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German Medical Translation

A list of useful online dictionaries and glossaries.

Let’s face it, when it comes to medical translation, the international language of medicine is English.

And in view of that fact, I’m surprised at how hard it is to find a good German English medical dictionary or glossary on the web. But I’ll keep looking, so do come back for new links which I’ll add as I find them.

Translating German medical texts into English is clearly also another very specialized area of translation, and where you trust that your German translator has a solid medical or scientific background – especially when translating dosages, and advice on taking medicine! (A very good reason for a translator to take out professional indemnity insurance....)


German Medical Terms:

1. A Multilingual Glossary of Technical and Popular Medical Terms in nine European Languages, a project commissioned by the European Commission (DG III) providing medical glossaries in several languages. (Call up the German medical term you wish to translate, click on the multilemma symbol just to the left of the word and it automatically provides a translation of the word in 7 European languages, English included.)


2. The Roche medical dictionary - A lexicon of 140,000 medical terms in German with English translations.

3. Medical terminology, English to German, plus German descriptions, for cross referencing purposes.

4. Becker's dictionary of German medical abbreviations (Medizinische Abbürzungslexikon), accepts both English and German abbreviations. I can't praise this little medical glossary enough - I'm amazed how often I need it. So many English abbreviations are adopted into German and so it's great to have this reference work at hand.


5. German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) Medical knowledge online, here the English version. Associated with the German Federal Ministry of Health and a good source of background information on medicine in Germany. An invaluable resource for WHO disease classifications and terminology for the serious medical translator. Detailed vocabulary unfortunately only available for subscription (expensive).

6. Dental lexicon published by the Zahn Forum, with explanations of terms (in German) plus English equivalents as well as links to further information. Rather good.

8. The European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDC) has just made available a translation memory (TM) of 22,000 words related to infectious diseases. It is available in .tmx format  for uploading into your TM software. For more details and to download click here.


Tip!

No luck with the glossaries and dictionaries above? Don’t forget my favorite online dictionary, LEO & its forum term discussions, or the glossaries provided on online translator community websites.


Now, if you get serious about medical translation then at some stage there'll be no getting round the need for a serious, well-respected physical/paper dictionary. You'll always need to be able to refer to an authorized source.

They can be horribly expensive (look for a used copy!) but they are a deductible business expense. I've identified some options for you here.

So it just leaves me to wish you Hals- und Beinbruch!  (Break a leg!/Good luck!)


PS: If you know of any good German medical glossaries that you've found useful and would like to recommend, then we'd love to hear from you! Use the form below (I will NOT pass your details on to anyone!) to submit your suggested source, and we'll add it to the list.

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Many thanks for contributing to our German medical translation database!

Yours

Joanna

German Translation Tips & Resources



See also:

German Technical Translation

German Legal Translation




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