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Patient oriented terminology: English»Portuguese
Thread poster: eurolanguagesPt

eurolanguagesPt  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Apr 17, 2008

I’ve been reviewing translated (Eng»Eur Port) statements /questions to be used in North American health institutions and am presently stuck on this item:
EAR, NOSE & THROAT CLINIC which I think should be translated into Portuguese as is (word per word), since the target audience will be mostly older immigrants with little or no schooling and who’ve been abroad for years and have already created their own little “dialect”.
We have to be accurate, brief, to the point and simple so that anyone can understand the message being transmitted.
My problem derives from the fact that the other team members insist on adding the term that is typically used in Portugal OTORRINOLARINGOLOGIA.
I totally disagree because these statements/questions are to be used in North America and not in Portugal, and the Portuguese patients living there are most likely not even familiar with this 6 million dollar word; I honestly doubt that most people can pronounce this word, let alone know what it means!
Since simple language is of the essence, I don’t see the need for this word! What do you fellow translators think?
All opinions are welcome!

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Nuno Quintas
Local time: 02:44
English to Portuguese
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My two cents... Apr 17, 2008

... and my first time in the forum.

IMHO, 'otorrinolaringologista' is a not-so-well-known word, but its shortened (and informal) form - 'otorrino' - is widely used. At least my grandmother has always used it and I hear it all the time being used by people from all different backgrounds.

But maybe others have a different experience from mine.

[Edited at 2008-04-17 23:18]

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:44
Spanish to English
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Another two cents Apr 17, 2008

Nuno Quintas wrote:
IMHO, 'otorrinolaringologista' is a not-so-well-known word, but its shortened (and informal) form - 'otorrino' - is widely used.

That's exactly the term I was going to suggest. A literal translation of "Ear, Nose and Throat" could go in parentheses but probably shouldn't be treated as a standard medical term.

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Marian Vieyra  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:44
Member (2007)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Ear, Nose, & Throat Apr 18, 2008

I agree with the otorrino suggestion. Even if the patients are older, they are still from mainland Portugal and will be familiar with more Latinized medical words. Ear, Nose and Throat is just a down-to-earth Anglo-Saxonism. However, your target audience may well be anglicized in which case they should read the document in English!

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eurolanguagesPt  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Thank you all! “preservatives/preservativos” Apr 18, 2008

Hello fellow translators!

I appreciate all the comments so far, but any others are still welcome!
I spoke with a colleague from the States, who also works with patient communication texts, and she also thinks that the Oto…term is not needed in this situation.
As I mentioned in my original text most people end up inventing their own anglicized dialects and aren’t even familiar with the current terminology from their native country. I can relate to this very well since I lived in Montreal, Canada from the age of 9 until 39; when I returned to Portugal it was almost like relearning the language even though we spoke Portuguese at home.
On one inconvenient occasion, while shopping at Continente with my sister who is as prim & proper as a nun, I blurted out in the middle of the store “Espera, estou só a ver se tem preservativos!” in response to her pressuring me to hurry up and leave. I’ve never seen her take off so fast! Of course, what I meant to say was “conservantes”, but since I had just arrived from Canada and, being used to look for “preservatives” what can I say…it’s not my fault that different countries use the same word for distinct designations!
Thank you all!

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