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Languages for Medical Doctors?

 Language Learning Forum : Languages & Work Post Reply
23 messages over 3 pages: 1 2
Medulin
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Croatia
Joined 2853 days ago

1199 posts - 2192 votes 
Speaks: Croatian*, English, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Norwegian, Hindi, Nepali

 
 Message 17 of 23
04 August 2013 at 3:20pm | IP Logged 
jeronz wrote:

In Auckland, New Zealand where I work, speaking Mandarin, Hindi and Samoan would be very useful.


It's kind of strange that Mandarin and Hindi are more useful in New Zealand than Maori.

Edited by Medulin on 04 August 2013 at 3:21pm

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montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3013 days ago

2371 posts - 3675 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 18 of 23
04 August 2013 at 5:53pm | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
Well, looks like our translators are a bit faster than the Croatians
and we have a lot of
original textbooks (I just got an awesome new one, better than the foreign ones. But
that
is more of an exception). This varies a lot. Friends who were abroad for some time have
typically two kinds of experience: most is done/learnt/spoken about in English (for
exemple in Thaiwan), or most is in the language of the country and the English spoken
is
quite a crappy one.

I just realized there is one language, apart from Spanish, that you might find
extremely
useful. The Sign Language. I have witnessed once how complicated is communication
between
a deaf patient and doctor not knowing the SL. Yes, they got things done but it would
have
been much more comfortable and practical for both sides had they used the language. So,
that might be an option to consider.



Be aware though, that there is not just one sign language:

Sign Language

Quote:

A common misconception is that all sign languages are the same worldwide or that sign
language is international. However each country has its own, native sign language,
though they may share similarities to signs used in another country.



In the German film "Jenseits der Stille" (which featured sign language heavily), the
actor playing the father character was American and had to learn the German variant of
sign language.


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Jake Day
Newbie
United States
Joined 3214 days ago

30 posts - 35 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 19 of 23
04 August 2013 at 7:22pm | IP Logged 
I wholeheartedly agree with learning Spanish for medicine. It has become a necessity in most parts of the US to
know at least a little Spanish. If you're going to become a medical doctor, you'll probably work with a lot of poor
people in the early years of your career, many of whom speak Spanish better than English.

Another set of languages you may consider studying to at least a basic level would be the native languages of
North America. Native North Americans are usually poor, and they receive government doctors in the US and
Canada. If you might become one of those doctors, you might learn a bit of the native language. Navajo, for
example, is taught to non-native doctors working close to the Navajo Nation. (Normally, some Native North
Americans don't like it when non-natives learn native languages, so the fact that they're willing to teach doctors
the language tells me how bad the need is for such doctors.)

You might also consider learning Native Latin American languages, such as Nahuatl, Aymara, or Quechua. There
are a lot of poor immigrants to the US who come to work in farms, ranches, or meat-packing plants who speak
neither Spanish nor English, but rather only native languages. People who work in these occupations are prone to
injury, and would require native-language fluent doctors who can help them.

There are also other foreign sources of agricultural and food processing labor, such as Somalia, Thailand, or
Haiti. Learning Somali, Thai, or Haitian Creole may help your medical career.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4782 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 20 of 23
04 August 2013 at 9:57pm | IP Logged 
Jake Day wrote:
You might also consider learning Native Latin American languages, such as Nahuatl, Aymara, or Quechua.
You mean South/Central American :) Latin America = parts of America that speak Spanish and Portuguese, two languages that descend from Latin. (why wouldn't French count hmmmm?)

And no need to label native speakers of this or that language as poor.
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Jake Day
Newbie
United States
Joined 3214 days ago

30 posts - 35 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 21 of 23
05 August 2013 at 1:49am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Jake Day wrote:
You might also consider learning Native Latin American languages, such as
Nahuatl, Aymara, or Quechua.
You mean South/Central American :) Latin America = parts of America that
speak Spanish and Portuguese, two languages that descend from Latin. (why wouldn't French count hmmmm?)

And no need to label native speakers of this or that language as poor.


Forgive me; I did not intend to offend. What I meant to say is that in the early years of a medical career in the US,
you may be sent by the government to work in an economically depressed neighborhood or community; and that in
most parts of the country, that means dealing with people who are less likely to speak English and moderately more
likely (but not guaranteed) to speak Spanish. I'm not saying that there aren't prosperous people whose main
language is Navajo or Quechua or Somali. Take the example of Notah Begay, a wealthy pro golfer whose native
language is Navajo.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3194 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 22 of 23
05 August 2013 at 8:57pm | IP Logged 
Of course I meant that it's useful to learn the one sign language used in your area. Might be more complicated for people moving to another country to learn a second sign language.
1 person has voted this message useful



jeronz
Diglot
Newbie
New Zealand
Joined 3043 days ago

37 posts - 78 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French, Yiddish, Latin, German, Italian

 
 Message 23 of 23
06 August 2013 at 6:47am | IP Logged 
Medulin wrote:
jeronz wrote:

In Auckland, New Zealand where I work, speaking Mandarin, Hindi and Samoan would be
very useful.


It's kind of strange that Mandarin and Hindi are more useful in New Zealand than Maori.


Maori is actually an endangered language, quite a sad story. It was systematically
suppressed during the late 19th century and early 20th century in preference of English
(among other injustices). You were actually forbidden to use Maori as a child at
school.

Nowadays there are also no full blooded Maori anymore and almost all that speak it are
also native English speakers. I have never needed an interpreter for a Maori patient.
There are some areas in the northern area of the north island (northland) where it is
spoken but as for the rest of New Zealand it is very rare outside of special institutes
and Maori only schools. According to wikipedia in 2001 only 9% of the Maori population
or 29,000 adults could very fluently speak Maori.

We realized our mistake a couple of decades ago and the government is pouring
a lot of money into trying to revive it but there is still a long way to go. So much
has been lost that will never be recovered.

It is very sad that Hindi, Samoan and Mandarin are by far more commonly heard.
Unfortunately there is no impetus for me to learn Maori (beyond words and phrases) as
the opportunities to use it are very few.

Edited by jeronz on 06 August 2013 at 6:51am



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