Medical documents – grammatical and stylistic features of translation

The high demand for the translation of medical documentation has led to the fact that experienced linguists have been engaged in the study of methods for translating texts of this direction. The constant development of the medical industry, stylistic and grammatical features of translation cause a lot of difficulties even for experienced translators. The priority factor in the quality translation of medical documents is a thorough study of medical terminology and methods of its application in texts with different content.

Medical terminology and its characteristic features

Medical terminology is understood as a special system of concepts denoting the state of the body and the biological processes taking place in it. Medical terms also include designations for diagnostic methods and various methods of treatment and diagnosis of diseases. Medical terms also include the names of medical equipment, devices, drugs, chemicals, medicines.

The peculiarity of medical vocabulary is also due to the fact that many terms have Latin and Greek roots and, in fact, are international.

Translation of medical documents

When working on documentation of medical content, you can use the possibilities of the Internet, especially if the translator works with a well-studied and popular topic. In some situations, you can consult with specialists in certain branches of medicine. Working with medical documentation requires a balanced and careful approach, because an inaccurate or fundamentally incorrect translation of one term can affect the patient’s health and even life.

Possible difficulties of medical translation

When working on medical documentation, a translator may encounter certain difficulties. One of them is the saturation of the medical sphere with Latin terms and abbreviations. For this reason, a translator must not only be a good linguist, but also have a certain amount of knowledge in the medical field. Moreover, sometimes English or Latin abbreviations do not have Russian-language analogues, which requires a thorough approach to the original from a translation specialist.

When performing medical translation, it is important to take into account the target audience of this documentation. If the text is intended for a qualified medical practitioner, the translation must take into account all the exact medical wording. If a pharmacist needs translation, special attention is paid to the dosage of the drug, side effects and symptoms. Translation of a medical text for ordinary patients is quite difficult. The translator must not only not distort the essence of the original, but also adapt the text to the perception of a person without proper medical qualifications.

Medical documentation can be not only printed, but also handwritten (scientific papers, notes, recipes, doctor’s conclusions). There are legends about the peculiarities of medical handwriting, but a translator must be able to cope with such complexity. Sometimes it takes more time to decipher the original than to complete the translation.

Typical mistakes of a translator

Specialists have identified a number of typical mistakes that are typical for the translation of medical documentation from English into Russian. The lion’s share of them is occupied by the so-called “false friends of the translator” – words that are consonant with commonly used Russian terms, but at the same time have a completely different meaning. A classic example from real life is the word preservatives, which means “preservatives”, not what is read.