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Copyright (c) 1994 ACEBO. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced, or translated without the express written permission of ACEBO. No part of this publication may be stored or transmitted in any electronic form without the express written permission of ACEBO.
Printed in the USA.
illustrations, editing & formatting, tape mastering
simultaneous script development, consultation
Dr. V. E. Mikkelson, MD
How to Use This Book
About the Tapes
English Sight Text 1, Patient Information Form
English Sight Text 2, Progestin-Only or Mini Birth Control Pill
English Sight Text 3, About Your Asthma Inhaler
English Sight Text 4, Consent for Testing Blood to Detect Antibodies to the HIV Virus
English Sight Text 5, Job Analysis
English Sight Text 6, Accident Report
English Sight Text 7, Consent to Take Psychiatric Medication
English Sight Text 8, Medical Report
English Sight Text 9, Consent for Angiogram
English Sight Text 10, Arthroscopy
Spanish Sight Text 1, Informe médico I
Spanish Sight Text 2, Informe médico II
Spanish Sight Text 3, Informe médico III
Spanish Sight Text 5, Dormidol (Flunitrazepam)
Spanish Sight Text 6, Hiperton (metildopa, MSD) Antihipertensivo
Tips for Consecutive Interpreting
Lesson 1, Medical History
Lesson 2, Hospital Admissions
Lesson 3, Getting a Prescription
Lesson 4, Laboratory Tests
Lesson 5, Pediatrician
Lesson 6, Dentist
Lesson 7, Orthopedist (Back)
Lesson 8, Labor and Delivery
Lesson 9, Emergency Room
Lesson 10, Neurologist (EMG)
Lesson 11, Orthopedist (Hand)
Lesson 12, Internist
Lesson 13, Hospital Care
Lesson 14, Cardiologist
Lesson 15, AIDS Clinic
Lesson 16, Psychiatrist
Lesson 1, The Immune System
Lesson 2, Infectious Diseases
Lesson 3, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Slipped or Herniated Intervertebral Disks
Lesson 4, Arthritis
Lesson 5, Hypertension
Lesson 6, Prozac Discussion
Lesson 7, Accidente de trabajo
Lesson 8, Embarazo
Lesson 9, Accidente de tránsito
Specialized Word Lists
Common Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes
Gynecology and Obstetrics Terms
Orthopedics and Rheumatology Terms
Medical Instruments and Devices
Términos coloquiales relacionados con la medicina popular
Combined Medical Terms, English-Spanish
Combined Medical Terms, Spanish-English
The Interpreter's Rx is designed to teach English-Spanish and Spanish-English medical interpreting. This book and the tapes that accompany it assume that you are already fluent in both English and Spanish, but they do not assume that you have received any previous training in interpreting--The Interpreter's Rx can help you acquire the techniques of sight translation, consecutive interpretation, and simultaneous interpretation even if you've had no previous exposure to those techniques.
The Interpreter's Rx uses the same proven techniques as ACEBO's other interpreter training packages, The Interpreter's Edge, The Interpreter's Edge Turbo Supplement, and The Interpreter's Edge, Generic Edition. But whereas the various Interpreter's Edge packages are all designed to teach court-interpreting--and therefore concentrate on vocabulary and situations of particular interest to court interpreters--The Interpreter's Rx is designed specifically to train medical interpreters. The interpreting situations presented in these materials are designed to approximate as closely as possible those that medical interpreters actually face on a daily basis. The vocabulary used in the translating and interpreting lessons is chosen specifically for its relevance to medical interpreting. And the Terminology section of this book (Chapter 4) contains many hundreds of additional medical terms over and above those used in the lessons.
The Interpreter's Rx is a response to the increased demand for specialized training for medical interpreters. Medical professionals are finding that there are ever-growing numbers of non-English speakers in their patient loads, and they realize that they need the services of highly skilled interpreters to make sure they are communicating adequately with their patients. Some state governments, concerned about the serious problems that may arise when untrained interpreters are used in the medical setting, are looking at regulatory mechanisms to ensure quality interpreting. For example, California is now administering a certification exam to medical-legal interpreters, and a test for hospital interpreters may be in the offing. These training materials are designed to help you prepare for this challenging profession, whether or not you have to take an exam.
Medical interpreters work in a variety of settings: hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, mental health and psychiatric facilities, and quasi-legal proceedings such as medical-legal evaluations for workers' compensation claims or personal injury lawsuits and hearings to determine mental competence or eligibility for benefits. A wide range of subject matter and terminology is covered in these different settings, and many interpreters choose to specialize in one field or another. It is difficult to predict what matters will arise in any given setting, however, and the interpreter needs to be prepared for anything and everything. The lessons in The Interpreter's Rx cover most of these possibilities, and if you are able to interpret all of these lessons accurately, you will be well prepared to interpret in any medical situation. The specialized word lists in Part II are included as an additional reference work to be used in preparing for specific interpreting assignments. You may even want to carry The Interpreter's Rx with you on interpreting assignments for quick reference. Don't think you have to memorize every term in the glossaries to become a medical interpreter.
If you are preparing for a certification exam as a medical interpreter, you may want to pay particular attention to certain lessons in this book. For example, if you intend to take an exam like the one required in the State of California for anyone who interprets in a medical evaluation to be used as evidence in a civil action (workers' compensation or personal injury lawsuits), the following lessons will be of greatest relevance: English Sight Translation Texts 5, 6, and 8; Spanish Sight Translation Texts 1, 2, 3, and 4; Consecutive Interpretation Lessons 1, 3, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 16; and Simultaneous Interpretation Lessons 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9. If you are studying for a hospital interpreting exam, you may want to focus particularly on English Sight Translation Texts 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, and 10; all of the Consecutive Interpretation lessons; and perhaps all of the Simultaneous Interpretation lessons (you should find out if that skill is to be tested in your exam).
This book is divided into four chapters:
Part I, Training
Part II, Reference
The first three chapters cover the three modes of interpreting that medical interpreters are required to master. The fourth chapter, Terminology, is designed to serve both as an aid during training and as a reference work whose usefulness will last well beyond the training period.
How you should use this book and the accompanying tapes depends on whether you're studying on your own or studying as part of an organized class. If you're part of a class, your instructor will tell you how he or she wants you to use the materials. Therefore, this section concentrates on using these materials to study on your own.
Use the first three chapters of this book together; that is, start with Sight Text 1, Consecutive Lesson 1, and Simultaneous Lesson 1 on the same day. The next time you use the book, go on to Sight Text 2, Consecutive Lesson 2, and Simultaneous Lesson 2. You may find that you need to repeat one of the lessons more often than the others, so you won't always be working on lessons with the same number in each chapter-since the chapters don't have the same number of lessons, you couldn't do that for long anyway. If you have more trouble picking up simultaneous interpretation than sight translation, you'll go through Chapter 1 faster than Chapter 3. That's perfectly OK; progress at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Interpreting isn't a skill you can develop overnight. Don't try to move through the lessons too quickly, or you won't acquire the mastery you'll need to be a professional medical interpreter. Because interpreting is so mentally taxing, you'll reach a point of diminishing returns after about 20 minutes spent on a given exercise. That's why you should work on each mode of interpreting for 20 minutes, for a total of one hour each practice session. You can practice twice a day if you want, as long as you allow a long enough interval between sessions.
Don't read along in the texts while you're playing the tapes; look at the texts afterwards.
When you're interpreting the consecutive lessons (the question-and-answer sessions between two people), have your finger on the pause button of your tape player so that you can stop the tape as soon as the question or answer ends. We've left a short gap on the tape between questions and answers to allow you to do this. The gap is just long enough to let you pause your machine, though--it isn't long enough for you to interpret what's been said. In the case of a long answer, stop the tape as soon as your short-term memory is saturated. Make sure you don't stop the tape in the middle of a thought, though. Learning to use the tapes in this way gives you valuable practice in determining where to intervene when you're actually interpreting for a client; if you interrupt a speaker before he's completed an idea, he'll lose his train of thought and won't be able to pick up where he left off. Try not to abuse your ability to stop the tape; push your memory to the limits to expand your retention capacity as much as possible.
You may find it useful to go back and repeat some of the earlier lessons after you've progressed well into the book, just to refresh some of the basic skills. Even after you've begun working as an interpreter, it's a good idea to come back to these exercises occasionally.
The Interpreter's Rx is designed to be used as a textbook in a course on medical interpreting. It provides all the materials necessary for the students to work on their interpreting skills. It should be supplemented, however, with materials on professional ethics (for example, an excellent code of ethics has been published by the University of Minnesota Refugee Assistance Program - Mental Health Technical Assistance Center) and perhaps guest speakers or field trips to hospitals, laboratories, and other settings where medical interpreters work. You may also want to give the students vocabulary drills or homework assignments to help them learn the terminology that you feel is most important for them to know.
When you are using The Interpreter's Rx in class, you can refer the students to the glossaries at the end of the book for proper terminology, but you may know of other terms that are also acceptable. It is always useful for the class to discuss alternative ways of translating terms so that students can develop the flexibility they need as interpreters. You may also be aware of regional variants that are of particular relevance to the area where your students will be working.
The sight translation texts can be used in a variety of ways. You may want to have one student stand up in front of the class and translate a text, and then have a class discussion about terminology and alternative translations. Another possibility is to divide the class into small groups and have the students sight translate the texts among themselves, followed by a general class discussion of problems that arose. Alternatively, you can assign some of the texts as written translations for the students to do at home and bring to class (this is especially appropriate for the more technical consent forms and reports).
The tapes that accompany this book can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the resources available to you and on your preferences. For the consecutive lessons, you can play the tape in class and have the students interpret the questions and answers one at a time. You may find it more productive for them to play the roles of the different characters in the scripts, reading from the texts in the book (the student playing the role of interpreter would not read the script, obviously). Reading aloud in itself is an excellent way to develop the public speaking skills needed for interpreting. The lessons in this book can be supplemented with memory exercises to help the students develop better listening skills. Encourage the students to visualize the story being told by the patient and to expand their memory capacity by developing mnemonic techniques such as note-taking and association of ideas (see the introduction to Chapter 2, Consecutive Interpretation for a more detailed discussion of these techniques). Also emphasize the importance of accuracy in interpreting, and make it clear that students should ask for a repetition or clarification if there is anything they have forgotten or did not understand.
If you have access to a language lab for your simultaneous interpreting classes, you can use your simultaneous tapes as the master for the students to work from; their individual tapes will then be used for their practice sessions at home. If you do not have a language lab, you can play your tape for the entire class to interpret out loud in the classroom, or you can have the students bring tape players to class and play their own tapes individually. If you choose the latter option, you will have to work out a system whereby they all start and stop at the same time, so that you will all be working on the same passage at once. Obviously, it is preferable to have a language lab so that you can monitor the students individually, and to avoid the cacophony that inevitably results if all students are playing their tapes at once.
The voices of the following people are heard on the tape set that accompanies this book:
The arrangement of material on the tapes is given below:
This product is intended to teach the skills of interpreting and translating in a medical context. It is not intended to teach medicine, first aid, or any skill other than interpreting and translating. While we have made every effort to make the texts presented in this book realistic and accurate, we make absolutely no representations as to the medical content of the texts. Medical advice, medical opinions, and apparent statements of medical fact presented in these materials are intended only to provide students with plausible material to interpret and translate. In no case should they be construed as the actual advice, opinion, or statements of medical professionals; they are not. Do not use this book as a guide to medical action.
All names used in the lessons in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance between the characters that appear in these materials and any actual people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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