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Exploring the cultural dimension of health translation

Published in Ji, Meng. Cross-cultural health translation. London: Routledge. 2019
Abstract Medicine represents a field in which translation is needed, both in spite of and because of the consolidation of English as the lingua franca of science. This is partly due to the importation of scientific texts written mainly in English that sometimes need to be translated into other languages, but also because national and international legislations highlight the patient's right to access information, which includes both written documents and the information given orally by health workers. In a globalised world, healthcare systems are increasingly faced with the challenge of dealing with patients from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as from other different healthcare systems. The implication of this is that national health services have to translate documents into different languages and offer interpreting services to these patients. The challenges encountered are not only linguistic. Other challenges arise as a consequence of non-local patients coming from different cultural backgrounds and having different conceptions of medicine, healthcare, illness and treatment. A situation of this nature, with barriers of language, culture and medical understanding, if not adequately addressed, could potentially lead to serious problems of quality, security and equitability in medical care. In this contribution, I set out to explore the issues of readability, familiarity and culture. I will focus on the concept of culture and its implications in medical communication. I argue that culture is a complex and dynamic notion that goes beyond its consideration as a risk factor to a way to explain group differences and lower rates of medical adherence to dominant systems; it is a notion that has to be comprehensively considered in medical translation and interpreting in order to improve health literacy, reduce asymmetry in medical encounters and enhance the access of non-dominant populations to health systems.
Keywords MedicineCultureCommunicationTranslationInterpreting
ISBN: 978-0-367-15001-3
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RUIZ ROSENDO, Lucia. Exploring the cultural dimension of health translation. In: Ji, Meng (Ed.). Cross-cultural health translation. London : Routledge, 2019. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:123725

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Deposited on : 2019-10-01

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