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This isn't a problem when you know what they're on about. But this is when medical translation becomes much more than translating from one language to another. First you need to decipher the source language medical code. You need to be fluent in "doctor speak"!
And this is where research, experience and good glossaries all come into play. I often find fantastic help from colleagues on forums over at ProZ, but I also have another resource I'd like to share with those of you out there who translate from Spanish.
The Tremédica website hosts a fantastic glossary of the abbreviations, acronyms and symbols commonly used in Spanish medical texts. It includes more than 18,500 entries and, according to the website, is the most complete Spanish glossary of its kind to date. I use it all the time and find it invaluable.
It really is an excellent resource. Go check it out!