Cihan University-Erbil Conferences, The 3rd International Conference on Language and Education at Cihan University-Erbil

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Prevalence of Abbreviation and Acronyms in Kurdish for Medical Purposes
Kazi H. Saleh

Last modified: 2023-07-21


One of the main characteristics of a medical language is its abundance of abbreviations and acronyms. They are usually used for the sake of brevity. While English medical language heavily relies on abbreviations and acronyms, their occurrence and use in medical Kurdish is not documented because the topic is under-researched. Therefore, this study is the first attempt to academically explore the presence and use of abbreviations and acronyms in medical Kurdish. To do so, it employs a corpus of different genres of untranslated medical texts in Kurdish written by medical practitioners. The corpus is qualitatively and quantitatively investigated in order to see if any patterns develop and whether any potential norm is operating in terms of using medical abbreviations and acronyms in Kurdish. The findings revealed that MEDICAL Kurdish does not have its abbreviations and acronyms. To fill that gap, medical practitioners follow three different norms in using abbreviations and acronyms in their writing; first, they borrow the English/Latin abbreviations and acronyms and use them along their expanded Kurdish equivalent; second, they transcribe the English/Latin abbreviations and acronyms; and third, they use the expanded Kurdish equivalents alone without their English/Latin contracted form. Each of these choices has their own explanation and reasoning in terms of language policy, expert-to-lay relationship and hegemony of English in the field of medicine. This study can further be expanded to investigate parallel and comparable corpora of untranslated as well as translated medical texts to see what other normative practices develop in terms of abbreviations and acronyms in Kurdish for Medical Purposes.

Keywords— Abbreviations; Acronyms; English for Medical Purposes; Kurdish for Medical Purposes; LSP


Published Date: 01/06/2023


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