Ọmọrẹ gbẹ. English–Ẹdo Medical Translation.
and other extraneous factors, the ease of communication in a doctor-patient dis-course depends on how well and clearly the parties express themselves: clarityof speech is a necessary requirement for proper diagnosis and treatment.This is where translation and interpreting come into the picture. Catford de-ﬁnes translation as: “The replacement of textual material in one language, [thesource language,] by equivalent textual material in another language, [the tar-get language].” (1965: 20)Although this deﬁnition is dated in many contexts, it still has some bearing ontextual material in the medical ﬁeld, regardless of the language pair involved. Ashinted, translators are a kind of creator the moment they bridge language gapsand render a source text in the target language: they create the speciﬁc form ofthe target-language message and in order to do so, they must be competent in both languages (Uwajeh 1994). The speciﬁc nature of medical communicationthat merits focus in regards to Catford’s statement is the terminology used in thehealth sector, which o�en requires speciﬁc renditions, lexical equivalents, etc.This means that interpreters and translators may meet with terms and phrasesin the source language that rule out, as it were, a total transfer of informationfrom the source to the target language. This could also be termed untranslat-ability, where paerns or meanings diﬀer between languages, as pointed out inDollerup’s observation:
[t]he process of transfer is … limited in terms of time and space: it is mostly individual;straddling two languages at the same time, this is where we ﬁnd the phenomenon ofuntranslatability; it is not part of neither static, nor dynamic texts in the source or tar-get language, but something which turns up exclusively when two language systemsmeet in the transfer of a text. Untranslatability is part of the process, of the assessmentof the process of transfer. (Dollerup (1988: 145) as quoted by Mohanty (1996: 164))
The present study endeavours to identify concepts that appear to be untrans-latable in English–Ẹdo medical seings, in order to consider the problems andstrategies for overcoming them.For exempliﬁcation we may consider the following dialogue:
Conversation 1 (in English).Doctor: “How are you and what is wrong with you?”Patient: “Fine. My ear dey pain me.”Doctor: “Which of them, le� or right ear?”Patient: “Le�, sometimes it makes noise.”Doctor: “Are you feeling pain now?”Patient: “Yes.”Doctor: “Go and use these drugs… you are suﬀering from
noise from theinner ear which is likely to be from drug eﬀect or so …”
In this conversation, the notion of ‘pain’ to the patient is “noise” - she hearsnoises in her ear, which the medical practitioner calls
The linguisticmiddleman handling a text like this is expected to know the usage and to renderthe meaning as closely as possible in his translation.There is an immediate and speciﬁc reason for the study described here: inorder to improve the health care system in the Ẹdo community, in Nigeria, thereis a need to examine the communication strategies used for passing informa-tion between patients and doctors and vice versa. The study may lead to beerhealth care and enhance communication and interaction between patients and