The Translatability and Use of X-Phemism Expressions (X-phemization): Euphemisms, Dysphemisms and Orthophemisms) in the Medical Discourse

Hussein Abdo Rababah

Abstract


People usually use direct or indirect expressions; they are sometimes formal, normal, polite or informal in their daily conversations. They often use one of the X-phemism expressions in their conversations; these expressions include orthophemisms to be normal and formal, euphemisms to be polite, positive or indirect, and/or dysphemisms to be direct and negative, the choice of using each one depends on several factors, such as the conversation situation, time, place, the speaker, the hearer and the topic of the conversation.
This analytical, qualitative and quantitative study has been conducted in the medical discourse; namely the spoken discourse (conversations) in Jordan for two purposes; the first purpose of this study is to identify the psycholinguistic reasons, motives, styles and frequency of using X-phemization, including “the indirectness” or “doublespeak” or “euphemism”, dysphemism and orthophemism expressions in the medical discourse that health care providers employ in their communication with health care users; who are mainly patients and their families. The second purpose of this study is to investigate the translatability of using these terms from English into Arabic and vice versa.
The results of this research have revealed that there are several motives, forms and styles for using X-phemism expressions in the medical discourse. Using orthophemism and euphemism expressions has been manifested by employing indirect or acceptable language or/ and hiding the information, and dysphemisms were manifested by using direct speech and language from the health care providers with the users. Moreover this research has shown that translators and interpreters would encounter a problem in the translation of these X-phemism expressions, but they can easily and smoothly handle this issue by intelligent management of the translation and subtle consideration and awareness of the ethical and legal aspect related to the medical condition.


Keywords


X-phemisms (euphemism, dysphemism, orthophemisms); X-phemization; Psycholinguistics; Medical Jargon and Medical discourse

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References


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Tayler, M., & Ogden, J. (2005). Doctors’ use of euphemisms and their impact on patients’ beliefs about health: An experimental study of heart failure. Patient Education and Counseling, 57, 321-326.

Taylor, R. (2008). Medical Abbreviations, Acronyms, Euphemisms, Jargon, and Slang (pp.103-118). New York, Ny: Springer-Verlag.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n

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