Hipotensión vs low blood pressure: the presence of explicitations and errors in the translations of informed consents in Spain


  • Laura Monguilod Navarro Universidad de Alcalá




translation, translator, informed consent, health systems, explicitation, error, terminological difficulties


Due to the rise in migratory movements and the increase of multicultural societies, health services of many countries, and in particular Spain, have had to adapt in order to be able to give access to patients and users who do not speak Spanish. One of the first and main documents which health users are handed when accessing many medical procedures are informed consents. Consents are legal documents used in health settings which a patients signs stating that s/he allows a procedure to be performed on her/him (i.e. a surgical procedure). Consents must thus be written in a language that the patient can understand so they can actively be involved in the decision making process related to their health.

In Spain, however, few hospitals have these documents available in languages other than Spanish.

In medical translation, specifically from Spanish into English, there is a wide range of phenomena known as “explicitation” which is the action of using an explicit term in the target language, to explain something that was implicit in the source language. The aim of this article will be to analyze the presence of explicitations as well as terminological errors in informed consents by comparing a set of original Spanish documents and their translated versions in English.


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