"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
I invite you to visit and follow my blog, Eye Say in Spanish, whose link you can access below.
In 2013, I began documenting my experiences as a native English-speaking ophthalmologist working with Spanish-speaking patients. Initially, my entries focused on medical Spanish vocabulary I had acquired over the years while in practice. I addressed challenges that physicians in the U.S. face working with low English-proficiency patient populations. I also talked about the courage and determination it takes to communicate in a second language in the face of critics and language purists.
I have since expanded my blog to include articles geared toward translation from Spanish to English, as well as general editing techniques and how these vary between the two languages.
It has always been my philosophy that, as a physician or health care professional, if you work with a patient population that speaks a particular language, it behooves you to learn and try to communicate in that language—even if that communication is not perfect. As Nelson Mandela indicates in his quote above, there is no greater human and cultural connection than through one's native language.