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The translation of 'injury of ...' concepts is proving pretty traumatic for us ;-) If we solely look at the term, the best translation is 'letsel'. However, nearly all 'injury' concepts are defined as traumatic, but 'letsel' is frequently not traumatic. It may be caused by tumors, operations, poison - any number of things.

We could translate all these concepts as 'traumatisch letsel' and keep the meaning intact. Concepts for damage could then be translated as 'letsel'. But the healthcare professsionals use the term 'letsel' a lot, and SNOMED contains rather few concepts that meet this definition. That's rather... counterintuitive.

Do you have the same issue in your languages and if so, how did you resolve it? Or is Dutch exceptional in its tendency to recognise non-traumatic damage as 'letsel'?

Contributors (3)


  1. I haven't raised this in JIRA because it is very much a modelling issue, it affects >1.000 concepts, and there is in fact a QI page about it: [Traumatic]/[Nontraumatic] Injury of [body structure] (disorder) - for review (note: same as [Traumatic] Injury of [body structure] (disorder) with 2nd optional role group added)role. But I'm not sure how to handle this particular issue and I'd really like to know how you translate these concepts.

  2. Hi Feikje,

    Same problem in French but with all those words: damage, injury, lesion, wound.

    Lesion (morphological) is easily translated by "lésion".

    Damage, we have (not always happily) translated by "domage" or "atteinte".

    Injury we have translated by "lésion" also because it's just impossible here to avoid the homonymy. But sometimes we have translated is as "blessure" ou "plaie" because open injury just referes clinically to an open wound and "lésion ouverte" is just alward. We have added it but, sounds unnatural. People will talk about "plaie ouverte".

    Wound we have translated by "plaie" or "blessure".

    Not all injury concepts are traumatic, you have injuries by all kinds of exposure so we did not feel adding traumatic was ok unless the traumatic part was expressed somewhere in the relationships. And there we touch upon a frequent problem when we translate, one is supposed to look at the FSN as THE source of truth but when the meaning of the FSN is unclear or incomplete, we usually look at the relationships to try complete it. In such cases, I wonder if we should systematically report the concept as ambiguous.. I'd say yes because to us it is, but that will be a lot of reporting...



    1. We basically made the same choice as you, translating them to 'letsel'. But now the proposal in that QI page is to define all injury concepts with 'due to traumatic event'. Which means the relations clearly start to express the traumatic part. 

      As you say, we are supposed to treat the FSN as the source of truth - here is an example where that doesn't seem to have worked out for us (as in, the Netherlands). 

      Marie-Alexandra Lambot  In this case, you should not report them individually, but respond to that QI page, because the discussion on how to model injuries is taking place there. My colleague Elze de Groot may also raise this issue in the content committee, if some other NRC's agree that the current proposal would cause translation problems.

  3. In the Danish principles for translation we have chosen "injury" = "traumatisk læsion" - probably same as "traumatisch letsel". A few exceptions have been recorded: "birth injury" = "fødselslæsion" and "radiation injury" = "strålingsskade". 

    "Lesion" is translated into "læsion" if it is the result of a trauma and into "morfologisk forandring (morphological change)" if it is the result of a disorder or scar tissue. A parent concept that covers all types of lesions will be "læsion eller morfologisk forandring (lesion or morphologial change)".