Press Officer/Medical Writer career

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More medical translation

Postby Kim » Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:29 am

I disagree with Emil Thomas Chuck.

Language translation in a hospital setting is very different from science literature translation. They are totally different. In a hospital setting, the translation is usually conversational, like "Do you have a fever? Yes. For how long? Since yesterday afternoon." It is very different from translating a sentence like, "These striking functional and structural similarities suggest that HisA and TrpF may have evolved from one common ancestral enzyme with low substrate specificity."

To be a sucessful English science writer requires one person to have a very good command of one language, English. On the other hand, to be a sucessful science translator requires one person to have very good commands of at least two different languages. It is much more difficult to become a competent translator.
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More medical translation

Postby natalia » Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:23 pm

Thank you very much to those of you who sincerely wanted to help (?).

It is easy to get a research position, postdoctoral, anyway. My guess is, because it does not pay much and is not very popular among natives. Foreigners are often allowed to come exactly because there is a need in workers. But even non-native speakers need to make living! And then, one cannot be a postdoctoral fellow forever, and it is difficult to find a permanent research position now days.

About translation business. How many of you can speak two languages well? I would be very surprised if many. And there is a good reason for it. There are some people with a special ability to maintain few active languages, who can rapidly switch from one language to another. That is because their brains are wired differently. As for the rest of us, brain usually recognizes one main language and uses it as a template even when we attempt to speak a different one. When I say that I cannot speak Russian, I mean that I know all the words, but I use sentence structure that is very much English-sentence-like. It sounds as a very crude translation from English. I would not be able to translate elegantly (=professionally) even if my life depends on it.

As for strengths and weaknesses, we leave where we leave and if one feels that writing what makes him/her happy, one must follow his call. And it\'s too bad that English is not our native language. You know, GI goes a long way!

I almost forgot! Talking about stressful life of a writer. Try to work 60 h a week (80h in some cases) and still adhere to a deadline for the discovery.

Again, thank you very much to all of you who participated in the discussion.

With best regards,



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