Specialization: Intensive care and emergency medicine
As a trained paramedic with 10 years of professional experience, I know not only the language of this sector, but also the measures and procedures from first aid at the site of an incident to stabilization and clinical care of the patient in the intensive care unit. Texts dealing with this subject are often full of pitfalls. One should, for example, be aware of the subtle difference between a “bier” and a “stretcher” or between “rescuing” and “salvaging” before attempting to translate texts from this area between German and English.
Specialization: Anaesthesia and pain therapy
Don’t you find it fascinating when pain can simply be switched off? Anaesthesia is a routine procedure in operations, and there are many possibilities for treating chronic pain today:In addition to drugs, electromedical procedures such as neurostimulation are becoming increasingly important. Alternative treatment methods such as hypnosis, acupuncture or the administration of cannabis products also promise relief in many cases. In Germany, about 8-10 million people suffer from chronic pain that is difficult to treat (intractable).
Cardiac medicine has made enormous progress in the last 50 years.Instead of several hours of open heart surgery, minimally invasive interventions are now sufficient to implant a pacemaker, for example. However, cardiological texts have not lost any of their pitfalls. For example, mistaking heart failure with sudden cardiac arrest or thinking angina, a potentially life-threatening heart condition, to be bad a cold, as these concepts might suggest when translating between English and German, are errors that are typical of casual translators. And the English abbreviation ECG, for example in a medical report, won’t lead a good medical translator up the garden path, because he or she knows that this can mean electrocardiogram or echocardiogram, depending on the context – what a difference that can make!
Diabetes is high on the list of major widespread diseases. The causes and symptoms of diabetes are the same all over the world, and those affected must make a real difference in their lives regardless of their geographical and ethnic origins.When it comes to translating specialist texts on diabetes, translators often apply all of their skills. The crux is not so much with linguistic phenomena than with bridging cultural differences. Eating habits, recreational sports and the working environment look quite different in North America than in Europe.Such contents must therefore be “localized” in order to avoid being disconcerting in the culture of the addressees. There are also differing medical conventions to be aware of:For example, blood sugar readings are usually given in “mg/dl” in Germany, whereas North Americans prefer to give such values in “mmol/l”.
Specialization: Rare diseases
When the movie “Rain Man” was shown in cinemas in 1989, millions of people suddenly knew that there was such a thing as autism – even if the movie was about a rather untypical case. Adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) attained similar publicity in the 1993 film “Lozenzo’s Oil”. And when the BSE scandal about contaminated beef took half the world by storm at the end of the 1990s, everyone was suddenly talking about the very rare Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. But for most rare diseases there are no Hollywood films and no mass phenomena that could lead to awareness. Still 10% of the total population suffers from rare diseases. 50% of those affected are children. Their mouthpiece is organized self-help, and medical translators make an enormous contribution to fostering awareness and acceptance of these diseases which, after all, are not so rare as it may seem.
Key specialties: cardiac and vascular medicine, intensive care and emergency medicine, anaesthesia and pain therapy, diabetes, rare diseases
Armin Mutscheller is a graduate translator for English and German who specializes in medicine, technology, terminology and knowledge management. His company is located in Neckargemünd, Germany.For many other European and Asian languages, he works with an experienced team of professional translators.Together, we translate all types of text, including technical documentation, marketing materials, press bulletins, legal documents and contracts, software and websites.
© 2017 Armin Mutscheller • Quality through 25 years of experience and specialization • Translation process to ISO 17100 • Member of the German Federal Association of Translators and Interpreters (BDÜ)