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1. Introduction

2. Names

3. Microorganisms

4. Lab Procedures

5. Resources

Microbiology - Information Sources


A translator with documents about microbiology will want a general microbiology text. There are many good ones. I found “Microbiology” by McKane and Kandel (McGraw-Hill, 2000) up to date, well presented and well illustrated. Almost any reasonably current text will do. Older texts will have different emphasis and some different terminology, and may be even more useful. Older references are often available at library sales or used book stores at greatly reduced prices. A text in the source language will be helpful because it will explain many terms even though it does not translate them.

Medical microbiology: Basic texts cover this fairly well, and there are specialized texts. A medical microbiology document may well extend into internal medicine (diagnosis and treatment), and a text in that field (not necessarily a recent one) is often helpful. I recently discovered “Color Atlas of Medical Microbiology” by Hart and Shears, Mosby-Wolfe, 2004 (about $55). Not at all limited to medical microbiology, it has many color photographs and photomicrographs showing various bacterial cells, growth on different media, and results of biochemical tests.

Industrial microbiology: Preferences differ, but consider looking for an old copy of “Industrial Microbiology” by Prescott and Dunn. My 3rd edition is 40 years old, but the information is excellent, detailed, and largely still applicable. “Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology” by Demain and Solomon, from ASM (American Society for Microbiology, 1986) is much newer, with broader but shallower coverage. Both have reasonably good indexes (only in English, though). There are other recent books in the field. German<>English translators might like “Biotechnologie - Lehrbuch der angewandten Mikrobiologie” by Wulf and Anneliese Crueger (Oldenbourg, 1982) and its English translation by Caroline Haessly (“Biotechnology: A Textbook of Industrial Microbiology”; Thomas D. Brock, Ed., Science Tech, Inc., 1982). I happen to have the third (1989) German edition, but the two texts are still quite similar.

Genetic engineering is not really my field, but I have found these helpful: “Molecular Biotechnology”, by Glick and Pasternak (ASM Press, 2003) and either “Methods in Gene Biotechnology”, Wu, Welsh, Kaufman and Zhang, (CRC Press, 1997) or “Short Protocols in Molecular Biology” by Ausubel et al (Wiley, 2002). Both the latter two are “cookbooks” with detailed descriptions of procedures.

Laboratory equipment: Aside from textbooks, my best suggestion is to get old laboratory supply catalogs in the languages with which you work. Old catalogs are typically thrown away when new ones arrive, and if you know someone in the lab business you can probably get them just for hauling them away.

Dictionaries: I have not seen a dictionary of microbiology/bacteriology that I really like. Consider “Dictionnaire de Microbiologie” (French-English-German), published by Conseil International de la Langue Francaise, 1995; about 100 pages (ISBN 2-85319-262-8). It is mostly in French, but with bilingual cross-references (English>French; German>French; English>German, and German>English). The “Encyclopedic Dictionary of Genetics With German Equivalents & German/ English Index” (R. C. King and W. D. Stansfield, editors; VCH, 1990) has over 100 pages listing German>English equivalents, many of which involve microbiology. Because so much of microbiology involves chemistry, a good chemical dictionary is essential. I find myself picking up Gerhard Wenske´s German>English “German to English Dictionary of Chemistry / Woerterbuch Chemie Deutsch - Englisch” (VCH, 1994) first, with Woerterbuch Chemie und Chemische Technik (Gross, Verlag Hari Deutsch, 1999) a close second.

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