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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Neuropathology - Michael Schumacher / to translate the phrase airlift

Aus aktuellem Anlass - due to recent events.
Michael Schumacher in hospital in Grenoble (France) after a skiing accident. Lets wish him 'Gute Besserung'- 'Get well soon' 

As a translator working in the medical field, this case for me is particularly interesting, as I watch the news reports in both England and Germany and compare the words used for the medical conditions and how they are translated. 

As always, the purpose of the translation needs to be assessed, and in this case it is for the press / news reports. Therefore, the words used are the once used in 'common language'. A medical text translated for a medical professional will contain mainly the medical terminology of the word (Fachsprache).

Here are a few phrases relating to neuropathology:

cerebral contusions
induced coma
künstliches Koma
traumatic brain injury
Cranial- / skull
Hirnhaut / Schädel

As often with medical words, some remain the same in German, albeit differ slightly in the spelling


The translate the phrase ' to airlift ' 

English: airlift (to the hospital)

I found that there is no direct translation of this verb, but what is used is rather a description of what's actually happening: 

German: mit dem Hubschrauber (ins Krankenhaus) fliegen

fliegen is simply the German word for 'to fly' and in order to express 'to airlift',  the German phrase translated word by word is 'with the helicopter (to the hospital) fly

Of course, as it is now very common in Germany, and especially in the media, the actual English word is often used directly. Those words than still need to adhere to the German grammar rules, and, in my opinion, it than starts to sound slightly odd (but maybe this is only me as I've lived in an only-English speaking environment for too long and find it odd to see those verbs with German grammar endings)

Er wurde ins Krankenhaus ge-airliftet. 

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