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UCLA addresses 'lost in translation' issues in Chinese medicine
Date:7/2/2014

Millions of people in the West today utilize traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, herbs, massage and nutritional therapies. Yet only a few U.S. schools that teach Chinese medicine require Chinese-language training and only a handful of Chinese medical texts have so far been translated into English.

Given the complexity of the language and concepts in these texts, there is a need for accurate, high-quality translations, say researchers at UCLA's Center for EastWest Medicine. To that end, the center has published a document that includes a detailed discussion of the issues involved in Chinese medical translation, which is designed to help students, educators, practitioners, researchers, publishers and translators evaluate and digest Chinese medical texts with greater sensitivity and comprehension.

"This publication aims to raise awareness among the many stakeholders involved with the translation of Chinese medicine," said principal investigator and study author Dr. Ka-Kit Hui, founder and director of the UCLA center.

The 15-page document, "Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine" was developed and written by a UCLA team that included a doctor, an anthropologist, a China scholar and a translator. It appears in the current online edition of the Journal of Integrative Medicine.

Authors Sonya Pritzker, a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner and anthropologist, and Hanmo Zhang, a China scholar, hope the publication will promote communication in the field and play a role in the development of thorough, accurate translations.

The document highlights several important topics in the translation of Chinese medical texts, including the history of Chinese medical translations, which individuals make ideal translators, and other translation-specific issues, such as the delicate balance of focusing translations on the source-document language while considering the language it will be translated into.

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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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UCLA addresses 'lost in translation' issues in Chinese medicine
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