Bilingual nurses? - page 3

Is anybody taking classes in a foreign language to prepare themselves for nursing? Does anyones school curriculum include foreign language as a requirement? I have been thinking that learning... Read More

  1. by   Booksmythe
    Tone. Some languages, primarily Asian, have tones. There is meaning in the tones. English speakers who have not been exposed to the up and down and "curving" inflections of Thai or Mandarin or Hmong have a great deal of difficulty in getting it right. While Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, it is not easy to speak for an English-speaker. You may end up saying something very different that you think.

    However, if you have a musical ear, a friendly teacher, and a little patience, you can treat a lot of patients.

    Russ Dollinger
  2. by   Booksmythe
    Tone. Some languages, primarily Asian, have tones. There is meaning in the tones. English speakers who have not been exposed to the up and down and "curving" inflections of Thai or Mandarin or Hmong have a great deal of difficulty in getting it right. While Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, it is not easy to speak for an English-speaker. You may end up saying something very different that you think.

    However, if you have a musical ear, a friendly teacher, and a little patience, you can treat a lot of patients.

    Russ Dollinger
  3. by   jnette
    I was fortunate enough to have been raised bilingual. (German/English) At my school (in Germany) 3 foreign languages were mandatory. So I took 9 years of French and 3 yrs. of Latin as well... along with the usual, mandatory German (as we have English here). The 3rd "foreign" language was, of course..English ! For some reason, I always got sraight "A"s (or "1"s) on that one ! Researchrabbit is correct.. Latin is not a "spoken" language (except in the Catholic church and they haven't even been doing that for years and years now).. but if you like math, it's a great thinking tool ! Now I'm eager to learn Spanish as well because not many folks where I live speak it. In the SW, Tx., Calif., etc. a lot more people do, but to find a translator here, is difficult and we've had a large influx of Hispanics over the past 8 yrs. So after I get my nursing degree, this will be my next goal.. I'll teach myself . Once you have a couple languages is your repetoire, the rest seem to just fall into place.. so many similarities.. amazing how much "French" in Spanish, etc., etc. There are some "Medical Spanish" books available, as well. I'll have to find the one I was going to purchase after teaching myself the conversational Spanish. When I find it, I'll post it...looks like it would be a big help to nurses.
    After that, it's Italien for me ! My mother speaks it fluently and she's Austrian ! Very similar to Spanish.. she took some Spanish courses here in the US and finally got "kicked out" of the class for continuously pronouncing all the Spanish the Italien way !:chuckle Poor thing... she's 80 yrs. old ! But she "told them off' in both German AND Italien before she left the class!
    Last edit by jnette on Sep 17, '02
  4. by   JailRN
    Even though I speak several languages, I think it's pathetic that I have to be bilingual in order to work here. My grandparents were ashamed that they didn't speak fluent English, yet today, we have everything in several languages, including the ballots.(didn't it used to be a requirement to be a citizen that you had to speak english??)

    There are classes for healthcare personel in spanish,(at least here in Ca) and we receive more $$$ for speaking another language. But it still gripes me.
  5. by   Booksmythe
    Jnette,
    You will probably find it very easy to learn Spanish. Your training in languages and your knowledge of Latin and French will help enormously.
    A simple conversational class with some medical phrases thrown in and you will blow everyone away! I think you will pick up the grammar quite easily.

    There are a number of books with medical phrases translated into Spanish. (I wrote one of them. ) If you go to Amazon and type in Medical Spanish it should give you a complete list. The major difference between the various kinds of books are whether it is designed to something you use in the field or whether it is a reference book that you study and then put on the shelf.

    Russ Dollinger
  6. by   Booksmythe
    I once had a paramedic tell me about a man trapped in a car in what turned out to be a fatal accident. The paramedic knew the victim and knew he spoke beautiful English; as a result of the pain and trauma the victim only remembered his mother tongue.

    When stressed, injured, or unwell, it is not uncommon to forget a second or third language.

    Russ Dollinger
  7. by   renerian
    I don't speak a second language but after I finish my masters which I hope will be in March I plan to find a tutor or take some lessons in spanish. Always wanted to speak it.

    I was wondering if spanish was hard to learn?

    renerian
  8. by   jnette
    Thanx Russ !
    I have no qualms about learning it..pronunciation won't pose any problems at all. Just learning the vocabulary, phrases, etc. I have an Hispanic patient and he is teaching me already. I, in turn, teach him some German. I have an excellent "teach yourself Spanish" book at home as well..will probably pick up a computer disk course, too, as Robin mentioned. Appreciate the input re the "Medical Spanish".. I'll be sure to look them up when the time comes. Must get my degree this year first.. then the "conversational" Spanish, then the "medical"... first things first. So many goals.. so little time ! I need another 100 years to do all I still want to do ! (like learning to play violin... mom plays beautifully... but she's getting up there.. I'd better hurry if I want her to teach me ! ) Then the "squeezebox"..always been
    another secret little goal.... betcha I DO it !
  9. by   jnette
    Russ..
    Very true about suddenly "forgetting" all other languages and reverting to your "mothertongue". And it doesn't even require illness, injury, or trauma! Simple anxiety, and even unexpected joy can trigger this ! I find myself doing it all the time ! :imbar
  10. by   renerian
    Jnette I am impressed wow!!!!!!!!

    renerian
  11. by   Booksmythe
    I forget words all the time. I thought I was having early oldtimer's disease!
  12. by   zacarias
    Originally posted by globalRN

    I am currently in Hong Kong so I did try learning Mandarin to communicate with patients.
    Isn't Cantonese actually what they speak in Hong Kong? There probably are a lot of Mandarin speakers too there.
    If it were up to me, I'd make sure all nurses/officials etc... spoke Spanish in Texas, California, Florida, and New York..but that's just is me .
    I have a great recommendation for a 'Spanish for Healthcare Prof" book. It is 'ProSpanish Healthcare Spanish for Nurses" and it is the best I've seen. I've seen hundres of "learn Spanish" books and many of them I find serious faults with. This one covers practically anything you could want to ask or discuss with a patient including chapters for certain diseases/situations. It comes with three audio tapes. Let me give you the ISBN: 0-658-00857-9


    Z
  13. by   renerian
    Thanks I am going to ask for a spanish speaking software kit. I will keep the medical spanish information for future use.

    renerian

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Bilingual nurses?