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Medical translators are from Venus

The majority of medical translators are womenAnecdotally, it always seemed that there were many more women than men involved in medical translation. Looking at linguists, our company, and even our client contacts, there were few men to be found. At last, there is some proof for this hypothesis!

A couple of years ago, Simon Andriesen presented How to take medical translation
into account while writing
at the AMWA Annual Conference. He included an interesting profile of the typical medical translator. In looking at the linguists that they work with, Simon found that:

  • 80%+ have a linguistic rather than medical background

  • in many cases, the linguist's spouse/partner is active in a medical profession

  • most medical translators work as freelancers rather than in-house linguists

  • women outnumber men 6:1

Not quite statistically valid but interesting nonetheless. So, how come there aren't more men in medical translation?

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1 Comment:

  1. Aoi said...
    Since a similar ratio can be found in the study bodies at translation and interpretation schools like Kent State or MIIS,or certificate programs, the result is not surprising. The only area where men seem prevalent is technical translation. Even in traditionally male dominated societies like Japan and China, there are many more female interpreters and translators (sorry, no statistics to back this up). One suspects differences in language function in the brain might play a role, much as men dominate fighter jet school graduates, even though women are now allowed to apply and enroll.

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