Thursday 20 June 2013

Learning Method: Help Yourself With Pronunciation of Medicine Names

Two days ago, I got a really nice question from a student, it goes like

"I work in the hospital and I always have to deal with different names of medicines but they are so hard to pronounce! Are there any ways I can find out the pronunciation of the medicine names?"

Yes! You are asking the right person about medicine!

Normally, people will immediately grab their copies of Oxford or Cambridge dictionaries, but in this case, you will get nothing out of them!

Image from Google Play

If you know IPA, then the fastest way of getting your answer is to use a smartphone app.

The Free Dictionary by Farlex runs the and now it has an app simply called Dictionary which is available in Google Play and App Store (click links to download app).

This app provides exactly the same information as the website does, so you could get the US phonetic transcription representation, IPA, computer-generated sounds in UK and US accents, the meaning as well as the source of the definition depending on the sources. It's a free app and it's pretty convenient.

Take for example, I'm recently doing a lot of reseaches on tuberculosis. One of the key medications is this drug called isoniazid.

Image from Locky's English Playground

Image from Locky's English Playground

However, if you don't like computer-generated sounds because they are not accurate or realistic enough, the slower way and also the way I prefer, is to use YouTube.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Type the medicine name and search for videos with people who will actually read the word to you. I prefer those videos made and read by proper experts in the field as they are more convincing to me, but a few videos from the common netizens are just as good.

I prefer this method over the earlier simply because hearing actual pronunciations from real people gives me a better proof of the reality.

This method will also work with famous brand names which are often in French and Italian, give it a go if you have the need and leave for me a comment below if you have any suggestions.

The Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

The Medical dictionary - by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

Dictionary by Farlex @ Google Play

Dictionary by Farlex @ App Store