The problems of translator when translating medical documents
When the translator has to translate medical documents, he must use special dictionaries, idiomatic expressions, connotation, registration, style, structure, terminology and syntax in his search for an accurate translation. The language specialist can expect specific problems that arise at the level of words, as opposed to levels of grammatical equivalence, text equivalence, and pragmatic equivalence.
Problems with the level of the word that arise when translating
The lexical meaning of a word is its meaning in a language that has evolved through use. There are different types of values associated with the lexical origin of the word. These are types: propositional meaning, implied meaning, expressive meaning and meaning. Propositional meaning is the most basic, clear and straightforward meaning of a word. Expressive meaning or connotation is what explains the shades of meaning over the propositional meaning. The assumed value is associated with collocation. For example, the adjective “strong” is more often used to describe animals, plants and inanimate objects, rather than humans. The value you call refers to the register or dialect. A register is a language used for a particular interaction or situation, for example, an adult talking with a child.
Fortunately, medical translations, unlike legal translations, have a propositional meaning, usually coinciding between the two languages. This is because the disease and anatomy of the human body are essentially the same throughout the world. However, medical translation delays the interpreter when it comes to evoked meanings that do not coincide between different languages. At the same time, medical translation often suggests uncoordinated presumed meanings between languages as a result of coincidences.
Various Registers of Medical Translation
What sets the medical translation apart from other technical translations in terms of complexity is its numerous registers. Under normal conditions, many parts of the body and diseases have one name in a higher (medical) register, and the other – in a lower (conversational) register.
The reason why there are different medical registers is due to historical reasons and because different medical fields developed separately. The register of medical languages in European languages is a jungle of synonyms – different words are applied to the same condition, depending on whether the viewpoint is anatomical, clinical or pathological, and sometimes and when and where the expression is used.
Medical translation is considered particularly difficult, because the translator must know how the body works, how the disease develops, etc. It can be argued that an interpreter working on the text of electrical engineering in energy transmission systems will also have to understand how the system works. The difference is that a technical translator can usually call a machine part and a lowercase system for all technical translation texts. Technical text for a layman would simply be less detailed.
The existence of two registers in medical translations would not present many difficulties for the interpreter if it were not for the fact that a certain number of languages have only one word for both registers, while the other languages have two or more words. When translating one medical term from the source language to the target language with two or more parameters, one must take into account the context of the text and the register.
In medical translations, the audience for which the text is intended affects the translation. Many attempts have been made to list the different types of communication in medical translations. But, more or less, four categories are professional (doctoral), professional and semi-professional (medical doctor or nurse), professional for nonprofessionals (from doctor to patient) and non-professional (reporter reader). Three registries also exist in medical translations: doctor-doctor, patient doctor and patient-patient. The latter refers to documents written by non-professionals for others suffering from the same disease.
Dictionaries can only partially solve the problem. Medical translation professionals recommend that you never take a bilingual or multilingual dictionary as an authority when you need to translate medical documents. It often contains too many synonyms without their context, obsolete words.
If a medical translator works only with medical texts that are in a certain area, then the registration will not be so cumbersome. The source or target language of many medical texts is English, since it is the lingua franca of the medical profession. A good medical interpreter will know how to cope with different registries between the source and target language.
When the medical text is first used, the medical interpreter must first determine its register and translate it into the target language. This can be difficult for an interpreter when there is one term in the source or target language and when there are several terms in the second language. In addition to registration, the interpreter will have to solve the basic problems of any translator, that is, syntax, grammar, style, terminology, etc.