Medical Translation

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Few professional disciplines at international level are as complex and critical as medicine. The characteristics of its specific language and its direct impact on public health mean that professional translation is especially important when it comes to medicine.

Why is medical translation so important?

Being a Life and Health Sciences professional means taking on high levels of responsibility. The documents and content they generate contain highly sensitive information and any incorrect interpretation of such information could have very serious consequences. Medical translation therefore needs to be accurate, clear and truthful.

Medical documentation is also subject to a host of style and formatting standards and protocols. Translation agencies that focus on the medical industry therefore need to be aware of the rules applicable to all types of documents and be sure to follow them in their translations at all times.

Medical translation presents another demanding challenge: although the audience requiring these translations does not necessarily need to master any specific language, it is the translator's responsibility to ensure the final text provides maximum clarity. A document that has been perfectly translated terms of standards is of little use if the patient does not understand it.

The role of the professional medical translator

Medical translation projects should be undertaken by an agency or international translator with strong in-depth knowledge of each area of expertise. Only translators who are suitably qualified and experiences can correctly interpret the technical language found in medical documents, where multiple meanings and "false friends" abound.

The translator must also be familiar with the style rules that are specific to each type of document:

  • In clinical trials, a misplaced comma or an error in naming units of measurement can cause significant delays in the research being accepted.
  • Health authorities might reject a patent application for a drug if the text does not conform to the legally required parameters.
  • Whilst informative texts, must contain truthful and accurate information, they need to be translated using plainer and more approachable language if the end document is to fulfil its purpose.

Translators and companies undertaking these projects need to be able to distinguish the purpose of each translation, and align with the register and standards of the target audience, taking care at all times to respect the terminology specific to each area of medicine. In short, you need a translator who works with an agency like sanscrit.

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Examples of medical translation

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