Can Medical Research Be Translated? - Quynh Huong Center for Foreign Language Translation & Education

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17 Nov 2020

Can Medical Research Be Translated?

COVID-19 has tormented the world for months, and it is still causing severe casualties all over the world, affecting the economy and security of the whole population. Isn't it amusing yet terrifying how a medical dilemma like this can change the world in a snap?

This is where the importance of medical research comes in. Its goal is to provide improvements in medical procedures and treatments to solve various health problems around the globe. Medical translation plays an important role in giving people easy access and understanding of these medical researches as well. Read further to learn more: 

The Evolution Of Medical Research

Medical research has many forms. It encompasses several fields ranging from pharmacology, toxicology, biology, and pathology. But the primary essence of medical research is to protect the health and overall well-being of human beings through the development of new drugs and treatments.

With all its technicalities, medical research becomes useless if the people it serves do not understand its use. Because of this reason, medical research translation has become an essential aspect of this field.

Medical Language Plight

The history of our diverse languages goes a long way. Back then, people used Latin as the primary language for medicine, while others used Greek for medical instructions. But it continues to evolve as humans try to find a better universal language.

The Issue With the Universal Language

Today, English is used by the international scientific community as the primary medium of research. But the use of a singular language can be problematic as some scientists are not well-versed in using it in their study. Thus, crucial research by non-English scientists might potentially get ignored, primarily since it cannot be understood by many.

The H5N1 Flu Dilemma

One excellent example of this dilemma would be the H5N1 bird flu that posed a significant threat to humans back then. In reality, Chinese scientists published several studies regarding the severity of this medical issue.

However, the World Health Organization seemingly took several months to shed some light on this research. Because this study was in another language, experts from the World Health Organization have overlooked it even though it contained crucial information. If this scenario happens again, it can pose several dangers to our society.

Medical Research Translation

So we are left with the question, "Can Medical Research be translated?" The answer here is pretty simple— yes, but it is not an easy feat. As a matter of fact, the essence and meaning of some words might get lost in translation. That is why the background of the translator is essential.

Accuracy of Translation

One factor that might affect the interpretation of medical research would be culture. Some terminologies and ideas might differ from people of different cultures; thus, the translator must be fluent in the languages he is working on for the conversion to be precise and accurate. Next, the translator must also be well-versed with the medical vocabulary.

Medical translation is complicated since the processes, technicalities, and details are considered. However, several professional language companies worldwide specialize in certified translation services and translating complex research and studies to give light to languages that are not often heard in the scientific community.

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