Tradusa – health and life sciences Brazilian translation event

Tracy Smith Miyake 

Tradusa, Brazil’s first health and life sciences translation event held at the Instituto Phorte in São Paulo on May 22–23, 2015  was not only informative and packed with content, but also a great success for a first-time event. More than one hundred people participated, from students to experienced professionals, and everyone left with new ideas, new knowledge, and new contacts in this growing field.

Day one began with Frequent errors in translating dentistry by Dr Ana Julia Perrotti-Garcia, dentist, translator and author. She introduced the audience to common pitfalls in this area, especially with relation to dentistry-specific nomenclature, false cognates, and differences in register. Specific examples from real materials were presented, as well as some reliable sources for terminology searches.

Next, Ana Luiza Iaria, a former lawyer, translator, and lecturer in translation presented on Remedies and contracts: what they have in common for the medical translator. Although medical translators may consider themselves safe from legal language, contracts frequently appear in this field, and terminology as well as regional differences in law were discussed. These included legal instruments related to bioethics and power of attorney, as well as living wills and terms of consent.

Veterinarian and trained interpreter/translator Maria Célia Ramos Bellenzani continued with Specifics of technical translation in veterinary medicine and animal science, presenting the audience with many examples of how terminology can vary widely depending on field. A careful eye is needed to avoid applying animal terms to people and vice versa, and listeners were treated to a dazzling array of extremely specific terms varying from animals giving birth (from cows calving to pigs farrowing) to horse coloration.

Juliana Samel, a specialist in medical translation with 20 years of experience, spoke next on the topic of Medical terminology: where, how, and why? Besides stressing register and its relevance to the target audience, she presented some examples of terminology that assists in understanding (suffixes in drug names, for example), as well as a large variety of trustworthy references such as the International Classification of Diseases, Caduceus, and the White Book. 

Industrial chemist Val Ivonica presented Chemical-ese for dummies¸ guiding the audience through a brief review of organic chemistry and some hands-on practice for identifying and naming molecules correctly. She also recommended resources for nomenclature and research such as IUPAC and ABIQUIFI.

Interpreter and educator Patricia Gimenez continued with Interpreting in medical settings. She discussed the challenges inherent to interpretation in this type of environment as well as the opportunities, in setting ranging from low-tech to high-tech, and gave the audience examples of both the difficulties and the rewards that interpreters may encounter in this field.

The last presenter of the day was science translator Tracy Smith Miyake, discussing Translating into English in health and the sciences: methods and tools. She discussed common errors, tips for natural-sounding scientific writing, and the use of style guides to generate texts that are appropriate for publication in English-language publications.

The second day began with Larissa Pugliese, a biochemist and specialist in pharmaceutical research, presenting on Clinical research: types and phases. She broke down the individual phases of clinical trials, detailing objectives, processes, and settings while leaving listeners with a clearer view of what each phase and process entails.

Next was biomedical scientist and translator Samantha Abreu, who took the audience From the CBC to the western blot: a journey into the world of laboratory exams. From basics such as the meaning of tube colors to specifics of the complete blood count and mechanics of real-time PCR and ELISA, the audience was shown how various types of exams are conducted and what the terminology means.

Next came the Roundtable on the Market for Medical Translation, featuring Ana Júlia Perroti Garcia, Maria Inês Corrêa Nascimento, and Suzana Gontijo. The panelists shared their individual experiences, and discussed a broad view of the current situation in the market for the various niches, such as the pharmaceutical industry, interpreting, and journals, as well as future prospects. All agreed that specialization and training continue to be necessary, and that quality continues to be absolutely essential in this area.

The roundtable was followed by emergency nurse Fabio Santana, who presented Basic EKG concepts. For translators who reference EKGs in reports and articles, this in-depth explanation not only of the heart’s function, from electrolytes and contraction, but also the different views provided by the EKG and the types of waves was extremely useful.

Next, translator/interpreter Patricia Rocha spoke on An overview of linguistic validation of medical questionnaires: challenges overcome and lessons learned for translators wanting to start down this path. She described the entire process of translation and cultural adaptation, from translation and back translation through to recruiting candidates to test the validity of these questionnaires in the real world, and left the audience with a new respect for the level of effort that goes into this specific niche of medical translating.

Finally, dentist and translator Joana Fonseca Correia presented Implant dentistry: concepts and terminology. She explained the different types of implants, materials, and processes, as well as the terminology involved in dentistry to identify teeth. She closed with a video demonstrating the implant process.

The event closed with giveaways and a reception, where participants were able to network and share experiences. The event was conceived and promoted by the Tradutores/Saude group, which was created by Cátia Franco de Santana and Samantha Abreu.

Tracy Smith Miyake é natural de Nova York, formada pela Cornell University e mora em Curitiba desde 2007. Traduz do português para o inglês em saúde e nas ciências, particularmente assuntos ligados à produção agricultural e florestal brasileira. Trabalha com revisão e controle de qualidade junto com editoras internacionais.

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