Language Assessment for Medical Interpretation

I recently took a language assessment to qualify for the medical interpreters’ certificate program offered by the Heartland Alliance Cross-Cultural Interpreting Services in Chicago. Partaking in the certificate program has been on my mind for the past year or so, but the weekday schedule hasn’t worked for me, so when I saw that the program will take place over the five weekends this October, I jumped for the opportunity.

To qualify for the program, I had to take a language assessment, which required that I know basic medical terminology, body parts, organs and their functions, and names and titles of medical specialties…etc. The test consisted of a written and oral section, and the oral section included a sight translation and a mock medical interview/dialogue. (All testers had to translate from English into their target language.)

As a legal and community translator, I haven’t focused on learning medical terminology so this was all very new to me. I only had a week or so to study for this exam. It was stressful, especially with the broad guidelines because I didn’t know what exactly to expect, but it was also rewarding. I learned so much about the medical field that I never fully paid attention to my whole life. The hard work paid off and I’ll be spending my Saturdays in a classroom this October! I look forward to sharing the experience with you on this blog.

For those of you who are already in the Chinese-English medical translation field, this is one website that I found to be helpful in giving me translations of medical terms:

Medical dictionary Online for Chinese (網上英漢漢英醫學辭典)