Word Formation Study in Developing Naming Guidelines in the Translation of English Medical Terms Into Persian

Word Formation Study in Developing Naming Guidelines in the Translation of English Medical Terms Into Persian

Ali Akbar Zeinali (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7601-3.ch017

Abstract

Lack of appropriate equivalences for terms or technical words is the result of ineffective translation guidelines adopted in the translation process. This chapter provides a comparative analysis of the characteristics of Persian medical terms, using the universal naming guidelines and local naming principles in Persian. The aim of the study is to determine the similarities and differences of the compatible and incompatible terms (Persian equivalents) with respect to the applied translation procedures and the employed word formation processes. The descriptive statistics and qualitative analysis were employed to analyze the collected data which consisted of a population of 339 English medical terms and their pairs in Persian. The research was based on two theoretical frameworks, namely Sager's naming criteria and word designation principles by the Persian Language and Literature Academy to investigate the effective translation procedures and word formation parameters for the translation of English medical terms into Persian through morphosemantic comparison of the terms.
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Background

According to Ashuri (1995, p.29), one of the problems for Persian today is the fact that it is a combination of ancient writings and translation works. Scientific language of new works mostly deals with translation together with a lot of English and French words and syntactical structures. He suggests that the word formation is a solution for enriching a language with new concepts.

Beheshti (1999, pp.25-31) explains that one of the most significant contemporary linguistic issues is scientific-technical word formation, which is based on the language grammar and linguistic principles. She discovered that only 50 percent of the total terms studied had the equivalences in Persian; thus, indicating that the translators have not yet shown interest in employing Persian equivalents in their works. Further investigation is crucial to uncover the underlying reason. According to her, equivalent findings or naming of imported medical terms should be based on the features specific to medical terms. This means that medical terms, either in the source language or the target language, should be studied to find their systematic characteristics and some patterns in order to help the translators or linguists in the word formatting process or naming imported terms in the future. She suggests a study on the patterns based on the term characteristics of morphology, etymology, word formation and translation procedures.

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