Article: Tips for Writing Better Medical Texts in English
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 11:55
Nov 1, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "Tips for Writing Better Medical Texts in English".

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Local time: 19:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
(1) Understanding (2) Collocations Nov 2, 2005

Having just finished a very technical medical translation (on CSF shunts), I appreciatd this article and would recommend it to students and beginners. Hopefully the more experienced translators already know it all.

Just two comments.

1) There is no mention of something that is crucial for translators: UNDERSTANDING the source text. To translate without understanding is to translate blind - in any kind of translation. So understanding medical texts means having or acquring some medical background knowledge. Before I started my translation, I knew nothing about CSF shunts, so I took a couple of hours to read up about them. Fortunately these days, with Google and the like, it's not hard to find background material.

2) I think you're confusing collocations with idioms. Collocations exist in all registers of the languages that I work with. A collocation is a conventional word combination. So when I write "the patient presented with severe abdomen", 'presented with' is a verb + preposition collocation and 'severe abdomen' is a compound term collocation, and both are formal, technical medical language.

Please keep writing.

Brian Harris
Valencia, Spain

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Article: Tips for Writing Better Medical Texts in English

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