. Yiddish experts say that this leaflet has no errors.
A measles outbreak of 2017 in that state fell ill with 75 people, most of the children in the state Somali community. It lasted about three months.
"When anything is sent for translation, we always check it out," says Doug Schultz, an information officer with a department. "Always be right. Always."
Fatuma Sharif-Mohamed, a community outsider planner in the Somali department, added that "when the language is wrong and returning to the community, it hurts."
One of the major partner in the health department is the Minnesota Children's Hospital, which cares for most of the sick children.
After posting posters in Somalia at the hospital, an employee at Somalia hospital noticed a misspelling: One letter in a word was wrong.
The hospital took the posters and ordered the new ones.
"It sounds like we are sluggish or unintelligible or unhappy," says Patricia Stinchfield, a pediatric nurse and senior director of hospital infection. "That's not the image we want to play."
Some members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of New York say that the grammar and spelling of two ad errors are not really a problem.
"I think it does not matter if there are mistakes or not," said Chanie Sternberg, president and CEO of Refuah Health Center, serving in Rockland and surrounding counties. "I think the idea that raising awareness is completely clear, and that's the closest thing to the issue as long as I'm worried."
Binyomin Mermelstein, an officer in an ultra-Orthodox village in Rockland County, said the errors in ads were "minor" and would go unnoticed by many in his community.
wrong – OK, spelling them wrong. I can not see an issue, "says Mermelstein, Kaser village treasurer of the village." I'm trying to write things for people in our community, and I do not know the grammar or the rules you should use, and people sometimes laugh at how I write, but it does not differ. "
However, he added that door hangers were" bad "and should not be shared.
One booklet ready and waiting
Posters, ads and door hangers are just a part of talking to a public health message.
Another way may seem obsolete, but it's a proven winner in the ultra-Orthodox community: a booklet Two years ago, written by Shoshana Bernstein, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish writer in New York, a 52-page booklet to help increase rates of vaccination in Kiryas Joel, a ultra-Orthodox village about an hour north of New York City. The booklet, sent to residents' homes, is tailored to the religious community – and they work, Dr. Adam Polinger, psychiatrist director at Ezras Choilim, the village health center.
"It definitely had an effect," says Polinger.
As a result: In the current measles outbreak, Ezras Choilim treats 12 cases of population of more than 20,000 people.
"We had one case every two to three weeks. It was not an epidemic size," said Deputy Health Executive Director of Health Center Tamy Skaist.
The New York State Department of Health knows the booklet; in fact, the agency funded its creation in 2017, by channeling a grant from the CDC.
But in the current uprising, the agency did not share the booklet until January, when the outbreak broke out three months. Holmes, the spokesperson, said the printing and distribution process required a few months.
Found the right platform seven months outbreak
At present, the state health department has failed to use two other media platforms that are extremely popular in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community: a texting app and a news phone line.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews often use WhatsApp to share headlines. Glatt, the infectious disease doctor and rabbi, is called "kosher Facebook" because it preserves the material that can hurt the religious Jews.
Like the booklet, other platforms may seem overwhelming to most Americans: a telephone line where callers have heard presentations on news and topic topics.
This telephone line is also popular in the Somali community of Minnesota, and this state health department has made extensive use of it during the 2017 outbreak, organizing Somali doctors and nurses to make presentations on immunization-promoting lines.
"You need to use the media, the methods, which suit your audience," said Schultz, spokeswoman of the Minnesota health department.
Hutton , the deputy commissioner of the New York health department, last month that his agency began to focus on using WhatsApp phone lines and news.
But that effort came six months after the outbreak began.
Glatt, the doctor and rabbi, wants to learn New York from victory in Minnesota and in one of his own villages.
"It is in the health department for trying to fit the culture," he said. "It's a study episode, and hopefully everyone can learn from their mistakes and do better the next time."
John Bonifield and Debra Goldschmidt of CNN have contributed to this story.