how's it going?

Consider this hypothetical scenario: John moved to the US at a fairly young age and when he moved back to his home country he found it hard to communicate with the locals on matters relating to his expertise (he's a medical doctor btw). He had to resort to "Chinglish" from time to time when talking about medical stuff. For every English jargon he almost always failed trying to find a corresponding term in Chinese.

Given all I just said, how would you describe his situation using the following construction?

Million thanks.

His body of knowledge about medicine was ...

  • 2
    It is not John's knowledge of medicine that is the issue, but his limited knowledge of medical Chinese.
    – Peter
    Sep 5, 2022 at 1:08
  • 1
    There may also be individual words that are "borrowed" into Chinese. If a process or drug or something is invented and named in one country, the same word may be used in other countries. But it may be given a local pronunciation. So "Chinglish" might actually be correct, at least some of the time.
    – BillOnne
    Sep 5, 2022 at 4:18
  • 1
    His body of knowledge about medicine was deep, but his medical Mandarin was limited.
    – James K
    Sep 5, 2022 at 5:11

1 Answer 1


Firstly, I wouldn't use that idiom at all. The term 'body of knowledge' normally refers to the complete body of understanding on a particular subject. Evidently, some use it in connection with an individual's knowledge, although I've never encountered it personally, and this ngram demonstrates just how little it is used with a possessive pronoun in comparison to the definite article. I would think that an individual's 'body of knowledge' would encompass all their personal knowledge, not just that of a particular subject like medicine. I would just refer to his medical knowledge.

There are the words 'anglocentric' (or 'anglophonocentric') which means centred around English, or the English language. It isn't a well-known word, but it would give you a succinct sentence:

His medical knowledge was anglocentric.

To ensure you are understood, it might be best to simply say:

His medical training had been in English.

  • Thank you, @Astralbee, for your detailed explanation. Based on your suggestions, I am wondering: would it be okay if I say something like "his medical knowledge was built in English"?
    – Underwood
    Sep 5, 2022 at 10:35
  • @Underwood Yes, I'd understand that. There's no single right or wrong answer, and probably various ways you could express it.
    – Astralbee
    Sep 5, 2022 at 11:03

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