Just like in Europe, Asia is now becoming a popular medical destination and Japan is one of the few countries that is well-trusted for its advanced medical technology. People from different parts of Asia visit the country not only for its breath taking tourist spots, but also for its excellent medical system. Moreover, many foreigners who cannot speak Japanese are living in Japan and so translation is much needed.
Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos are just some of the medical visitors who seek treatment and medical attention in Japan. With the growing number of medical tourists, Japanese hospitals are in now need of interpreters who can speak any of these three languages – English, Portuguese and Chinese. In this field, every piece of information is vital and with a simple mistake, it may lead to death.
For a foreigner living in Japan, it would be a big worry to go to the hospital where nobody can speak and understand English. The Japanese language can’t be learned overnight and so foreign people are still having difficulty speaking Japanese despite living there for years.
To address such challenging situation, employing a medical interpreter is so far the best solution. In fact, to understand each other is very important to both the patient and the doctor. In medical translation, it is not only a matter of speaking English, Portuguese or Chinese, but what matters most is an appropriate interpretation in order to make the right diagnosis in every case.
The government’s goal is to put medical interpreters to 30 hospitals by 2020 just in time for the Tokyo Olympics. In order to accomplish this goal, hospitals have already started providing language trainings to hospital staff with native English speakers as their teachers. As per Kiyoshi Takayama, translation is all about getting it right – that is, no adding or removing anything.