Chapter published in:Handbook of Terminology: Volume 2. Terminology in the Arab world
Edited by Abied Alsulaiman and Ahmed Allaithy
[Handbook of Terminology 2] 2019
► pp. 84–108
Medical terminology in the Western world
This chapter first describes the fundamentals of medical concept formation, the different types of medical concepts and the specific properties of medical terms. We provide an overview of the most important types of terminologies (controlled vocabularies) and databases and recent medical terminology standardization activities at the national and international levels (CEN/TC 251). We introduce the domain of medical linguistics as a field of study that is concerned with specific aspects of medical language to enable the computer-aided recording, storage, and retrieval of medical data. The following types of terminologies and databases will be described in greater detail: anatomical and nosological nomenclatures, coding systems (International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED), indexing systems (Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)), thesauri and metathesauri (Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) and the bibliographic database Medline (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online). We conclude with a discussion of science popularization strategies for general health texts in terms of intralingual translation between Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) and Language for General Purposes (LGP), as well as implications for interlingual translation of medical terminology for lay readers.
Keywords: medical terminology, medical databases, controlled vocabularies, medical terminology standardization, medical linguistics, science popularization, lay-friendliness, health information texts, Language for Specific Purposes (LSP), Language for General Purposes (LGP), intralingual translation, explicitation
Published online: 29 January 2019
Cited by 1 other publications
Vezzani, Federica & Giorgio Maria Di Nunzio
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