Knowing French for a medical professional can be a huge boost for anyone's career. While any language will be helpful in today's diverse world, knowing French medical terminology and medical term lists can unlock doors to so many fields.
Perhaps you're wondering if you're a great candidate to learn medical French. Once you've decided you're ready to start your medical journey career, read on to find out the following resources to help you achieve your goal and learn French medical terms.
Why Should I Learn French Medical Terminology?
Maybe you're an undergrad majoring in pre-med and wanting to build a competitive profile to gain entry into medical school. Most undergrad programs require some language studying, so French could be an excellent choice that sets you apart from the rest.
Another option is that you're a medical school student and wanting to cater to a French speaking community in your area. Or, even more pressing, learning French medical terms may be very important if you're living in a Francophone country such as France, Canada, or Belgium.
Some people believe Spanish is a natural choice for medical professionals in the U.S. But the problem is that there are so many native Spanish speakers who can compete with you. French, on the other hand, allows you to benefit from being bilingual without having to compete against millions of native speakers living right in your area.
There's also a ton of humanitarian work that occurs in French speaking countries. Doctor organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières operate around the world, many times in Francophone Africa. In this case, you absolutely need to master French medical vocabulary.
Or perhaps you're interested in translation and are debating getting certified to be a medical translator. As you'll see below, French provides so many opportunities for translation work, making it a great choice.
And, finally, just in case you're living in a Francophone country, you should know some medical terminology so that you can communicate about your health if the need should arise.
Where Can I Learn French Medical Terminology?
You may be unsure whether a language class is right for you. That's okay because some of the best places to learn French are actually right within your reach to help you make your bilingual dream a reality. These resources are meant to help you navigate different parts of the translation world.
1. Check Out French - English Medical Dictionaries
Carrying a hardback copy of a book may seem outdated, but if you're ever far away from WiFi or don't have access to technology, having your French medical dictionary is key. This French - English medical dictionary by Alfred Gordon is an excellent find.
It comes with a ton of definitions, and it's not too heavy or too big, so it can fit straight into your bag.
If you happen to have access to a computer, you can bring up tons of French medical term lists to use. Lexicool is a site that provides an array of French - English medical dictionaries, such as the Collins Reverse bilingual dictionary. Lexicool will give you access to over 60 online dictionaries, from cancer to heart focused terminology.
In addition to online medical dictionaries, you can always check out one of the best online dictionaries out there for language translation: WordReference. Not only does it have a ton of entries, but you can even post on the forums and get a community of translators to help you.
In addition to hot online sites like WordReference, you can discover French medical terminology on sites like Expatica.. Print it out, put a star next to the most important ones, and add it to your repertoire.
2. Know What to Do in Emergencies
If you have a medical issue while traveling or living abroad, you may very well need some information on how to get help. Mon Petit Forfait is a site with a great breakdown of all of the most important numbers you would need.
If you can, print it out and keep it with you. Even better, program these numbers in your phone while abroad.
You also should know all about the EHIC and how to go about getting a doctor if need. If you're unsure of what that means, check out this site that provides some helpful vocab.
3. Do Research on Translation Forums
For those people who are interested in becoming translation experts, spend some time scanning the professional translators' forums. These sites allow certified translators to post questions about medical terminology, and to get the opinion of people around the world.
If you're not a native speaker, these sites can be even more helpful since people from specific countries will help you figure out the best translation.
ProZ is by far one of the most fun and helpful sites out there for translation questions. Just one peek will show you all of the different threads that have been created by people just like you who want to know the best translation.
Take a few moments each day to browse this site and learn some new words and vocabulary. For future translators, it will help you see how translators think. After all, translating from one language to another while keeping the same style is truly more of an art than a science.
To really make it effective, start a journal where you write new medical terms that you find on there along with their French equivalent. Each Sunday, or once a week, look through your list and try to quiz yourself. You can easily do this if you fold the paper in half and write the French on one side and English on the other. That way, you can hide the answers from yourself while you're being quizzed. You don't need a ton of time to effectively learn.
4. Go Through Pharmaceutical Company Websites
The French and other French speaking countries such as Switzerland and Canada are leading forces in the pharmaceutical industry.
Roche, for example, is a Swiss company that brought in over 55 billion last year. They're responsible for products like Tamiflu and Bactrim, a common antibiotic.
Sanofi is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Browse their website and pick up on how they talk about medical innovations.
Remember, if you are a doctor or a translator, you'll inevitably have to deal with medical terminology like what you'll see on these sites. In fact, one of the most lucrative translation projects can be working with medical documents. Plus, doctors have to meet with pharmaceutical reps at one point or another.
French remains a truly profitable and fun part of learning medical terminology, for future doctors and translators alike. Whatever resources you decide to utilize, the important thing is to be consistent and motivated, maximize your positive studying habits, and your goals are sure to be reached. Bonne chance!