chapter  6
15 Pages

Translation methods used in Arabic translations of medical patient information leaflets

WithHala Sharkas

Patient information leaflets (PILs) or inserts that come with medicine are a medical genre that aims at providing information about how and when to use a medicine as well as any side effects it may have. Studies, however, show that PILs in English and other languages including Arabic suffer from low readability. While providing English and Arabic versions of the patient information leaflets is mandatory in most Arab countries, no studies have tackled the methods used by Arab translators in translating PILs from English into Arabic or their impact on the readability of the target text. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of translation in communicating medical messages using this genre. A corpus of 20 PILs translated into Arabic was analyzed using a functionalist approach to determine the adequacy of the translation methods of medical terminology. Findings show a tendency to follow source language oriented methods in the translation of medical terms, suggesting an elevated level of difficulty for the intended audience.