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In The Hospital, A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life
National Public Radio

Translating from one language to another is a tricky business, and when it comes to interpreting between a doctor and patient, the stakes are even higher.

Consider the story of 18-year-old baseball player Willie Ramirez.

In 1980, Ramirez was taken to a South Florida hospital in a coma, says Helen Eby, a certified medical interpreter in Oregon. “His family apparently used the word ‘intoxicado’ to talk about this person,” she says.  ”Well, ‘intoxicado’ in Spanish just means that you ingested something. It could be food; it could be a drug; it could be anything that has made you sick.”

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