Some skills in Medical English Translation (II)

2. The processing of word meaning

The word meaning should be decided by the context of original text. The word meaning in original text should be explicated if necessary.

2.1 The choice of word meaning

As we all known, one English word often has several meanings. Besides, there will be some other different meanings after matching with other words.

a) Words are chosen according to the context and speech.

For example:

The temperature will fall to normal within 24 hours. 体温将在 24 小时内降为正常。(Fall: Verb. “下降”)
The child fell in this afternoon. 今天下午孩子病了。(Fall: Link Verb,“变得”)

b) To chose word meaning according to collocation. We should master idioms and fixed collocation as more as possible. Especially pay attention to collocation between adj. and noun, verb. and noun.

Read Also: What Makes A Life-death Difference? Don’t Ever Fall Short With Medical Translation

For example:

Heavy smoking greatly increases the probability of getting lung cancer. 抽烟过多会大大增加患肺癌的可能性。

Avoidance of heavy food is very important of the patients with stomach trouble. 对有胃病的病人来说,重要的是避免进食难消化的食物。

2.2 Meaning extended

When we cannot find out suitable meaning to translate, we should consider extending the original meaning. There are two main methods about extending meaning including abstraction and concretion.

a) Abstraction extending. We should use general words instead of concrete words in original text if necessary.

For example:

Application of laser in correction of myopia surgery is still in its infancy.

Mistranslation: 激光在近视矫正手术中的应用仍处于婴儿期

Suitable translation: 激光在近视矫正手术中的应用仍处于发展的初期

b) Concretion extending. We should use concrete words instead of general words in original text if necessary.

For example:

The book is perhaps too high-powered for common doctor.

Mistranslation: 此书对于一般医生来说也许功率过大。

Suitable translation: 此书对于一般医生来说也许内容过于深奥。

This is only a small part about medical English translation. If you have interest in it, you can click here to view Some Skills in Medical English Translation (I). Also, you can continue to pay attention to this kind of blogs.

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