When people know about my training in chemistry, translation and linguistic correction, they often ask whether I want to work in a laboratory or with languages. Well, I fail to see why they can’t merge in an only job.

You already know that we, the Catalan people, love having our Catalan life and our Catalan culture in our Catalan language and all that stuff — weird people, aren’t we? This obsession of ours produced some quality tools like the Diccionari enciclopèdic de medicina (DEM), a medical dictionary also available online and with thousands of equivalents to its terms in English. There’s also the TERMCAT, the centre of terminology of Catalonia, which publishes all the terminology it produces online with equivalents to several languages, being Spanish, English, French and German the most common ones.

Why do I mention them now? Last summer, during my break from the summer camps, I got a phone call from the TERMCAT offering me a place in the team that was to be in charge of the first step to update the DEM. It was my honour to fuse my two fields of knowledge in one only job. That’s why I’ve spent some months reading about a fifth of the dictionary and I learned a lot about medicine, although I’m far from being a doctor.

Much as I enjoyed working on that project, now I’ve been transferred to a different one; I’m in charge of the final revision of a dictionary of chemistry that should be released next year. My knowledge in both chemistry and linguistics will be useful here as I have to check the content as well as the language. Truth be told, I’m wary of the job since it’s a big responsibility, but I wouldn’t miss a chance like this.

I’ve never really had a vocation for anything; however, now I feel like I’ve finally found it.

2 thoughts on “What does a chemist-linguist do?

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