Wednesday 23 July 2014

Medical rant

On 29th June 2014, a Camilla Cerrai, probably a nurse, posted the following comment on the website under the section devoted to my book:

"È un libro che tratta prettamente la pronuncia. Se cercate un testo che vi aiuti con il lessico, la fraseologia e simili, questo non è adatto."
('It's a book that's only about pronunciation. If you're looking for something on the lexis, phrases etc. typical of medical English, then this book is not good.')

Dear Camilla, the criticism you made is simply unjustifiable. Did you read the title of my book before purchasing it? Did you have a look at the contents page on the publisher's website before posting such an uninformed and adverse comment? What exactly do you mean by "la fraseologia e simili"? Are you sure your English is so good you don't need any help with pronunciation?

Also, what you say about the technical terminology and phrases there is totally untrue. My book contains nearly 2,000 examples of words and phrases commonly used in medical science. Most of them are translated into Italian and all their pronunciations are carefully explained (including variants not normally found in dictionaries). See here, for example, here, or see pp. XV-XVI. The latter contain exactly 100 terms, all of them used in medicine and with their corresponding recorded pronunciation(s).

On the market there are now all sorts of books on medical and nursing English for Italians (see for instance here). Most of these books, though, only contain information about the grammar of English; some include info on the lexis; but none, as far as I know, deal with the pronunciation of medical terms and expressions. Also, no book in Italy explains to students how to cope with English native speakers' spoken language in the context of medicine. My book does. 

Criticisms are most welcome, Camilla, but damaging and unfair ones are not!    

Rant over.

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