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Should unqualified translators be permitted to translate medical/healthcare documents?
Objavljivač niti: Cathy McCormick

Liviu-Lee Roth
Sjedinjene Američke Države
Local time: 13:51
rumunski na engleski
+ ...
Just from experience Jun 7, 2018

Katalin Szilárd wrote:




Doctor Đorđević, a well known doctor from Bosnia, emigrated to the US. He tried to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination, but failed it by a couple of points, therefore he cannot practice in his field. Being proficient in English, he translates medical documents from Bosnian into English and vice versa. I would chose him ahead of any other professional translator.




[Edited at 2018-06-07 00:20 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-06-07 00:22 GMT]


Liviu, how do you know that the quality of doctor Đorđević's translations are better than other translators if you - as an end client - don't speak the language and/or you are not expert in the given field?
Translation is not about being proficient in English (or in a foreign language) and knowing a field.

Being proficient in English will not make Doctor Đorđević a medical translator.
Being proficient in English will not make a lawyer a legal translator.

Just as interpretation needs a whole bunch of different skills than translation.
Being proficient in English and being a perfect translator will not make someone a perfect interpreter either.

Different skills are needed for 1) being a physician, 2) being a translator and 3) being an interpreter.
How many times we have seen: you are in a foreign country and you don't understand the foreign language, finally you find somebody who understands both languages and she/he tries to interpret, she/he understands everything but cannot find the perfect & accurate words to interpret you the conversation. The same thing with translation: understanding a sentence in a foreign language doesn't mean you can put the meaning into your language accurately.

The point is: a physician thinks like a physician, a translator thinks like a linguist.
In school we have learnt there are science subjects (mathematics, physics, biology etc.) and there are humanities (literature, grammar, languages, arts etc. - and translation is within this category). Usually those people who are good in science are not very good in humanities and vice versa: different activities/parts of the brain. Fortunately there are exceptions, but translation and specialized translation belong to the humanities category. If you don't have that special linguistic skill, no matter how good physician you are and how perfectly you speak a foreign language, you cannot be a good translator in your specialization.

I beg to disagree. I have been a legal translator AND court interpreter for over 25 years and while reviewing legal translations done for the US Department of Justice by experienced linguists, I noticed many conceptual mistakes, therefore I stand by my previous statement.

You are right, not all lawyers or doctors are very good translators but, at least here in the US, the Romanian lawyers who work as legal translators and interpreters do a much better job than most translators who are linguists.

Lee




[Edited at 2018-06-07 08:21 GMT] [/quote]


 

Liviu-Lee Roth
Sjedinjene Američke Države
Local time: 13:51
rumunski na engleski
+ ...
I am not saying that Jun 7, 2018

mona elshazly wrote:

It is as if you are saying that translators in the field engineering should be engineers, translators in the field of law should be lawyers and so on. This is not logic as why there are translators if translating a specialized text requires that a translator should have a degree therein. I think experience and being keen on work is sufficient.



My point was that IF I have to choose between a translator who has a medical training background and a pure linguist, I would rather choose the doctor. Same for engineers, lawyers etc.
I agree that experience plays a very important role and that, at some point in time, a translator will learn all the legal principles and how to apply them in legal translations.

On the other hand, on the Romanian language forum, I posted tens of horrible mistakes made by pure linguists who are not aware of the legal subtleties.

Lee

[Edited at 2018-06-07 14:36 GMT]


 

IrinaN
Sjedinjene Američke Države
Local time: 12:51
engleski na ruski
+ ...
A rhetoric question Jun 7, 2018

Should unqualified anyone be permitted to sell any skills h/s does not possess?

No, but myriads do, always have and always will until we build a global communism and renounce money, or someone invents a pill for buyer's stupidity.

As a driver, I consider a bad car mechanic a no less dangerous creature than a bad medical translator. His work may certainly result in a lot of work for medical translators but I wouldn't call it a good way to support the colleagues... See more
Should unqualified anyone be permitted to sell any skills h/s does not possess?

No, but myriads do, always have and always will until we build a global communism and renounce money, or someone invents a pill for buyer's stupidity.

As a driver, I consider a bad car mechanic a no less dangerous creature than a bad medical translator. His work may certainly result in a lot of work for medical translators but I wouldn't call it a good way to support the colleagues.

It's the responsibility of the end buyer to do the research or pay the price. Your mother does not work here - some may consider this rude but many US companies put this sign in their break rooms, restrooms etc to remind people to pick up their own mess. It works!

We can only wish that certain frauds would bear tougher legal consequences than the others but the best we can do is to educate a specific client in each and every instance. Having the utmost respect for any higher education, I've already stated in a different forum that no degree makes a good translator/interpreter by default. Price and proven experience should take their rightful place among the primary drivers in choosing a language provider for any subject.
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Liviu-Lee Roth
Sjedinjene Američke Države
Local time: 13:51
rumunski na engleski
+ ...
Excellent! Jun 7, 2018

IrinaN wrote:

Should unqualified anyone be permitted to sell any skills h/s does not possess?

No, but myriads do, always have and always will until we build a global communism and renounce money, or someone invents a pill for buyer's stupidity.

As a driver, I consider a bad car mechanic a no less dangerous creature than a bad medical translator. His work may certainly result in a lot of work for medical translators but I wouldn't call it a good way to support the colleagues.

It's the responsibility of the end buyer to do the research or pay the price. Your mother does not work here - some may consider this rude but many US companies put this sign in their break rooms, restrooms etc to remind people to pick up their own mess. It works!

We can only wish that certain frauds would bear tougher legal consequences than the others but the best we can do is to educate a specific client in each and every instance. Having the utmost respect for any higher education, I've already stated in a different forum that no degree makes a good translator/interpreter by default. Price and proven experience should take their rightful place among the primary drivers in choosing a language provider for any subject.



 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Mađarska
Local time: 19:51
engleski na mađarski
+ ...
Individual, language and education specific Jun 7, 2018

liviu roth wrote:


I beg to disagree. I have been a legal translator AND court interpreter for over 25 years and while reviewing legal translations done for the US Department of Justice by experienced linguists, I noticed many conceptual mistakes, therefore I stand by my previous statement.

You are right, not all lawyers or doctors are very good translators but, at least here in the US, the Romanian lawyers who work as legal translators and interpreters do a much better job than most translators who are linguists.

Lee




[Edited at 2018-06-07 08:21 GMT]
[/quote]

My experience is very different. Probably it's also language specific.

It depends on:

1) the person's skills and knowledge (linguistic and other skills)
2) the person's education background (I'm not talking about having a diploma but whether that person has a practical real knowledge behind the diploma)
3) the person's overall IQ
4) the specific language pair (for example Hungarian is a pretty unique language: we still don't know where our language is coming from, and which other languages (if any) we are related to, we have very different grammar and word order than English, on the other hand as far as I know Romanian native-speakers can learn Italian and French easier, because there is a relation between these languages (Romance languages), and French or Italian is closer to English than English to Hungarian)
5) the person's experience in translation

etc.


 

Inna Ivanova  Identity Verified
Bugarska
Local time: 20:51
Član (2019)
bugarski na engleski
+ ...
Yes, they should. Jan 12

Posted a long time ago, but I think the question is universally valid.
Almost every time I go to a hospital or clinic and a few times at the dentist also I faint because of the smells and disinfection materials they use. Even the thought or sight of blood sometimes makes me faint. I don't imagine I will ever be able to receive a medical degree in this case. But I have no problem translating medical texts. They are not as icky as the real stuff. ...
See more
Posted a long time ago, but I think the question is universally valid.
Almost every time I go to a hospital or clinic and a few times at the dentist also I faint because of the smells and disinfection materials they use. Even the thought or sight of blood sometimes makes me faint. I don't imagine I will ever be able to receive a medical degree in this case. But I have no problem translating medical texts. They are not as icky as the real stuff.
The best case scenario is if you have someone to turn to in case of need - some doctor friend or acquaintance. But so far I haven't had the need to do so. The internet and proz.com's Kudos also provide substantial help.
While certain types of medical documents can be intimidating, often the most difficult-sounding terms are transliterated because of their Latin origin. Terms are not that difficult. Abbreviations and manuscripts, on the other hand, might be nerve-wracking.
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