A Day in the Life of an Arabic Medical Interpreter

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A Day in the Life of an Arabic Medical Interpreter

We wanted to learn a little about what life is like for our Arabic medical interpreters, so we took the time to chat with Muhammad and hear about his day-to-day life.

Knockhundred: So Muhammad, you’ve been on assignment at a private clinic this week, haven’t you?

Muhammad: Yeah, I’ve been on-site at the clinic all-week. I’ve been working with a patient who is having an operation, interpreting for them -explaining exactly what’s going on and so on.

Knockhundred: So you’re kind of the go-between, between the doctor and the patient aren’t you?

Muhammad: Exactly. Whether it’s interpreting in Arabic, or in any other language, our job is pretty much the same. We have to communicate what’s said to the patient and what the patient wants to say. We call it ‘consecutive interpreting’.

Knockhundred: So what kind of skills do you need?

Muhammad: Obviously you need to be bilingual! I speak Modern Standard Arabic, but remember that there are Arabic speakers from the Middle East, from North Africa… So sometimes the speaker may be from a different part of the world…

Knockhundred: And do you need to specialise in medicine?

Muhammad: Well, you definitely have to have medical knowledge and ideally some background in medicine, which I do.

Knockhundred: And what other qualities does an Arabic medical interpreter need?

Muhammad: Well… Apart from being bilingual and having medical knowledge? Well, I suppose that accuracy is really, really important, especially for medical assignments.

Knockhundred: Are there any other qualities that you need?

Muhammad: Well, you need to be sympathetic and to be able empathise with people, because sometimes they might be in a difficult situation, so there is the that too. That’s really, really important.

Knockhundred: That’s fascinating and I’ve really enjoyed talking to you today. I hope the rest of the week goes well.

Muhammad: Thank you.

Further Information

Should you require our help with Arabic translation and interpreting do not hesitate to get in touch with us and our team will do their best to help you.


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