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Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics (Second Edition)

2006, Pages 752-759

Medicine: Use of English

Author links open overlay panelM.Á.Alcaraz ArizaF.Navarro []Get rights and content

This contribution, which includes four sections, is an approach to the role of English in the techno-scientific field of medicine. The first section covers the use of English as a lingua franca in the field at issue. The second section tackles the linguistic and extralinguistic factors that have determined the present-day dominance of English as a medium of international communication in the medical sciences. The third section reviews the phenomenon of English loanwords or Anglicisms, i.e., English linguistic forms and English meanings borrowed by other languages. Finally, the fourth section analyzes the contribution of medical English to the growth of other medical languages in the world, with supporting examples. Although these examples have been exclusively taken from medical Spanish, they can also be found in other medical languages that have gone through the same process of borrowing from English, such as French or German, to name just two of the many European languages affected by this influence.

extralinguistic factors lexico-semantic Anglicisms lingua franca linguistic factors loanwords medical English phonemic Anglicisms pseudo-Anglicisms rhetorico-pragmatic Anglicisms semantic Anglicisms syntactic Anglicisms typographic Anglicisms

Maria Ángeles Alcaraz Ariza holds a B.A. in English Studies and a Ph.D. in Linguistics (University of Alicante, Spain). She is currently teaching English for Tourism and a graduate program in the Analysis of Written Discourse at the University of Alicante. She has published several articles on the influence of English on medical Spanish and on the discoursal features of medical prose written in English, French, and Spanish. She is a member of the Multidisciplinary and Multilingual Research Group on Scientific Discourse Analysis.

Fernando Navarro has a degree in medicine and a specialization in clinical pharmacology. From 1993 to 2002, he worked as a medical translator for Roche Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. He is now working as a freelance medical translator for several multinational medicopharmaceutical companies. He is the director of [email protected] – Bulletin of Medicine and Translation. He belongs to the expert board of different Spanish medical journals and he is a founding member of Medtrad, a discussion forum on medicine and translation. He is a member of the following organizations: North American Academy of Spanish Language (New York), Consultant Group of Medical Terminology at the Institute Carlos III (Madrid), Swiss Translator Association, Writer Physician Spanish Association (Madrid), and Fundación Litterae (Buenos Aires). He has published several books, as well as over 300 papers on the theory and practice of medical translation and on the problems of medical language in specialized journals.

Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.