2018/05/03 11:22 [News and Events]The World is Looking to Fu Jen’s International MTP

“Before our students even graduate, Hokkaido University Hospital is looking to hire them,” says Director Cheng-Shu Yang of the Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation Studies at Fu Jen Catholic University. Director Yang explains, “We’re trying to free ourselves from the traditional focus on literary translation and conference interpreting. Translation is entering an era of global service, with business opportunities in all corners of the globe. Professional medical translators who possess cross-cultural knowledge represent a rare breed of talent, and their salaries can be up to five times that of the average translator or interpreter.”

The whole world is paying attention to the high costs and scarcity of medical resources. Compared with hospitals in North America and Europe, those in Asia are relatively inexpensive. As a result, Asia is seeing an increasing number of North Americans and Europeans coming for medical services. The International Priority Care Center at the Taiwan Adventist Hospital is staffed by only four doctors, who serve 15,000 foreign patients a year. But with just twelve translators, it’s simply not enough to meet demand. There is no scarcity of translation talent in mainland China, but international medical translation programs for these translators do not exist there. Many students from the mainland have chosen the program at Fu Jen because of its focus on internationalization.

 Approximately four million Taiwanese travel to Japan each year, about forty-four thousand of whom will require emergency medical care while there. But knowledge of medicine and medical procedures is a highly specialized field; someone with only a grasp of basic Japanese probably isn’t up to communicating in a hospital setting. Japanese institutions are therefore willing to partner with Fu Jen to create training courses. The graduate institute at Fu Jen is quite unique in actively developing a program to foster such talent. Instructors include a medical professor from Hokkaido Medical University as well as Taiwanese doctors who are proficient in English and Japanese. Lectures are simultaneously interpreted for students: when speakers use Japanese, it’s interpreted into Chinese (for students in the Chinese-English module), and when lectures are in English, it’s translated into Chinese (for students in the Chinese-Japanese module). 

Do medical translators merely function as communicator between patient and medical staff? “Not at all,” responds Director Yang. Translators must be proficient in collecting information, group communication, handling administrative paperwork and writing reports, while possessing knowledge of medical services and care, international medical institutions, medical insurance, hospital signage, legal contracts, standardized knowledge, and trends within long-term care. No system to certify the quality of medical translation currently exists in Taiwan, so a student’s degree is the greatest quality guarantee. That’s why countries everywhere are looking to Fu Jen for talent.