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Representing language, dialect or specialty-specific term preferences is possible using a SNOMED CT extension. The logical design of SNOMED CT enables a single clinical idea to be associated with a range of terms or phrases from various languages, as depicted in Figure 3.1-1. In an extension, terms relevant for a particular country, speciality, hospital (or other organization) may be created, and different options for term preferences may be specified. Even within the same country, different regional dialects or specialty-specific languages exist may influence which synonyms are preferred. SNOMED CT supports this level of granularity for language preferences at the national or local level. 

Figure 3.1-1: SNOMED CT allows a single clinical idea to be associated with a range of terms from various languages

Examples of situations in which additional terms may be required together with the type of organisation that may be involved in producing these terms.

A translation of SNOMED CT into the language (-s) of the Member country/territoryNational Release Center
Creation of patient-friendly termsNational Release Center, hospital or department, speciality
Creation of local synonymsVendor, hospital or department

Information on translating SNOMED CT can be found via the SNOMED International website, see

Key Steps

In section 5 Key Steps we explain the full set of steps for producing any extension. However, not all of these steps are required for all purposes. If producing an extension for the purpose of adding terms in languages and dialects, the following key steps are of particular relevance: 

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