Category: Vietnamese

Language Barriers – English, Vietnamese, Medical

I am learning the intersection of three languages:  English, Vietnamese and Medical!  When I am at the hospital, I often translate for my mom.  When I am not around, I imagine a lot of hand gestures and repeating happens.  I’m sure she and the nurses have developed a special language.  I would say my Vietnamese is intermediate – enough to read and write (maybe even create a poem), but most certainly not enough to translate all medical terms.  Therefore, the past few days, I have spent looking up various medical terms in Vietnamese.  Below are some key terms that have helped with translation for my mom and relatives:

  • red blood cells:  hồng huyết cầu 
  • white blood cells: bạch cầu
  • plasma:  huyết tương 
  • platelets: tiểu cầu 
  • cells: tế bào
  • cancer: ung thư

I found the following two websites quite useful: