HOW CAN I BE SURE? (with apologies to the Young Rascals)
Thank God for smart phones. I didn’t prepare ahead of time for a maternal fetal medicine appointment. What with an early arrival and fifteen minutes to spare, Ms. iPhone 5s proved my hunch right that the literal translation for “birth defect” works, but better to consult a trusted source. This interpreter guy remembered defecto de nacimiento from the previous appointment so why not use the same term again?
A SIMPLE PROCESS
I tried to recall particulars from before. What was the pregnancy-related complication and why did Mrs. Belaunde need a second ultrasound? My first search with defectos de nacimiento brought up http://www.nacersano.marchofdimes.org and confirmed my guess. Then a wander through MedlinePlus with defectos del feto produced anomalía de nacimiento (congenital) and uncertainty http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/. What’s the difference between a defect and an anomaly? I secretly liked anomalia de nacimiento more purely for the sound.
defect: shortcoming, imperfection or lack: genetic defects
anomaly: something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected: there are a number of anomalies in the present system
There it was. Baby Belaunde’s head circumference measured less than the average size for a fetus of XXX months with the last exam. Mama Belaunde anxiously awaited the results and The Interpreter Guy knew how to say “birth defect” properly and without missing a beat. Have any of my fellow interpreters researched to use the correct term and then, the word didn’t come up in the interpreting session? Me, too. No mention of “birth defect” from either the neonatal specialist or the nurse practitioner. Darn. How many times a day do you use a term, determined that it’s OK, yet a little voice coos, “I don’t think you know all the words!”