Keep and Eye Out For German Medical Translation and Legal Translation Errors

Nearly all professional translators, whether they live in Europe or America, understand that the English and German languages are close relatives and share many terms. German Language students usually find this to be a blessing and a curse.   English-speakers who are learning to become German Translation Services workers need to be aware of this. However, unfortunately, many early learners of German or English don’t understand that things are not always what they may seem. What experts call “false friends,” or “false cognates” are words that sound like a similar word in one language but mean something completely different.  In the translation profession translators should be just as wary of false language friends as they would be of false human friends.

As stated before, these words look like a familiar word but actually have nothing in common with it.  Incorrectly using false cognates can cause embarrassment at best and lawsuits in the worst case scenario.

When comparing German and English, you will find countless numbers of false cognates because the two languages have the same origins.  German and English linguists will tell you that the two languages share many words that sound and appear alike.  Brother / Bruder, auto / Auto, house / Haus, glass / Glas, etc. are just a few examples of the numerous true cognates that exist between the two languages.  There are literally hundreds of words like these that are truly similar in meaning and appearance in the English and German languages, but be careful.

Whether you are an English-native speaker translating from German or a German language native translating from English, the use of true cognates makes texts more readable and makes the translation process go much faster.  But false cognates are just a fact of life for a translator, whether you are providing German to English or English to German Translation.  Regardless of what you call them:  “falsche Freunde,” “false friends,” or false cognatesby any name can present problems if translation service providers are not careful.

The objective (Objektiv) act (Akt) of translation should be done after (After) review of the document.  This sentence shows how the German words in parentheses can be misinterpreted because of their nature as false cognates.  The German words, “After,” “Akt” and “Objectiv” actually mean “rectum,” “nude,” and “lens” respectively in English.  Many such false cognates also exist in medical translations.  These include words like “Weh” which really means pain.  True professional medical translators are wary of false cognates like “kosten”, which means to taste.

Similar difficulties are found in legal translation, which false cognates popping up frequently.  These often include words like “Rathaus,” which means “City Hall,” and not a home for a rodent.  Poor German Medical Translation usually includes many words that are  full of words like “Akt” (see above for meaning) and “absolvieren,” which means to successfully finish a course.  But these are only a few of the numerous false cognates between the German and English languages.  A “Drogerei” is like a drugstore, but lacks the drugs.  It is actually a shop that sells personal items like deodorant, shampoo and candy.  You need to go to the “Apotheke” if you need medications.    In addition, you will need a “Rezept” (prescription) if you go to the pharmacy, but don’t ask the cashier for a “Rezept”, because she will think you are asking for a prescription or a recipe.In summary, this all just underlines the importance of remaining attentive to the complexities involved in professional translation, with particular attention to ensuring you understand that false cognates can ruin a translation.  Mistakenly using false cognates always results in gross errors that reflect poorly on the German translator, the German translation and on the organization or person who uses the translation for official purposes.

Inadequate Medical Translation Services Translate to Medical Malpractice

Medical Translation and Medical Malpractice from German Translation and Korean Transltion mistakes.

Medical Translation Negligence

With the amount of publicity that medical error has received in the news, it is easy to see why the public now views it as something very serious in terms of avoidable patient injury, achieving effective treatment, and controlling health care costs. The prevention of medical errors may seem to be a relatively simple task, and with heightened awareness, some improvements have been reported. While some of these methods are already in place, healthcare administrators are continuously working on new practical, reasonable, and effective approaches.  Unfortunately, most new cases of medical negligence could have easily been avoided.  For instance, research shows that the majority of healthcare slip-ups are due to subpar communiqué often from inexperienced medical translation workers.  Through this editorial, we will shine light on an important oversight so that safer, better and less expensive medical treatment can be offered.

Problems in medical translation and interpretation occur throughout the world.   No country is safe. There are still treatment centers throughout the world that are unqualified to accommodate people needing Japanese, Portuguese or even Korean Translation services.  To help explain the scale of this predicament, our medical translation team has documented a case that will give you a general idea of the issues we face today.

Textbooks on workplace communication detail the encoding, transmission and decoding that takes place in all forms of workplace.  Each message is designed to produce some sort of stimuli when interpreted by the intended party. There are a wide range of methods that allow messages to transmitted and received in an organization that consist of vocal, printed and other non-verbal processes.  For illustration, communication can be facilitated frankly or through an intermediary by means of a vocal message, cell phone, text message, letter, etc.. In addition, the message can take on a wide range of tones that may seem offensive, peaceful, hurried, panicked, advisory, vendictive.  It might also be in a foreign language, special code or another means of expression. Communication might have a hidden agenda too.  In other words, it can full of ambiguity, shun responsibility, and be misleading.

With the previous background information, we now feel comfortable sharing the findings from a medical care study that examined the results of inadequate medical translation..  A worldwide report written by a major medical association found large instances of medical translation error in the medical systems of the U.S., Canada and several European Union nations.  In nearly one in five cases that required the involvement of a medical translator, a serious error was reported. The primary cause was contributed to insufficient experience of the medical translator that contributed to a breakdown in overall communication. The problem implicated the German Translation workers who were shown to lack the medical and interpretation skills needed to adequately communicate the doctor’s orders.    This resulted in patients who were too confused about the instructions provided by the interpreter or patients who didn’t agree with something that the interpreter said. According to available intelligence sources, the health of patients was often in jeopardy because the translator was unqualified to accurately communicate knowledge, beliefs, concerns, questions and answers to the medical staff. Often, doctors were unable not make clear the specific goals for treatment. Translators also overlooked other information that pertained to side-effects of medication and emotional burdons. As a result, many patients grew tired of the side effects and completely stopped taking their prescriptions.  The researchers also found countless examples of poor translations that led to duplicate appointments, incorrect appointment times and large errors in the translation of patient medical records.

Russian, Japanese and Arabic Subtitling, Dubbing and Voiceovers

Subtitles, Dubbing and Voiceovers for Russian, Japanese and Arabic Translation

Audiovisual Translations for Russian, Arabic, and Japanese

Despite being a professional practice that can be traced back to the very origins of cinema, audiovisual language translation (AVT) has been a relatively unknown field of translation studies until very recently In fact, during the 1950’s to 1970’s the subject area of translating audio video content didn’t go through any evolutionary changes.  Instead, the field hibernated until the mid 1990’s and early 21st century. Primarily, the lack of progress in the field was due to the lack of major technological developments that could generate new efficiencies and produce higher quality. By reviewing this article, people interested in AVT will have a greater understanding for what it is and how it has improved.

For those in the translation service, entering the AVT arena will demand even greater technical skills and linguistic competencies because there are many more obstacles that must be faced. Indeed, while attempting to recreate a real live situation on screen, they may hamper comprehension of a given scene due to fast paced dialogue exchanges among characters, the use of unknown dialectal and sociolectal variations, instances of overlapping speech and interfering diegetic noises and music, to name but a few. The skilled Audio Video Technicians must be able to internalize the entire scene and know the best way to present it to the greatest number of foreign speaking viewers.

In nearly all cases, the Japanese Translation of audiovisual content is most easily provided to the client in one of two preferred methods. Either oral output remains oral output, as in the original production, or it is transformed into written output. If the first option is favored, the original soundtrack is replaced by a new one in the target language, a process which is generally known as ‘revoicing’. The replacement may be total, whereby the target viewer can no longer hear the original exchanges, as in dubbing (also known as lip sync), or partial, that is, when the original spoken dialogue is still (faintly) audible in the background, as in the case of voiceover.

Although it is true that habit, cultural disposition and financial considerations have made of dubbing, subtitling and voiceover the three most common translation modes of AVT, this does not mean that they are the only language transfer options available in the industry. Surprisingly, Russian Translation workers who are employed in Hollywood have counted up to 11 distinguishable forms of multilingual transfer alternatives for audiovisual communication. Instead of going into every type available, we will instead provide a brief description of the main methods that include voiceovers, dubbing and subtitling.

Dubbing involves replacing the original soundtrack containing the actors’ dialogue with a target language recording that reproduces the original message, ensuring that the target language sounds and the actors’ lip movements are synchronized, in such a way that target viewers are led to believe that the actors on screen are actually speaking their language.

Subtitling provides a textual representation of the spoken audio in a video program. Subtitles are often used with foreign languages and do not serve the same purpose as captions for the hearing impaired.

The term Voiceover refers to a production technique where a non-diegetic Arabic Translation voice is used in a radio, television, film, theatre, or other presentation.  The voice-over may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice actor.. It is common practice to allow viewers to hear a few seconds of the original foreign speech before reducing the volume and superimposing the translation.

University Programs Teach Students Proven Translation Skills

Language Translation Studies for German Translation, Legal Translation and Medical TranslationIn order to give readers a clear understanding about the difficulties associated with language translation, we have prepared this article.  This article will also provide useful information to college students seeking careers in the translation field.  The art of translation and interpretation is subject to error at all stages of the process that includes the process of receiving and handling requests to doing specific translations, assigning the right translator to the job, conducting research, networking, translating words, phrases, and registers, editing the translation, delivering the finished text to the employer or client, billing the client for work completed, and getting paid.  Due to the large number of errors found in translations of literature works, leading universities began to develop translation programs of study.  Eventually, complete degrees began to be offered in universities that had the objective to teaching the skills necessary to deliver quality translations that are equivalent to source documents.

Over the past two decades, German Translation Programs have become an increasingly popular offering on the campuses of leading universities. Typically, these programs will include coursework in the history of translation theory and will then progress forward into modern times.  Eventually, students would move on to take courses that address common problems in literary translation, medical translation and other forms of legal and scientific translation.

Most programs are designed so that students start out with a brief introduction to the types of problems that they will face in the areas of Legal Translation, legal translation, certified translation or any of the other types of translation projects.   Students also learn the downfalls of word for word substitution. A common example of word for word translation is the methodology used by internet translation products.  However, there are times when translators sometimes must use this type of translation.  This is particularly true when the subject matter is highly technical like Medical Translation.  For your insight, the author of this article has written a real life story to help you better understand the challenges that the translation field is presented with.

Several months ago, a major healthcare provider sought the assistance of a German Translation worker in the United States.  Consequently, the project required some travel to Dresden, Germany.  The candidate was a fairly good choice because he had a medical background, native language proficiency in English and had spent over year in a German university.  As you might imagine, the person had excellent English language skills but his German skills were somewhat limited.   In one example, a company representative asked if he was comfortable.  He knew the answer to the question, how he might respond in English and the corresponding words in German.  Since he was nearly keeling over from heat exhaustion, a gasped and said he was very hot.  Like most people from the English-speaking world, he didn’t realize that in German he should have replied by saying “It seems very hot to me.” instead of “I am really warm.”  While they seem similar in English they are drastically different in German.  Unfortunately, the service worker looked befuddled and amused which suggested that the reply was incorrect for the occasion.  What the American had done was made a sexual remark instead of indicating something about the temperature of the air.   You can be assured that the American will think twice the next time he thinks about how he might respond in German.

Translation Workers Develop World’s First 5 Minute MBA

5-Minute MBA, Language Translation, Japanese Translation, Portuguese Translation, Russian Translation

Japanese Translation, Portuguese Translation & Russian Translation Workers Develop 5 Minute MBA

It seems like every six months or so, I see a new book that promises to give readers the amount of knowledge that took an MBA student two years to learn. Certainly most people would rather have one fairly short book that provides all the content of an MBA degree.  So yesterday, while I was browsing the shelves at Barnes & Noble, I had a thought.  We should team up with our Portuguese translation service, Japanese translators and Russian translation specialists to come up with a 12-minute MBA course for our clients.  This would allow them to gain valuable knowledge, save money on a bunch of textbooks and improve their chances of landing a great job and the promise of big raises. But then I had another thought.  Why offer this when I could offer an even shorter course?

Granted, a five minute MBA program doesn’t -and can’t exist anywhere.  But just as a builder sets out the specifications of a building before beginning building and selling it, we can also map out the specifications of a graduate business program. In a summary, the objective of an MBA is to provide managers with the knowledge and skills they need to run successful companies, so with some help of a few translation professionals we began our outline with some common characteristics of successful companies. In particular, all successful companies are able to create demand and sell it profitably.

Creating Demand
Our Portuguese translation team immediately began summarizing how to create demand.  What they defined was that truly successful organizations are expert at identifying, creating and supplying products and services that bring new customers and keep old customers coming back. But this is only possible when a company is more efficient than the competition at providing lower prices and/or higher quality products.

How To Become Profitable
Whereas the Portuguese translation group worked on defining how to create demand, the Russian translation team researched creating profitability.  It was decided by the Russian translation group that a business organization must set its prices at a level that will adequately pay investors while covering costs. More often than not, it doesn’t suffice for a company to have the lead in market share and be only slightly profitable. As a result, it can be extremely difficult to satisfy investors and customers at the same time.  Many managers earn MBA degrees because of the difficulty in meeting these needs.

So far, I think we are still on track to providing the world’s first 5-minute MBA.  It was reassuring that the Russian and Portuguese translation experts showed a deep understanding of the competing demands of customers and investors.  But while the task is challenging, companies such as the ones on Fortune’s Most Admired list are able to keep their customers and investors happy.

As the Russian and Portuguese translation teams were at work, our Japanese translation group set out to define business attributes that make up a successful organization.  The Japanese translation team put forth the idea that successful businesses hire highly talented people at all levels.  They iterated that business leaders must be able to create strong business strategy; managers must be able to motivate others and make sound business decisions; and employees must have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to carry out their jobs.  Japanese translators also stressed the importance of maintaining strong relationships with investors, customers and external suppliers.  Finally, the Japanese translators underscored the importance of having sufficient funds to conduct business and to carry out long term plans.

And here we are, coming full circle, having put together a 15-minute graduate business course that can easily be taken in five minutes.  And, the best part is that it is free.