Notes on the Translation of Three Medical Texts on Epilepsy

(with assistance from Jane Soulal, Senior Information Officer, Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, Horsham, venue of a recent Medical Translation Workshop and ITI Medical Network meeting.)
  1.  Le terme, encombrant d'épilepsies liées à une localisation. 'The term, which is rather clumsy (alt. cumbersome), ''epilepsies related to a specific area''.' (Note that the plurals of disease should be reproduced; also that this is a metalingual translation: the term is 'cumbersome' in both languages.
  2.  La neuro-imagerie est muette. 'The neuro-imaging does not show up.'
  3.  Crises sensitivo-motrices. 'Sensory and motor seizures.'
  4.  Grandes pointes émoussées. 'Large flattened (alt. blurred) spikes.'
  5.  En bouffees sous une électrode rolandique basse. 'in bursts appearing under an electrode in the lower part of the motor (alt. rolandic) area of the cerebral cortex.'
  6.  Crises résistantes. 'Seizures which are resistant to treatment.'
  7.  Etats de mal non rares. 'Fairly frequent malaises' (alt. periods of mild sickness.)
  8.  Signes végétatifs. 'Involuntary movements.'
  9.  Genuine Epilepsien (G). 'Idiopathic epilepsies.'
  10.  Liquorzirkulationsstörung. 'Disturbance of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) circulation.'
  11.  L'aggressività e la vischiosità anticamente riferite agli epilettici in generale. (It) 'The aggressiveness and sluggishness generally attributed to epileptic patients in times past.' (N.B. Not 'to epileptics' (derogatory).)
  12.  La casistica: les antecedents. 'Case history'.
  13.  Gêne épigastrique. 'Epigastric discomfort' (alt. 'discomfort in the epigastrium').
Peter Newmark (1993) Paragraphs on Translation, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, p. 164.

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