Equigeneric and Intergeneric Translation in Patient-Centred Care
Keywords:patient-centred care, equifunctional translation, intergeneric translation, generic competence
AbstractThis article reflects on the demands that the paradigm of PCC (patient-centred care) involves for medical translators and writers. We will review the notion of patient-centred healthcare, and will highlight the concept of empowerment of the patient in order to improve communication between patients and healthcare professionals, two discourse communities with different conceptual backgrounds and rules of communication, whose mutual understanding can significantly improve the quality of healthcare (Jovell/Navarro 2009). In the area of written communication, medical writing and translation in general and the role of reformulating information to fit expectations in particular may play an important role as a bridge between these communities. Whilst Translation Studies has traditionally been based on the notion of equifunctional and interlingual translation (a notion which is valid as a way of explaining many communication situations), in this article, we shall argue that the notion of intergeneric translation, both in intra- and interlingual contexts, also needs to be developed in order to respond to the requirements of written communication in very specific contexts such as that of healthcare. Following Mason (2000: 6), “while audience design will regulate the interpersonal dimension of meaning, socio-textual practices (genre, discourse and text type) will regulate the intertextual dimension”. We therefore need to design genres in the domain of healthcare according to the nature of the audience and in the specific context we are examining, and only sound generic competence will help the writer/translator to appropriately combine the textual dimension with the interpersonal dimension so as to achieve the required skopos.
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