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Translation Questions


The Wall Street Journal has an article today on translation issues
in medical offices (“For Ill Immigrants, Doctors’ Orders Get Lost in
Translation,” Jan 9, 2003) which hints at the expense of HREF=””>Clinton Executive
Order 13166

Proof that there is no pleasing some people may be found in this complaint
from a Bosnian woman regarding the accents of her interpreters:

Hataija Pehlic, a Bosnian woman of 50, suffers from depression. At St.
Luke’s Hospital in 2000, she was served by a succession of phone
interpreters on a squawk box for two hours a day during a month of
They spoke a common language, “but I felt really bad,” Ms. Pehlic says
through one of Ms. Brown’s interpreters. “They had different accents” —
accents, that is, of Serbians and Croatians, the enemies who had killed her
son and driven her husband to suicide during the Balkan bloodshed of the 1990s.

The Journal is conducting a poll:

“Should doctors be required to provide non-English-speaking patients with

You can vote HREF=”″>here.


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