Monday, July 5, 2010

My July newsletter "News from InTrans Book Service" highlights publications that deal with medical vocabulary, or with building better vocabulary. E-mail me at if you would like to receive a copy

Besides speaking at least two languages, an interpreter or translator needs a very extensive vocabulary. My previous blogs have highlighted publications that can help you increase your general vocabulary.

Now, I would like to point out a few essential medical dictionaries to help you build vocabulary in that field. It is hard to say what is the best medical dictionary. The Stedman, the Dorland, or the Mosby's... These are the three most used dictionaries, every one of which has its own strong and possible weak points.

Here I would like to go a little deeper into the two larger Spanish, bi-lingual dictionaries. The Stedman is often preferred over the Mosby. The Stedman is a straightforward one volume bi-lingual, bi-directional dictionary and easy to work with. The Mosby consists of two volumes. Volume 1 and part of Volume 2 are the dictionary. You look up the head word in Spanish, with the English translation followed by an extensive explanation of the term in Spanish. Contrary to the Stedman, the Mosby has many illustrations. The dictionary part is followed by a complete bi-lingual and bi-directional glossary. Included with the book is a CD-ROM containing a monolingual anatomical atlas.

A third option for an extensive reference work is the monolingual Spanish Dorland in combination with the English Dorland. Although the editions are not the same, they still can be used very well as a bilingual resource.

If you have a favorite, let me know and your comment will be posted here. The ones just mentioned are the most complete dictionaries in the medical field but if you have no need for such an extensive reference tool, following are a few (Spanish) bilingual dictionaries that are good and friendly to your wallet.