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4 ways to correctly pronounce anatomy terms

Recommended video: How to pronounce anatomy terms [04:10]
Tips on how to learn to correctly pronounce anatomical terms.

When learning anatomy, the student is given a list of terms that number in the thousands. It is of paramount importance that these structural names are repeated correctly for others to understand, for Anatomy is a subject whose clinical basis is communication.

Without a sound knowledge of anatomy almost no medical procedures however great or small can be correctly performed. When a medical professional is able to voice that knowledge correctly to the other members of a medical team it only ensures successful healthcare.

  1. What is pronunciation and why is it important?
  2. American or English?
  3. Pronunciation techniques
  4. Sources
+ Show all

What is pronunciation and why is it important?

Pronunciation or ‘to pronounce’ literally means ‘speak distinctly with organs of speech’. When we first learn to read as children, we learn each letter and how it sounds. Then we progress to small words where we can spell out the letters and then put them together as a word. Finally, we go on to sentences, paragraphs, pages, books etc. The common thread here regardless of the level of difficulty or language is the correct pronunciation of each letter and each word so that both the student understands the word he or she is saying and so do those around them.

Before we know how to read, we can speak. This helps us because we are not learning words, but rather learning what they look like in script form. In Anatomy however, there are many medical terms that aren’t known and they are a mixture of Latin and Greek that are only known to a select few before studying them. This makes their pronunciation much more difficult, because we have never heard or spoken the word we can read.

This article aims to help those who find the pronunciation of Anatomy terms a challenge and to guide them with specific techniques that will make their studies much easier.

American or English?

Before the techniques collected are divulged, it is quite important to be aware of the fact that there are two main Anatomical Nomenclatures: English and Latin. Since this an English article, the same techniques apply to both Nomenclatures, however pronunciation differs depending on the American and English accents.

These differences are not big enough to be seen as a mistake, due to the fact that the spelling is the same, but when vocalised, the word can sound very different. People from countries like Germany, who primarily use the Latin Nomenclature, will usually pronounce the word list in a German accent and that is fine.

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