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

lso addresses issues of technical terminology, period-specific language and style, and historical and cultural perspective. For example, depending on historical circumstances and language use, some translations may be geared toward a Western scientific audience or, alternately, it may take a more natural and spiritual tone. The authors note that it is sometimes helpful to include dual translations, such as "windfire eye/acute conjunctivitis," in order to facilitate a link between traditional Chinese medical terms and biomedical diagnoses.

The final section of the document calls for further discussion and action, specifically in the development of international collaborative efforts geared toward the creation of more rigorous guidelines for the translation of Chinese medicine texts.

"Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine," was inspired by the late renowned translator and scholar Michael Heim, a professor in the UCLA departments of comparative literature and Slavic studies. A master of 12 languages, he is best known for his translation into English of Czech author Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." The new UCLA document is dedicated to him.

The document, the authors say, was influenced in large part by the American Council of Learned Societies' "Guidelines for the Translation of Social Science Texts," which are intended to promote communications in the social sciences across language boundaries. It was also influenced by Pritzker's longstanding anthropological study of translation in Chinese medicine, which is detailed in her new book, "Living Translation: Language and the Search for Resonance in U.S. Chinese Medicine," recently published by Berghahn Books.


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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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