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“Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine” featured in ScienceDaily

August 12, 2014

This document published by researchers at UCLA’s Center for East-West Medicine, was featured in ScienceDaily on July 2, 2014. With only a handful of Chinese medical texts translated into English despite widespread use of TCM, "Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine" was written to address the need for more accurate, high-quality translations and to help evaluate Chinese medical texts with greater sensitivity and comprehension.

In the practice of traditional Chinese medicine in the West, there is a significant use of Chinese medical texts. Yet only a few U.S. schools that teach Chinese medicine require Chinese-language training, and only a handful of Chinese medical texts have been translated into English so far. Given the complexity of the language and concepts in these texts, there is a need for accurate and high-quality translation. To this end, researchers at UCLA’s Center for East-West Medicine published a 15-page document titled “Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine,” which currently appears in the online edition of the Journal of Integrative Medicine.

The document, designed to help students, educators, practitioners, researchers, publishers, and translators, highlights several important topics in the translation of Chinese medical texts, including the history of Chinese medical translations, which individuals make ideal translators, and other translation-specific issues. Authors Sonya Pritzker, a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner and anthropologist, and Hanmo Zhang, a China scholar, hope the publication will promote communication in the field and play a role in the development of thorough, accurate translations.

“Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine” was inspired by the late renowned translator and scholar Michael Heim, the American Council of Learned Societies’ “Guidelines for the Translation of Social Science Texts,” as well as co-author Pritzker’s longstanding anthropological study of translation in Chinese medicine, which is detailed in her new book, “Living Translation: Language and the Search for Resonance in U.S. Chinese Medicine,” recently published by Berghahn Books. The document is available for free in both English and Chinese (PDF format) on the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine website.


To access the original feature on ScienceDaily, click here.

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