Medical Translation Goes Beyond Patient Safety

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Author: Sirena Rubinoff
Category: Translation Blog   

If you work for a company or organization with international customers, you already know how important it is to ensure all relevant documents have been translated accurately. This is especially vital if you work in a field related to medicine, like biotech. If a new medical company releases poorly translated documents, they may have to devote extra time, energy, and funds to reaching a cross-border audience. Additionally, medical translations can affect patent applications for new medical technologies, and even influence patient health.

Translating medical documents is not easy: Some people have trouble comprehending them even when they’re written in their own language due to its incredibly technical nature. In order to avoid the basic pitfalls of poor translation, the person who drafts the original English versions of any documents should be someone who is not only familiar with the appropriate medical field, but also someone who is able to write in extremely clear and precise language.

The person translating it to another language must also have direct experience in the field. Medical writing tends to be filled with jargon: A single misunderstood word can have major consequences. For example, perhaps your company released a new medication and you’re bringing it to an overseas market. If someone misunderstands the dosing instructions due to a translation error, this can lead to patient harm.

Before releasing any translated documents, make sure the people drafting both the English versions and the translated versions are thoroughly qualified. Additionally, establish a rigorous and centralized system for proofreading translated documents.

Localization in Medical Translations

Translating medical jargon is so challenging because subtle linguistic, legal, and cultural differences can impact the meaning of a translation. Because of this, you should seek out professional translators who are familiar with the culture of your target audiences.

When medical technology is concerned, guesswork isn’t acceptable. Every document must be completely precise and accurate. As such, hiring experienced and professional translators ensures the utmost scrupulousness. Not only must they be accustomed to the medical field that they are translating in, but also should be experts on the native culture and language. Enlisting a website translation service can benefit medical companies in this respect by ensuring that local patients and authorities can get to know the business at even the most basic level: Their website homepage.

Translating for All Aspects

While accurately translating your technical documents should be your chief concern, you don’t want to overlook your marketing materials or branded content, either. Patients generally receive advertisements for medical products with a greater degree of caution than advertisements for other products. If they don’t get the sense that they fully understand the benefits of a new medication, device, or form of treatment, they’ll be hesitant to embrace it.

The necessity of accurate translations is important to keep in mind when translating patents, too. It’s not unheard of for translation errors to cost businesses money due to their patent not being protected in an international market.

No matter what medical documents you’re translating, whether they’re the results of a clinical trial or the latest ad copy, always hire professionals who have the necessary experience. Doing so will ensure that your branded is represented accurately and your organization is protected thoroughly in international markets.

 

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Sirena Rubinoff is the Content Manager at Morningside Translations. She earned her B.A. and Master’s Degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern. After completing her graduate degree, Sirena won an international fellowship as a Rotary Cultural Ambassador to Jerusalem. Sirena covers topics related to software and website translation services, global business solutions, and the translation industry as a whole.

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