The medical/healthcare industry is one in which change is inevitable. Streamed with constant new discoveries and innovations across the globe, finding the ability to properly channel information is important. Many healthcare corporations have found translating interpreting services to be one very vital medium. Although, translation companies and the medical sector have a long-running history of collaborating with one another. However, one hero that always is undermined in this process is that of a medical interpreter. So, what is the role of a medical interpreter?
The job of a medical interpreter requires them to function as a medium for healthcare providers and patients by accurately communicating any form of verbal interactions. Along with being fluent in two languages, the role of a medical interpreter requires them to be familiar with all the unique medical jargon as well. Toppled with increased pressure of foreign governments towards healthcare reforms, in some countries, healthcare providers are now required by law to provide the services of a medical interpreter. Leading to many of them to join forces with professional translating and interpreting services.
Are They Not The Same?
While translation refers to the sheer conversion of the text material, interpreting services require a more hands-on approach. In order to be an effective interpreter, you must have an immediate understanding of the given source language and be able to output it into the native language. Interpreters will typically find themselves in one of three scenarios.
1- Simultaneous Interpreting
- In this type of setting the interpreter is listening to the speaker in an isolated booth and conveying live translations via a microphone. From which the listeners can listen through a designated headset. This is mostly seen during diplomatic conclaves where a person addresses a group of foreign nationals.
2- Consecutive Interpreting
- This second type of setting requires interpreting services once the event is disbanded. Requiring the interpreter to not only have great conversion skills but develop effective PR skills as well.
3- Face to Face Interpreting
- Our third and final setting is the one that is in practice the most often. It is also the category medical interpreters follow under. In this type of setting, the interpreter is physically present for a “one-on-one” appointment.
What are Some Challenges a Medical Interpreter May Come Across?
On average, an interpreter has five to ten seconds to generate an ample interpretation. Now given this short window of opportunity, some obstacles are inevitable. The list includes but is not limited to difficult situations such as:
- Clearness of the speaker – maneuvering around this can be rather cumbersome for a medical interpreter. At times, they may be present with patients who may be in a ‘life or death’ situation. More often than they would like, medical interpreters are presented with emergency cases in which the clarity of the speech may not be 100%.
- The cultural aspect – medical interpreters have to be equipped with cultural knowledge of idioms, colloquies, and customs. For example in many South Asian countries, a way of showing affection to a loved one is by every family member from immediate and extended family gatherings at the hospital. A custom not many western nations may fully understand.
- No previous history – the prime job of a medical interpreter is able to provide an adequate history of a patient. Details like medical history, current medications, or any other relevant information. In some cases, patients who are traveling may not be always carrying a list of updated medical information.
- Humor does not travel well – it is human nature to convert stress into humor, and given a medical setting, emotions are bound to run high. This is where even the most experienced interpreter hit a snag. When translating written text material often you have enough time to find a proper counterpart joke but with interpreting, it is simply not the case.
The World Beyond Medical Interpretation
We have primarily focused our discussion towards the world medical interpretations, where in reality interpreters are masked heroes behind many closed doors. They help families unite in courtrooms, help address nations on a global platform, and even help you in dire medical situations. Therefore, for someone holding that much accountability to his or her name, it is vital to ensure a highly skilled professional is doing the job.
Professional local African firms like AfroLingo, located in the epicenter of South Africa, provides one of a kind medical interpreting and specialized translation services in Johannesburg. Keeping in respect with the linguistic diversity of Africa, cater to languages such as Afrikaans, Swahili, Zulu, Somali, Xhosa and much more. Some key features that local firms should consider –
In-House Native Translators – We hire all native-speaking translators that can cater to more than 20 different languages globally and have helped more than 150 clients localize their business in the African subcontinent. Therefore giving our clients a truly personal experience of the native audience, as our translators understand the cultural and political aspects of a certain region.
- Subject-Matter Experts – Choose a firm that goes an extra mile and hire experts from the field itself. This guarantees that there is no room for error as they will be familiar with all the special terminology required for the matter.
- A Quick Delivery –Upon client requests, we have even handled projects over the period of one night. Therefore, no matter the size and budget we have promised a fast turn-around time.
- A Quality Product – A rigorous multi-step quality check process guarantees there is never a need for a ‘do-over’ and our clients walk away with a final product that they can proudly display.
Collaborated with the extensive use of the Internet as a research tool, more companies are looking for professional translating and interpreting services that can offer quick solutions for their translations.