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Medical Translation


Admission requirements

Students should be sufficiently proficient in English and at least another language.


Medical translation is one of the most demanded specializations in the linguistic industry. The need for specialized translators in this field has greatly increased in the last years due to the rapid scientific and technological break-throughs and the surge of publications in the healthcare and medical sector.
Translated content undoubtedly plays a decisive role in the development of medical and biomedical knowledge, and its communication. And this specialized knowledge is applied and disseminated in various intercultural settings. Medical and biomedical content is found in expert-to-expert communication (e.g.,clinical study reports, clinical trial protocolos, and journal articles), but also in expert-to-layperson communication, or vice-versa (e.g., patient information leaflets, informed consents, newspaper articles,press conferences, advertisements).
The aim of this Medical Translation course is to provide you with the starting competences needed to edit, translate and revise medical and biomedical text types in English. English is the main source language

in this field, and a major target language. Most biomedical research is first written in English, and a significant number of health-related content is translated and adapted from other languages and cultures to English in order to ensure international dissemination.
In this MA course, students will be introduced to medical and biomedical translation and its specificities in interactive lectures. After the introductory lectures, they will solve problems common to medical translation and intercultural communication in healthcare settings through hands-on practice with diversitied texts. To that end, students will work in language-specific groups to edit, translate and revise medical and biomedical content with different levels of specialization and complexity aimed at different audiences, thus gaining an extensive theoretical and practical introduction to the field.

Course objectives

The course aims to familiarize students with

  • medical terminology and phraseology

  • medical genres, their communicative purpose, and their archetypal structure and form

  • medical translators’, revisers’ and readers’ expectations

By the end of the course, students will be able to

  • recognize a range of document types from a variety of professional contexts, and their function,structure and form

  • apply research-based knowledge to explain potential medical and intercultural translation problems in source texts

  • draw appropriate conclusions from linguistic resources specific to medical translation * solve problems common to medical translation and intercultural communication in healthcare settings * explain the translation and adaptation options applicable to medical and biomedical texts with different levels of specialization and complexity aimed at different audiences * critically assess research literature * construct research questions pertinent to medical translation

Course load

  • Classes: * Lectures: 26 hours * Workgroups/tutorials:

  • Practical work: 35 hours

  • Exam(s)

  • (Written) Examination(s): * Paper (including reading/research): 22 * Translations (including analysis/research): 22

  • Studying: 35 hours


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment Written assignment:

survey of the literature (50%)
Two translation assignments (50%)



There will be a resit opportunity for each of the course components. All components have to be at least 6.0. Students can only resit a course component if the mark for the component is a fail.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Montalt, Vicent & González, Maria. 2007. Medical Translation Step by Step. Learning by Drafting.

  • Manchester, UK/Kinderhook (NY), USA: St. Jerome.

  • Additional bibliography and the reader will be provided at the beginning of the course reflecting the specific language combinations of the students.

Brightspace will be also used for:

  • Reading materials

  • Announcements

  • Assignments


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.


Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

Coordinator of Studies