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International journal of odontostomatology

On-line version ISSN 0718-381X


FLORES, Tania; CANIGUAN, Jacqueline  and  FUENTES, Ramón. Analysis of Clinical Dental Terminology and its Translation to Mapudungun. Int. J. Odontostomat. [online]. 2016, vol.10, n.2, pp.249-254. ISSN 0718-381X.

Western medicine use has an important role in the research of quality communication with the Mapuche ethnicity, which has been effective through the creation and implementation of Intercultural health clinics. However, language gaps are still a great communication problem. Bilingual Mapudungun-Castilian dictionaries give limited information regarding the necessary terms for a correct diagnosis in dentistry. The same issue is true for translation terms for some concepts with regard to the symptoms and signs of oral pathologies. The objective of this research was to determine whether the terms used in dentistry have a Mapudungun translation. A qualitative, descriptive and cross-sectional study was performed. With the help of 10 dentists in public health practice in Temuco, we developed a list of 132 terms frequently used in dental practice. Its significance was discussed with the help of Mapudungun-Castilian dictionary and specialists in the Mapuche language. It was determined that 28.78 % of the terms have a Mapuche language translation; 14.39 % have no translation but can be understood from the Mapudungun language; while 56.81 % have no translation and can`t be understood from the Mapudungun language. For the statistical analysis, Pearson Chi square non-parametric test was used in order to determine significant differences between the proportions of the studied terms from the groups (p=0,000). A significant number of terms commonly used in dentistry don´t have Mapudungun translation, even though among the Mapuche people the concept of oral health appears to be very important. There are still few clinical terms that can be explained on the basis of pre-existing Mapuche concepts. It is necessary to generate accurate forms of communication between the patient and the dentist, along with the creation of new words and concepts in Mapudungun, and therefore tools that might help to understand the perception of concepts of health and disease in the Mapuche worldview context to improve dental care.

Keywords : dentist; Mapuche; belief; oral health; natives.

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