EVS Translations has a love of languages that goes back centuries. More precisely, to 1679. If you visit our Offenbach or Bulgaria offices, you will find on display part of a growing collection of rare first edition medical and pharmacology dictionaries which date from the 17th century onwards. This forms part of the EVS Museum which provides a historical perspective of internationalisation and the growing demand for translation, specifically in the pharmaceutical and medical industries. The museum began with the first edition of a Bulgarian English – English Bulgarian dictionary, which was actually printed in Istanbul in 1867 since, at that time, the country of Bulgaria did not exist. The collection also includes a first edition of the world’s first Chinese to German dictionary published in 1924, and much more.
Here, in the 21st century, we have access to a wealth of information on any given subject in print or online. Two hundred and sixty years ago, however, pioneers like Albrecht von Haller—known as ‘the father of experimental physiology’—used their language skills and knowledge of their field to produce the first reference materials for medical practitioners and pharmacologists. Fortunately for Dr. von Haller, he gained recognition for his efforts in the form of his published work Onomatologia Medica Completa. In contrast, the translator who worked on what is thought by scholars to be the first medical dictionary in the English language remained anonymous. This particular reference work was given the title Physical Dictionary, and was originally written by physician Steven Blankaart in his native language of Dutch.
EVS Translations’ collection of reference works highlights the importance of translating ideas and knowledge so that it can be shared globally for the benefit of all. It also shows the inextricable link between the spread of medical knowledge and the work of translation; a link which has culminated in a global demand for Translation Service Providers that are able to support the ambitions of international pharmaceutical companies. To see part of this growing collection of reference works on display, come and visit us at the Tekom Annual Conference in Stuttgart from November 10-12 in Hall C2, Booth 2 / F33. You can find out more about the solutions EVS Translations provides for its international clients and take in a little history at the same time.