Multiple Languages

ICD as an international standard has to be multilingual. The previous ICD was developed in English first and then translated manually.

This is called Multilingual Representation, not a Translation. The aim is to represent equivalent concepts rather than word-by-word translation.

Built from experience in previous ICD translations in multiple languages, and using the ICD-11 Content Model with standard terminologies, ICD-11 will have computerized assistance for its development in multiple languages with human experts verifying concept equivalence.

The priority will be on 6 Official United Nations Languages:

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
    • German
    • Portuguese

Other languages will be at the request of WHO Collaborating Centers in different language areas.