English to Spanish translated medical forms: A descriptive genre-based corpus study

Patricia Gonzalez Darriba


Medical translation in the United States has received increasing attention in recent years. This can be observed in the passing of legislation that supports equal access to healthcare regardless of language, in the development of training programs in educational institutions, and in the emergence of private initiatives in this field (Gonzalez Darriba, 2014). In this context, this paper aims to describe a genre with a very large volume of translation within medical practices, the Patient’s Personal and Medical Information Form (PPMIF), a questionnaire that gathers the relevant information needed for a successful first encounter between a patient and a medical practitioner. This description may serve as a basis for future reference when tackling the translation of PPMIF, as well as a tool for translation training and quality assessment. The analysis employed stems from a genre approach based on English for Special Purposes and Discourse Analysis applied to Translation (Gamero, 2001; García Izquierdo, 2009). Methodologically, it uses a corpus-based approach to compile and describe a parallel corpus of 100 English-language Patient’s Personal and Medical Information Forms (PPMIF) and their translations into Spanish. Subsequently, in order to provide a description for the PPMIF as a genre, a genre-based approach is applied to outline its five main components, following Gamero’s Genre Characterization Model and Jiménez-Crespo’s (2010) work on forms.


medical translation, medical forms, medical questionnaires, translated forms, English, Spanish, genre, corpus study, parallel corpora

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