An exploration of the key features of three selected genres of medical writing in French and English: what are the different cultural attitudes that influence medical language usage and how far can specially compiled corpora be of use in the translation and analysis of medical texts?

Guerry, Fay (2011) An exploration of the key features of three selected genres of medical writing in French and English: what are the different cultural attitudes that influence medical language usage and how far can specially compiled corpora be of use in the translation and analysis of medical texts? MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to examine differences between three types of medical writing and to establish which translation strategies should be used when translating such texts from French to English. The background medical cultures of the populations of France and the United Kingdom were investigated with the aim of determining how these related to language understanding and usage. A small survey was carried out on French- and English-speaking volunteers to evaluate any divergences in levels of understanding and use of specialist terminology between the two groups. Four corpora were compiled, two in each language, with one in each case being from specialist writing and the other from texts for the general public. These were then analysed and compared, and the theory tested that the differences between medical writing for the expert and for the layman in French are less marked than in English. Three medical texts were chosen on a subject of current interest, namely the human papillomavirus vaccine, one an academic article from a medical journal, the second from a quality newspaper and the third from a website for the general public, thus enabling us to compare an example of writing by a specialist for medical professionals with two examples of texts for different types of non-specialist readership. These texts were translated and then analysed. The relevance of skopos theory and genre analysis were discussed and then translation issues considered, including problems of differences in style, terminology and structure, as well as the translation of culturally-specific items. Our translation strategies were explained in the light of the different cultural backgrounds and levels of knowledge investigated in the first chapter of our study. Conclusions were then drawn on the value and limitations of such knowledge and of corpora analysis in determining general translation strategies for these types of text.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2011 10:58
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:35
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/3551

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