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medical mistakes

26 Aug Most common mistakes in medical language

Being a doctor or a health specialist does not mean to speak a correct medical language. In fact, those people make many linguistic mistakes while writing reports or while talking to their patients. Misspelling or the use of wrong words instead of the good ones are some of the most common ones, but there are many others.

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In the case of the Spanish language, here is a list including many common mistakes that can be found in the medical language. Many of them are made because of the influence of foreign languages – specially English – but also due to a change of the original meaning – a bad use.

 

If you are a health translator from Spanish into English, or vice versa, pay careful attention to the medical language. You should know them in order to avoid mistakes; a quality translated text will depend on the details.

 

  • Many doctors write the disease names with an initial capital letter – for example Alzhéimer or Ébola – but they should be written all in small letter.
  • Grave (serious) is often used as a synonym of severo (strict). Many Spanish doctors wrongly talk about enfermedades severas (strict diseases) – instead of enfermedades graves (serious diseases) – probably because of the anglicism “severe” influence.
  • You can also see words that do not exist in the Real Academy of the Spanish Language or that are not written properly. For example, spelling mistakes like the one omitting a double r letter among two vowels (colorectal instead of colorrectal – related to the lower digestive track) or badly check marked (as estadío instead of estadio – the stage or phase of a process).
  • There are many doubts about the right term in a group of words. For example, in the case of alergia (allergy); what is the difference among alérgico, alergénico or alérgeno? The first one is someone who suffers from an allergy, the second one what produces it, and the third one the noun describing the provoking substance.
  • A common mistake is how to use the word “cirugía” (surgery as a medical discipline) with the meaning of operation. So, in Spanish it is not right to write: se le realizaron dos cirugías, in plural.

 

Avoid these mistakes to speak a better Spanish, and that will be translated into a better quality for your medical language.

 

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