5 Frequent Errors in Medical Interpreting

Errors can cause a lot of issues in the field of medical interpreting. Miscommunication when it comes to medical information can lead to various issues, from poor patient treatment to overly expensive procedures. The five most frequent errors in medical interpreting are omission, addition, false fluency, substitution, and editorialization, which can be fixed by enrolling in online interpreter training!

Omission Can Greatly Hurt Medical Interpreting

The first, and most common, error in medical interpreting is omission, which is when an interpreter leaves out a word or phrase. This can greatly change the meaning of whatever is being communicated. It is so common because it is probably the easiest mistake to make, whether an interpreter is trying to save time or simply is not very confident in their abilities. Again, this can lead to various issues with patients, which is why this error is something that medical interpreters need to focus on avoiding, especially by taking medical interpreter classes online.

Addition is Another Error in Medical Interpreting

Addition is similar to omission. It happens when an interpreter adds a word or phrase, altering what the patient or client ends up understanding. In medical interpreting, it isn’t as common as omission, however it is still an error that can seriously hurt patients or clients.

Medical Interpreting and False Fluency Don’t Mix

False fluency is another error that can really hurt medical interpreting as a whole. False fluency is when an interpreter uses a word or phrase that doesn’t actually exist in that language. This is generally caused by interpreters who aren’t fluent in the target language or if they aren’t familiar with the terminology of what they are interpreting. This error can be almost completely eliminated by obtaining a medical interpreter certification online through a medical interpreter training program.

Substitution Can Mislead in Medical Interpreting

Substitution is another error in medical interpreting that can lead to miscommunication, more than one might expect. This error happens when interpreters use a similar word in the target language, but it is not a completely accurate understanding. This can also lead to a lot of errors, especially with important medical information, such as diagnoses or treatment options.

Medical Interpreting Doesn’t Have Space for Editorializing 

The last frequent error in medical interpreting is editorializing. This is when an interpretation includes the bias or opinions of the interpreter. Medical decisions can clearly be changed by this kind of error, which is why it is not tolerated in the field. Attending a medical interpretation course is one way to learn how to avoid this while working, which is why it is so valuable.

Get the necessary online interpreter training in order to become a competent professional interpreter. Register now for one of our online interpreter training programs:  Online Medical Interpreter Training  Online Legal Interpreter Training, Online Immigration Interpreter Training,Online Community & Business Interpreter Training, or familiarize yourself with different types of interpreting and start developing your interpreting skills in our Introduction to Interpreting training program.

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Erica Macri

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