Medical Interpreting: Keeping Up with New Terminology

Medical interpreter training is a never-ending process for high-quality interpreters, whose job is to help non-English speakers communicate with doctors and nurses. The medical field is constantly changing, and medical interpreters must stay current in order to keep their skills relevant.

Here’s a look at three reasons why it’s important to contract with an interpreting firm that will ensure its medical interpreters stay on top of the latest medical advances:

1. New terminology. Thousands of new medical terms are created every year, according to the World Health Organization. Not only does a medical interpreter need to stay on top of these, but in some cases he or she may have to come up with an appropriate way of interpreting a term that does not yet have a counterpart in the language into which the information is being interpreted. This requires thorough medical knowledge within the given field.

2. Pronunciation. Not only do medical interpreters have to recognize and understand new terms, but they need to be able to pronounce them on the fly. This can be a particular challenge given that there may be no prior reference point available for the new medical term. Smart medical translators keep a wealth of resources available so they can verify pronunciations ahead of time.

3. Evolution of terms. As if learning thousands of new terms per year weren’t enough, medical interpreters also need to remain aware that medical terms evolve differently in different countries. For example, a term that is outdated in one country may remain current in another. It is important to stay abreast of common usages in both languages.

Medical interpreter training never really ends. It’s critical for medical interpreters to stay current on industry knowledge and terminology in order to ensure patients receive the best care possible.

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