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Paradigmaverskuiwings en die Afrikaanse mediese vaktaal

H.P. Wassermann


English Title: Paradigm Shifts and the Afrikaans Medical Terminology

English Abstract

The Paramediese Woordeboek, the first Afrikaans medical dictionary to appear in an age of international shifting paradigms in medicine, is reviewed against that background. An historical perspective on the influence of such shifts and their aims is presented, emphasising their effect on intercollegiate, communal and transactional communication. The enigma of the title concerns the intended target group, and inferred distinct technical terminology. The preface, with its claim to simplicity of definitions, and alleged problems with internationally recognised Afrikaans medical language is discussed. Constructional user-unfriendly aspects and incorrect definitions are pointed out, with a note on Afrikaans spelling. In spite of its title, it is largely a school dictionary.

A perspective on the future of medical dictionaries and paradigm shifts is presented; paradigm shifts probably have less terminological than strategic implications. The latter involves reaching and providing for the needs of disadvantaged target groups in accessing a highly specialised intercollegiate technical language.

A need for updating and revising the existing standard Afrikaans explanatory medical dictionary is emphasised; from such a revised edition user-defined explanatory wordlists could be abstracted by a panel of professionals from the intended target groups in accessing a highly specialised intercollegiate technical language. A challenging task awaits Afrikaans medical dictionaries.

Keywords: medical dictionary; paramedical; paradigm shifts; historic perspective; future perspective; enigmatic title; target groups; construction; preface; prescriptive definitions; spelling; intercollegiate communication; communal communication; transactional communication; multilanguage dictionary
AJOL African Journals Online