This article is an abridged version of the December 18, 2012 Hearing Health blogpost by Judy Huch, AuD, and Robert L. Martin, PhD, found at:

                                                   —David Kirkwood, Hearing Health Matters

Note from Judy Huch, AuD: The following blogpost is from one of my dynamo audiologists, Jennifer T. Lamfers, AuD. We have a couple of people in our office who speak Spanish, but sometimes just the spoken word isn’t enough. Here is Jennifer’s story that reflects her great problem-solving skills and how all of us might benefit from Spanish translation.

During graduate school, I was fortunate to be selected to volunteer with a large Rotary Club that went to Mexico to test people’s hearing and fit them with hearing aids—services and technology that often were otherwise not available to them. People came from all over Mexico—sometimes traveling 1 to 2 days by bus—to attend the 1-week clinic. I was selected because I am bilingual and could work independently of the few translators who joined us each year.

As we talked over breakfast before clinic, we decided to write Spanish language testing instructions. The translations, imperfect as they were, were picked up by my graduate program, which gave them to students with the goal of enabling some English-only speakers to muddle through with patients.

Years later, I had forgotten this piece of translation until an inmate came to the office with two corrections officers who indicated he could not hear and was unable to respond to officers who spoke fluent Spanish. He was non-responsive but clearly trying and struggling. I wrote out instructions in Spanish (hurriedly and not in the finest of grammar) and he followed the tasks without difficulty.

That encounter spurred me to revise the earlier translation and include little tidbits that we take for granted, such as “Is the volume of my voice comfortable?”, “Would you like me to raise or lower it?”, and “If things are difficult, please stop me and ask for help.” Those little things help me feel I’m not just testing a person, but also listening to them and easing a foreign task for both of us.

Spanish for Audiological Testing (translation from Jennifer T. Lamfers, AuD)

Tympanogram: Empezamos con una prueba de presión. Usted sentirá un poco de la presión como usted está conduciendo encima de una montaña en un coche. Usted también oirá sonidos fuertes en cualquier oído. Usted no tiene que hacer cualquier cosa.

English: We will begin with a pressure test. You will feel a little pressure like you are going up a mountain in a car. You will also hear loud sounds in either ear. You don’t have to do anything for this test.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE): Oirá algos rudios como estático, no tiene que hacer cualquier cosa. Escucha simplemente reservado y no se mueve.

English: You are going to hear some noise that sounds like static. You don’t have to do anything. Simply listen quietly and don’t move.

Air Conduction/Bone Conduction: Oirá algos tonos (hace el buton/levante la mano) cuando lo oye. No importa donde usted lo oye. Si estas muy bajo sigue levantando la mano cuando lo oye.

English: You will hear some beeps (press the button/raise your hand) when you hear them. It doesn’t matter which side you hear them on. Even if it is very soft, continue raising your hand when you hear.

Speech Reception Threshold (SRT): Ahora yo voy a decir unas palabras, repita estas palabras despues de me. Ahora las palabras van a bajara, sigue repetiendolas basta que pueda.

English: Now I am going to say some words; repeat these words after me. The words are going to get softer; continue to repeat them as you can.

Most Comfortable Loudness (MCL): Necesito encontrar el punto donde puede escuchar bien, ni muy fuerte ni muy bajo. ¿Como esta?

English: I need to find the point at which you can hear well, not too loud and not too soft. How is this?

¿Los quietes mas alto? ¿Lo quieres mas bajo? ¿O es comodo? Lo puedo subire.

English: Do you want it louder? Do you want it softer? Or is it comfortable? I can turn it up.

O lo puedo bajar.

English: I can turn it lower.

Uncomfortable Loudness Level (UCL): Yo voy a hablarle y mi voz se pondrá mas y mas fuerta. Digame si es demasiado fuerte que usted no pueded soportar el sonido. Digame si le causa dolor.

English: I am going to talk and my voice is going to get louder and louder. Tell me when it is so loud that you can no longer listen to it. Tell me if it causes pain.

Masking: A veces usted oirá un ruido en el oida derecha/izquierdo (right/left). No presta atencion a esto. Escuche solamente al tono corta y levanter la mano cuando eschucha al tono. No importa donde usted lo oye.

English: Sometimes you will hear a noise in the right/left ear. Do not pay attention to this. Listen only for the short beep and raise your hand when you hear the beep. It doesn’t matter where you hear it.

Tone Decay: Usted oirá un sonido continuo por mucho tiempo. Cuando usted lo oye levanter la mano. Mantenga la mano arriba basta el momento que ya no oye el sonido. Despues baja la mano. Si lo oye otra vez, levanter la mano otra vez.

English: You are going to a hear a continuous tone for a long time. When you hear it, raise your hand. Keep your hand up until the moment you can no longer hear the sound. Then lower your hand. If you hear it again, raise your hand again.

MORE TRANSLATIONS can be viewed by clicking here in the digital edition or by viewing Drs Huch & Martin’s blog at:

CORRESPONDENCE can be addressed to Dr Huch at: [email protected]