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CC2040 English for Academic Skills (Health Care)

Uncommon Sounds (Medical & Health Care Terminology)


The pronunciation of most medical terms follows the same rules that govern the pronunciation of most English words. Thus, approach the
pronunciation of medical terms as you would any English words. However, it would make good sense to familiarize yourself with the relatively
uncommon sounds, some examples of which are listed below:

Letter Sound Example Pronunciation* Brief explanation Silent letter


ae _ gynaecology, gU-n_-kolcb-jT study of diseases unique to women –
(see oe) gynecology
c s cytology sU-tolcb-jT study of the cell –
(soft ‘c’)
ch k chronic kroncik pertaining to ill-health, lasting a long time –
(hard ‘ch’)
y i dysfunction dis-f\nkcsh\n difficult or abnormal function –

eu yu euphoria yu-fbrcT-^ feeling of well-being, not well founded or exaggerated “e”

g j gene jTn a part of a cell in living thing which controls heredity –


(soft ‘g’)
gn n gnathic nathcik relating to the jaw “g”

oe T amoeba, ^-mTcb^ smallest living creature, with one cell –


(see ae) ameba
ph f pharmacy farcm^-sT practice of preparing and dispensing drugs –
pn n pneumonia noo-mbcnT-^ inflammation of the lungs “p”
pt t ptosis tbcsis sinking down of an organ “p”
rh r rheumatic roo-matcik relating to or characterized by rheumatism “h”
x z xenophobia zen-b-fbcbT-^ morbid fear of strangers –
* Pronunciation quoted from: Dirckx, John H., editor, Stedman's Concise Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions, Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 4th Edition, 2001

In case of the slightest doubt, consult a medical dictionary!

William Tsang 2009