The Linguist

The Linguist 55,3

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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JUNE/JULY 2016 The Linguist 11 FEATURES as adviser ('consultant') in French. However, in medical practice, there are no consultants in France. In the NHS, the 'consultant' is a doctor or surgeon who has completed all of the specialist training. The cultural equivalent in the French medical system is a doctor or surgeon who has qualified as a specialist after passing the Diplôme d'Etudes Spécialisées (DES). We are then talking about a médecin/chirugien spécialiste. If the context allows, it can even be translated simply as spécialiste. I have seen many files that had been pre-translated with a general translation memory (TM) in which the translation of 'consultant' had been locked as adviser in French. A properly updated TM and the systematic use of an integrated termbase are necessary to avoid this type of false match (and many other issues). If the source text is in US English, the term 'board eligible' 2 or 'board registered' will be used. 'Board eligible' means that the doctor has completed the specialist training but not yet taken the exams to be granted the right to practise as a specialist; the board certified doctor has. In the French system, registration with the Ordre des médecins is compulsory in order to practise medicine, but there is no exam after specialist training to grant a legal licence to practise. The best equivalent here would be médecin spécialiste habilité dans sa spécialité for 'board certified' and médecin spécialiste non encore habilité dans sa spécialité for 'board eligible' but this is quite long and, depending on the context, it might be better to keep the English term. The next false friend often used in questionnaires is 'clinic'. In France, a clinique is a private healthcare establishment or a form of teaching given in the presence of patients. In the medical field, according to the Oxford dictionary definition, 3 in British English, a clinic is "An establishment or hospital department where outpatients are given medical treatment or advice, especially of a specialist nature. For example an antenatal clinic" or "A gathering at a hospital bedside for the teaching of medicine or surgery." There is clearly a common meaning in terms of teaching, and potentially in terms of establishment, but only if the English text specifies that the clinic in question is a private one. If we are talking about an antenatal or outpatients clinic, e.g, the preferred term would be consultation prénatale or service de consultations externes. Similarly, midwifery- led clinics are not private hospitals run by midwifes but consultations dirigées par des sages-femmes. Depending on the context, the English term 'clinic' could therefore be a clinique, a service de consultations or just a consultation. It could even be omitted by using a verb, as in the sentence 'How many patients do you see in your clinic in a typical week?': Combien de patients voyez-vous au cours d'une semaine typique? The sentence 'Do you treat these patients at the hospital or at a specialised clinic for x patients, or are you seeing them in your office in the community?' would therefore be translated as Traitez-vous ces patients à l'hôpital ou lors de consultations spécialisées pour les patients atteints de x ou les suivez- vous dans votre cabinet? This sentence leads us to the next term: 'community', which I often choose to omit altogether (as above). The term is neither widely used nor very relevant in the context of the French healthcare system. A 'community midwife', for instance, would simply be a sage-femme in French. Midwives are much more involved in the community in the UK than in France. The French medical system relies heavily on doctors, and pregnant women will generally be followed by their gynaecologist. Only about 1% of births in France are home births, so the meaning of community applies less to the French midwife, who will generally work within a medical institution rather than in the community (sage-femme libérale). Communication gaps Aside from culture-bound terms and technical constraints, some problems can stem from the reluctance of end-clients to give out information. Translators don't seem to be very highly regarded and are usually seen as mere workers in a long logistic chain. The translator can be using an old TM and generally no termbase. External reference materials are often difficult to use, when they are provided, given the time constraints of most projects (looking up a term in several pdfs takes time). The use of a properly integrated termbase is rare. Clients sometimes send a glossary, i.e. a bilingual table in Excel or Word (often a pdf), which the translator would then have to convert into a proper termbase (the content of a pdf is hardly convertible). As a terminology manager, I always argue that the systematic use of a termbase will save time and money in the long run and improve quality. The branding policy of a client can also be a problem when entire phrases have to stay in English in the target syntax. A client recently insisted on keeping a whole phrase in English as it was a brand name, but we couldn't use it as such, because the target reader might not have understood the word 'mouthwash'. We therefore had to create a very heavy sentence with 'XXX oral mouthwash TM ' becoming 'le bain de bouche XXX oral mouthwash TM '. Such problems require a whole rethink of the role of translation and the translator on the language service provider/client side. The best a linguist can do when faced with such technical constraints/requirements is to flag up the fact that only a properly integrated termbase will ensure consistency, and when untranslated phrases won't fit in the target text and will potentially impair communication in the target language. Notes 1;;; 2 board-eligibility 3 english/clinic

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