No sense of subcutaneous hair-twirling

Regardless of your Mandarin level, inevitably you find yourself approached by a good friend to help “fix up” a translation from said language into, most often, English.

Do it! Don’t dither on the basis of your lack of familiarity with the terminology of thoracic surgery, with the procedures of analysis, with the conventions of medical journal writing. Dithering is for losers. You don’t think the original (paid) translator dithered, do you? Nah. He took the job and rendered 无皮下捻发感 as “no sense of subcutaneous hair-twirling”, maybe even with a straight face.

You’re not getting paid, and you’re waaaay outside your comfort zone. But at least, as a friend, you can help find a medical translation reference* with something slightly more plausible, say: subcutaneous crepitus.


* Here it is, for the record. To describe the interface as “user-unfriendly” is like describing quantum mechanics as “unintuitive”

4 responses to “No sense of subcutaneous hair-twirling”

  1. Kaiwen says:

    I have always used for medical reference, though it isn’t huge. In their case, they call crepitus 劈啪響聲, but have no entry for 捻发感。

  2. Syz says:

    hk-doctor looks interesting, although my own personal limitations with fantizi might get in the way. Is there any particular reason you use it, or just habit?

  3. Kaiwen says:

    I started out in TW, also habit, though I probably read jianti a bit better nowadays. I feel like the site has never really been updated, and is limited compared to web 2.0 stuff.

    Also, that is a terrifying word list. I just plunked “皮下捻发感” into guge and mine came up with some iciba links right at the top (i was signed into guge which may make a diff).

  4. Andrew Chubb says:

    Great call, Chinglish-English translation is hugely rewarding, and helps improve your Chinese too

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