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Specialist field - medical / medical examiner / Coroner


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Causes of death German to English

A recent translation for the Coroner on unnatural causes of death. 

Schuss- und Stichverletzungen
Gunshot wounds / Stab wounds
Aspiration Pneumonia
Foreign Object Aspiration
Ertrinken - Badetod
Schäden durch Strom oder thermische Einwirkng
Electrocution or exposure to extreme heat/cold
Tod durch Verhungern
Aspyxie-Tod – allgemeiner Sauerstoffmangel
Aspyxia – generalised hypoxia

Note that I did not translate Ertrinken as Drowning but Immersion. 

Drowning is a mode of dying and on the death certificate it is not the mode of dying, but the medical cause of death which is recorded. Important difference that I have to explain very often as a Coroner's officer. 

While the causes of death were easily translated, I had more trouble with the accompanying texts. The law in Germany and England differs significantly. In England, the Coroner has a legal duty to investigate death where it is believed that it occurred from not natural causes. In Germany it is the duty of the Staatsanwaltschaft (= Public Prosecutor). However, the scope and powers of the Coroner in England are far wider in regards to sudden death. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Equivalence at word level.

English : car
German : Auto

Simple. But there are so many more words to describe a car in both languages, so it's the skill of the translator to find the appropriate word for the text and the context which is to be translated.

neutral: car, automobile, motor,
specific:limousine, convertivle, truck, pick-up, hatchback,
slang / derogatory:  banger, ride, gas guzzler

neutral: Auto, Automobile, Personenkraftwagen
specific: Limosine, Lastkraftwagen, Cabrio,
slang / derogatory: Kutsche, Klapperkasten, fahrbahrer Untersatz, Schlitten, Schrottkiste