Specific Characteristics and Challenges of Medical Interpreting (Exemplified on the German Language)


The paper analyzes the specific characteristics and challenges of medical interpreting. It establishes the critical differences between the competences of non-professional and professional interpreters. The necessary conditions for the successful work of a medical interpreter, as well as the factors causing translation mistakes, are considered in the current study. The paper summarizes most mistakes made by non-professional interpreters taking place in bilingual communication between a physician and a patient, and also emphasizes the crucial features of their consequences for the health and life of patients because they are the main source of medical mistakes. The authors substantiate the need to attract professional interpreters to improve the quality of medical care in connection with the growth of international labour migration in the context of globalization. In the case of mediated communication involving an interpreter, the reasons for the communication disruption may be due to incompetent actions of the interpreter, causing serious mistakes. These include eliminating, "false fluency", non-equivalent replacement of words and statements, "correction" of statements with the inclusion of the translator's own opinion, the addition of words or phrases missing from the original message.

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