What are the real difficulties of a medical text and how to get rid of them for a professional translation? The grammatical structure of medical texts is the simplest of all. Their authors are scientists willing to explain facts. They do not bother looking for nice metaphors and other stylistic devices. The translator will find the real lock within the specific terminology.
With this kind of text, if you wish to make yourself understand, you have to have the right word. The key to medical terminology is the Internet and its range of terminology dictionaries and glossaries. Be sure that if you are not working on a novel field, you will not be given the opportunity to create a word. Thanks to these online glossaries, you will be able to translate every word you do not know. As the renowned writer Umberto Eco says: "The wise is not the one who knows when Napoleon was born, but the one who knows where to find the answer.
" Having all the words translated does not mean having your text translated. How come? Each text has its own genre, its own way to express ideas, that you must know of and be able to use. Let me quote the Dr Hahnemann, creator of homeopathic medicines: "similia similibus curentur". This concept wants that the similar helps curing the like.
It works in the same way with any professional translation, a similar text will help you translate your text. To sum it up, you have to read subject-related texts. For instance by doing so you will learn how to express in French the ideas that the English text is featuring. No one cares if you understand perfectly the text, you are paid to make other people understand the text. What is best than the opinion of a specialist in the field? You would be surprised how happy to help you surgeons are. You give them the opportunity to speak about their passion.
And as English is the shared language in medicine, they may have parallel texts for you. You may even find a surgeon able to help you out with the understanding of the English text. I remember a text about a dreadful disease, the cystic fibrosis (CF). This disease appears in infancy and childhood; the average life expectancy of people affected by it is reduced to 37 years. Difficult breathing and lung infections are the main symptoms.
CF is caused by the mutation in a gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). I recognized there the symptoms of a young French singer recently deceased. I was translating "cystic fibrosis" by "fibrose cystique". I have to admit that the fact the translation for "CFTR gene" was "gène CFTR" did not help me. Even if "fibrose cystique" exists in French, it is not the one used. Indeed, "cystic fibrosis" is translated in French by "mucoviscidose".
This was the key I was waiting for. Scientists' texts made everything clearer. I changed my medical professional translation according to the articles I found and handled it.
It shows how a simple word can lock an entire professional translation. And how this simple word once correctly translated did unlock the execution of the professional translation. In memory of Grégory Lemarchal, French singer, 1983-2007.
About the Author:
The author is a freelance translator and writer collaborating with TeknikaTrad, a company specialized in technical and industrial professional translations. Maintain an image of excellence and increase your sales to foreign markets with high quality professional translations of your documents, manuals, brochures, and other papers.