The Department of Internal Medicine of the Second Faculty of Medicine Creates A Unique International Translator for Students



Home page of the Clinical Guide for Medical Students translator.

"Does anyone in your family have diabetes / high blood pressure / psychiatric disease/cancer or other diseases? Has anyone had a heart attack/stroke?”... Medical small talk is a good way how to describe a multi-lingual guide to the conversation that medical students have with a patient during a basic history taking. In two clicks and free of charge for everyone, offers phrases from which a future doctor can learn information about family, allergies, or perhaps gynecological problems, as well as phrases that are used during a physical examination, both from English to Czech and from English to other languages, including most European or some non-European ones. Thanks to the use of two language mutations, for example, a Portuguese student can get translations into Hindi or Japanese.

"I teach foreign students on internships and observe how many of them still struggle with Czech. It is a complex language and it is not easy to learn and retain knowledge despite our language department's great commitment and great work. So I thought about how such a simple translator would help our students," explains the motivation behind the creation of the Clinical Communication Guide Dr Jan Brož from the Department of Internal Medicine. He joined forces with Barbora Makešová, MD, then a 5th-year student of General Medicine, and thanks to her enthusiasm for foreign languages ​​and knowledge of programming, a specialized website was created. Together, they prepared a set of the most important topics that beginning doctors and patients talk about together. "Of course, there are many similar textbooks, but we wanted to start with what is happening in the communication between doctor and patient and also achieve that the amount of information in our guide will be limited and precisely targeted. For example, a doctor asks a patient to turn around, to put away his clothes... it occurred to me that the biggest weakness in the Czech language of foreign students is the non-medical part of communication," reflects Dr Brož.

Work on the project took approximately a year: Barbora Makešová has just returned from an internship abroad and wrote her first translation, from Czech to English, based on her own experience abroad. Subsequently, the idea came to create other language mutations. "I was asking foreign students if they would find our project interesting and offered them the opportunity to translate the guide into their mother tongue. They were working for free, the only thing they have is the opportunity to become the first authors of these language versions," explains Jan Brož. Today, in addition to Czech and English, students can use 15 language versions, and others are being worked on.

The project will be used by foreign students who come to the Czech Republic and Czechs who are heading for internships abroad. "Since I once implemented one project in Nepal, I am also looking forward to the Nepali language translation, which would make me very happy. And we still lack a few European languages, for example, Finnish or Hungarian. And we would like to add Chinese," Jan Brož describes his plans for the future. If their work helps even a single student, they will be satisfied. "You know the phrase: you can't help everyone, success is helping at least someone," says Dr Brož. "And a big thank you goes to Bára Makešová, both for her cooperation in selecting the basic texts and in translating them into English. Moreover, she also programmed our website," says Dr Brož.

Created: 2. 12. 2022 / Modified: 6. 12. 2022 / Mgr. Stanislava Lindenthalová