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Seventh Terminology Seminar in Brussels (TSiB 2014)

Friday, 25 April, 2014 - 09:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculty: Arts and Philosophy
Auditorium B
Centrum voor Vaktaal en Communicatie (Toegepaste Taalkunde - Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Day Seminar

Jointly organised by Centrum voor Vaktaal en Communicatie (CVC - Applied Linguistics - Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Termisti (Centre de recherche en linguistique appliquée, Institut supérieur de traducteurs et interprètes, HEB, Bruxelles)


Health-threatening misunderstanding

Medical terminology in patient-centred communication and how  interpreters, translators and mediators deal with terminology in multilingual health care communication.


Whereas medical terminology used to be studied mainly from the perspective of the medical professional, in recent years patient-centeredness has gained ground in the study of medical terminology. Moreover, in a globalizing world, patients and care-givers from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds are confronted with one another. In the dynamics of patient-centered communication, translators, interpreters and mediators have been called upon to assist patients and care-givers in their mutual understanding.

Two themes will be dealt with at the Brussels seminar:

  1. Medical terminology in patient-centred communication:
    Low health literacy is often an obstacle reflected in the difficulties the patient faces to understand medical terminology used by the care-giver. The patient needs this ability to understand basic health information in order to make the right decisions and to be able to follow instructions for treatment. The speakers will illustrate this with examples from different research perspectives
  2. How interpreters, translators and mediators deal with terminology in multilingual health care communication:
    If healthcare providers and patients do not speak the same language and often have different cultural backgrounds, medical interpreters and translators are called in to help. As they may be at a loss for terms, they may have to engage in secondary term creation strategies to enable understanding like direct loans, explicitations, and non-verbal language like pictures and symbols. These procedures need to be critically evaluated as they may provoke misunderstanding, especially when there are asymmetries of medical knowledge between health professionals and patients, as well as cultural and linguistic differences. The speakers will discuss how several aspects of multilingual communication in healthcare have been investigated in recent years.


  • Keynote speaker: Maribel Tercedor Sánchez (Universidad de Granada)
  • Other speakers: Antoon Cox (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Valérie Delavigne (Université Paris 3); Antoinette Fage-Butler (Aarhus University – School of Business and Social Science); Matilde Nisbeth Jensen (Aarhus University – School of Business and Social Science); Demi Krystallidou (Universiteit Gent); Marc Lamote (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Elisabeth Navarro (Université Paris Diderot); Barbara Schouten (Universiteit van Amsterdam); Jan Snacken (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Rita Temmerman (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Marc Van Campenhoudt (Haute École de Bruxelles); Sofie Van de Geuchte (Universiteit Antwerpen); Ward Van de Velde (Haute École de Bruxelles); Leona Van Vaerenbergh (Universiteit Antwerpen); Cornelia Wermuth (KULeuven campus Antwerpen)


Registration is free but required. Please register by completing the registration form.