Continuing education for Swedish>English medical translators

As an aspiring Swedish>English translator (my other language pair is Spanish>English) I am pleased to learn of the new Nordic Division blog.  I just had a look at it, and it looks like it has gotten off to a good start.  Long may the blog continue and prosper!  I hope it will prove a valuable resource for new and experienced Scandinavian language translators alike.

As I search for ways to increase my knowledge and market value in my Swedish>English language pair, I am both hopeful and concerned — hopeful because of the ND blog and other opportunities for contact with fellow Scandinavian translators but concerned due the challenges of finding ways to pursue an education not just in the area of Swedish language learning in general but medical translating in particular.  In my southern Arizona community, the local Vasa chapter provides ample opportunity for contact with native Swedish speakers, including those who have offered private lessons in both general conversational Swedish and untranslated Swedish literature — a fun and useful way to build vocabulary.  These lessons stood me in good stead when, accompanied by my Spanish-knowledgeable (but not Swedish-speaking) niece, I visited my Swedish relatives back in the 1990s.  However, medical translating has long been an interest of mine, and so far I don’t know of any way to undertake coursework locally in anything as specialized as medical Swedish>English translating.  On-site medical translation courses in Scandinavian languages are undoubtedly available in distant universities, especially in places like Minnesota where numerous Scandinavians and descendants of Scandinavians reside.  However, I’m not in a position to be able to relocate and I don’t know of any outfits currently offering that kind of specialized Scandinavian translation coursework online.  I have not had that sort of difficulty when seeking opportunities to do online coursework in Spanish>English medical translation.  This summer, for instance, I completed an online Spanish>English medical translation course that was offered through New York University.

Absent the possibility of boosting my Swedish>English medical translation skills through coursework, I’ve also considered ways to learn more through independent study.  Currently I own Magnus Fogelberg & Göran Petersson’s Medicinens Språk (The Language of Medicine), considered useful by Swedish-speaking medical professionals looking to boost their knowledge of terminology, the 7th edition of Cressy’s Medicinsk och Farmaceutisk Ordbok, and Norstedt’s Stora Svensk-Engelsk Ordbok.  I’m also contemplating obtaining Bengt Lindskog’s Medicinsk Terminologi (Medical Terminology), a Swedish monolingual medical dictionary originally recommended to me by a nurse who lives and works in Kungälv, Sweden.  Of course I know it also pays to study up on medical terminology in one’s native (and presumably target) language too.  Toward that end, I have found Davi-Ellen Chabner’s Language of Medicine a wonderful book, not only for study but also as a handy reference tool.

I’d like to know if anyone out there has any thoughts on ways to boost medical or other specialized knowledge in the area of Swedish>English translating, either through online coursework (if such a thing exists), or through independent study.  Toward the latter end, I’m always open to suggestions concerning potentially useful titles other than the ones I have mentioned.  TIA for any handy hints!

Sincerely,

Cindy Coan
cjcoan@dakotacom.net

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One Response to Continuing education for Swedish>English medical translators

  1. Thor Truelson says:

    As a former student of the University of Minnesota, I can say with absolute certainty that there are no courses in Scandinavian Medical Translation available at that institution (or any other outside of Scandinavia). I think you would have to go to Sweden or Denmark to find that class.

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