Seventh Terminology Seminar in Brussels (TSiB 2014)

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.

Date: Friday 25 April 2014

Venue: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Campus Etterbeek)

Fr - Nl


!! Click here to look at the pictures of the event !!


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.

Programme (*)

9.00 - 9.30 Registration
9.30 - 9.40 Introduction by Rita Temmerman and Marc Van Campenhoudt
9.40 - 10.20 Keynote lecture by Maribel Tercedor Sánchez (Universidad de Granada):
Reaching medical “understandings” in intercultural and interlinguistic settings
10.20 - 10.30 Questions and discussion with keynote speaker
10.30 - 11.00 Valérie Delavigne (Université Paris 3):
Le terme en culture: parler du cancer
11.00 - 11.30 Matilde Nisbeth Jensen and Antoinette Fage-Butler (Aarhus University – School of Business and Social Science):
A patient-centred approach to medical terminology in written health communication: Examining the evidence and considering the consequences
11.30 - 12.00 Jan Snacken (Vrije Universiteit Brussel):
Het “Koulchi Syndroom” “I have pain everywhere” “J’ai mal partout”
12.00 - 12.15 Questions and discussion with speakers
12.15 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 - 14.00 Barbara Schouten (Universiteit van Amsterdam):
Interpreter-mediated communication in health care: what do informal interpreters want, feel and do?
14.00 - 14.30 Elisabeth Navarro (Université Paris Diderot):
Linguistique et terminologie de la médiation interculturelle et multilingue dans le contexte médical français.
14.30 - 15.00 Demi Krystallidou (Universiteit Gent):
Views + Participation + Multimodality = An alternative take on the study of terminology in interpreter-mediated consultations 
15.00 - 15.15 Questions and discussion with speakers
15.15 - 15.30 Coffee break
15.30 - 15.50 Cornelia Wermuth, Marc Lamote,  Rita Temmerman and student MA Translation (KULeuven campus Antwerpen & Vrije Universiteit Brussel):
Adjectives and scales: the importance of terminological fine-tuning in psychiatric reports for officials.
15.50 - 16.10 Sofie Van de Geuchte en Leona Van Vaerenbergh (Universiteit Antwerpen):
Language mediation in health care
16.10 - 16.30 Ward Van de Velde and Marc Van Campenhoudt (Haute École de Bruxelles):
La base de données terminologique Babeliris : une modélisation sociale dans le respect des normes ISO

16.30 - 16.50

Antoon Cox & students MA interpreting VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel):
What if the diagnosis was tongue-tied? Ad hoc interpreting at the Emergency Department (Babeliris project)
16.50 - 17.10 Questions and discussion with speakers
17.10 - 17.20 Conclusion
17.20 - 18.00 Farewell drink

(*) The programme and abstracts of TSiB 2014 can be downloaded here.


Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2 Pleinlaan, 1050 Brussels
Building Q - 'auditorium B'
Instructions on how to reach Campus Etterbeek can be found here.