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What’s the Difference in a Term?

June 22, 2023

Several years ago, we had the opportunity to meet with a German-speaking group of nurses who were revising the translation of our taxonomy. It was a very interesting meeting, as we learned that many words we take for granted in English are far more vague than we might initially think.

For example, the word “lack” in English can simply mean “we don’t have enough of something,” or it can mean “we have none of something.” In German, it’s actually impossible to use one word to reflect that entire perspective.

Recently, we were having an internal conversation as we work on the new edition of the classification. Dr. Kamitsuru noted that the word “compromised” in English makes a lot of sense. However, in Japanese, it can be translated in a multitude of ways, depending on the context of the situation. Without the context of the situation, the term may or may not make sense.

This makes standardization of terminology very difficult because not only do we have to think about the best word in the primary language of our classification (which happens to be English) but we also have to think about it from the perspective of translation. Finding the right word is critical!

Do you have any idea how much time NANDA-I puts into identifying those words? We know we don’t always get it right! So we count on your feedback to help us improve the classification terms every single year. If you see a term that, in your language (or even in English), doesn’t make sense from a clinical perspective or lacks clarity, please let us know, and we will do our best to improve those terms as we revise.

The classification is a living thing. It is not done once and forgotten; we’re perpetually revisiting it. We are consistently in a state of revision because we strive to make the terminology as reflective of clinical practice – and as supportive of clinical reasoning – as possible. Thank you for helping us achieve this goal.

Categorized in: General, Informatics

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