Mistranslation and Maltranslation in A Medical Website: Evidences from Dorland’s Medical Dictionary

Ruben Dharmawan, M.R. Nababan Nababan, M. Sri Samiati Tarjana, Djatmika Djatmika


This study examines the quality of entry translation in Dorland’s Medical Dictionary (DMD) containing mistranslation and maltranslation. This embedded-case study used DMD human-based and website mistranslation leading to maltranslation. The purposively selected data were 111 tropical medicine related the entries and its definition inserted in the Kamus Kedokteran Dorland Edisi 31 and the website translated by Google Translate. The translation techniques and assessment of the quality were processed in a Focus Group Discussion. The rational how a mistranslation raised maltranslation was based on the basic medical science when a doctor examined, diagnosed, treated, promoted and prevented diseases for the benefit of patients. Findings show that 111 entries made up of 158 human-based translated sentences are composed of 2816 units of translation, and the 162 Google Translate sentences for 3054 units. There are 18 translation techniques in human-based translation, 16 in Google Translation, 80 mistranslations leading to 57 maltranslations causing incorrect diagnosis, mistreatments, and misdirection of health promotion and prevention of disease. Of 40 tokens, maltranslation occurs 32 times and human-based translation 25 times, implying low quality of the translation that requires improvement of the definition, word entries, and sentences in the website.


mistranslation; maltranslation; medical dictionary; human-based and Google Translate.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
All articles published in JSSER are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The JSSER is indexed and/or abstracted in: