Everyone knows that there are dead languages. They are not spoken, not used in everyday life. This languages were once actively used by peoples, but gradually they become outdated. Among them: Old Church Slavonic, Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, Coptic and Latin. But often they continue their lives in religious works, their traces can be found in scientific texts or colloquial speech.
The use of Latin in texts
The ancient Romans language stands out from the rest of the dead languages. It is still used today. Yes, not a single nation speaks it, but individual words and expressions are still used in various spheres of human activity.
The spread of Latin is also interesting. In ancient times, it was the language of international communication. It was used throughout the entire Roman Empire: on the European continent and in North Africa. All languages of the Romance group originated from Latin, and scientific terms have Latin roots, too. The language of the Romans is used in philosophy, jurisprudence, medicine, psychology and other sciences.
Latin became the most common in biological, medical and pharmaceutical terms. Most of the names of diseases, organs, plants, animals, and drugs have the roots of a dead language. Even new medications, the terms are still named in Latin. It does not become less relevant.
It is estimated that half a million medical terms are of Latin origin, and about 8 thousand of them are included in the international nomenclature. That is, Latin acts as an international language for doctors, scientists, and pharmacists.
Reasons for the popularity of Latin in scientific and professional texts:
- The stability of the language, the constructions are logical and understandable. Many terms have been around for centuries.
- Concise and precise form of a term, diagnosis, or name. Translations into other languages can sometimes take several lines.
Is a Latin translation in medical texts necessary?
When translating highly specialized documents, the common practice is to replace a term in Latin with a similar concept in local language. They do it in order to convey the meaning of the text precisely. Misinterpretation can result in dangerous medical errors.
Besides, quite often when translating, for example, the Ukrainian term with its Latin version is given. This reduces the risk of ambiguity. Translations into foreign languages are also widespread: into German, English, Czech, and Hebrew. Clients who plan to undergo treatment or rehabilitation in another country apply for such a service.
Despite some of the advantages of the Latin language in the scientific world, translators should know all the features of a dead language: tenses, verb conjugation, case inflection and other lexical norms. It is important to convey the meaning precisely, to take into account the use of the term or abbreviations.
That is why, it is important that real professionals are involved in medical translations. Here you need not only know a foreign language, but also Latin. A clear understanding of the professional terms that make up the document eliminates unwanted mistakes