Pathologist’s report

French to English translation: pathology report


I was asked to translate this pathology report from French into English, which was originally issued by a hospital in Quebec, so that the information within it could inform future treatment. All the patient’s information has been redacted and the client has approved the use of this translation for my portfolio.


This report focuses on two biopsied specimens: an anterior mediastinal mass and a left internal mammary lymph node chain.


One particular challenge with this pathology report, issued by a hospital in Quebec, was the need to look out for and clarify medical jargon used that was specific to French speakers from that part of the world.

It was also important to translate medical terms not only accurately, but also with the most commonly used term in this particular context, with the intended reader in mind. One such example was the French ‘Macroscopie’, a specimen that is observed with the naked eye (i.e. not using a microscope). I could have translated this as ‘Macroscopy’ but the more commonly used term among English-speaking pathologists is ‘Gross examination’.


A key part of my approach to this translation was being careful with terminology. I not only checked terms with the client which could have had a different meaning in a Quebec context, but also provided a French to English glossary of the trickier medical terms with explanations of my choices. 

This methodical approach meant I was able to deliver an accurate, meaningful translation which helped to inform the patient’s treatment and ensure their safety.

We relied on Claire for expansion into French to English clinical translation, which she delivered upon very well.
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