Don’t sit in one place too long trying to figure out what they mean; you might suffer from a terrible case of obdormition…
Professional interpreters need to know a lot, but particularly they need to know specific medical interpreter terms -- which is a language all on its own! However, some of the craziest terms describe our daily ailments! Can you guess these scientific words for common medical terms?
Obdormition: whether you wake up with it or you almost trip because of it when you finally stand up from your desk at work, at some point during the day most people will be afflicted by this ailment. 99.9% of the time it will be followed by that pins and needles feeling.
When your limbs go numb due to lack of circulation
Fasciculation: often referred to as “spasms”, a curious condition that seems to happen whenever you are in the middle of a conversation with someone. It almost looks like when you’ve had a bit too much caffeine and you can’t stop shaking.
Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter: some say that holding your breath or being scared will cure this small ailment.
Sternutation: one of Snow White’s faithful dwarfs was afflicted by this, and named accordingly.
Vasovagal Syncope: those with a flair for drama might pretend to do this when they experience a slight shock, others will do it unintentionally when they see blood.
Horripilation: you can be afflicted by this if the weather is particularly chilly, if you are touched deeply by a song, or if you’re listening to a scary story around the campfire. There’s also a famous American children’s serious that shares this name…
Veisalgia: there is currently no known cure for this condition; although many will claim that a cup of black coffee in the morning will do the trick. The best way to avoid this would be to temper your drinking with a few glasses of water (but that wouldn’t be any fun now would it).
Now that you're more familiar with these medical interpreter terms, be sure to pull some of these out to impress your doctor the next time you go for a checkup!
Expand your vocab and medical interpreter education some more by checking out our 7-week Medical Interpreter Training Program, designed to train participants to effectively communicate bilingual medical terminology. For more information: