Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents used by medics as a legal requirement or in keeping up with medical ethos. Documents that are usually translated range from drug data catalogs, training material, bulletins relating to medical organizations and so on. This is informed by health care requirements, for marketing and technical documentation in general.

Government Requirement

In this age of information, corporations are quickly embracing the place of information technology to get an edge over each other. Public relation considerations as well as government requirements that companies and organizations translate literature, especially the labeling of drugs into the national language of individual states, has ensured that medical language is easily understood by all and sundry.

Medical translation has therefore emerged as a niche for linguistic as well as others endowed with the requisite skills. In some states, medical institutions have to pass this test to be given regulatory approvals. From the above, one can deduce that medical translation requires specific skills and training in the subject matter knowledge.

Professional Translating Services

This is considering the sensitivity and the technical nature of medical texts. In some jurisdictions, medical texts are regulated by statute in terms of their usage to ensure consumer protection. Institutions going into the medical business therefore have to engage in accurate and professional translation services.

How it is done

The process of medical translation takes the following form:

  • It begins with extracting the text in its original form.
  • Analyzing the text’s syntax and its intended meaning.
  • The text is then translated. After this it is sent to an editor who has to be a separate person.
  • The editor goes through the text to ensure it conveys the intended message in its terminology, style and linguistic voice.
  • The text is then published after which it goes through a thorough toothbrush check in terms of proofreading. This is done to ensure the translation has proper punctuation, line and page breaks and that it is displayed correctly.
  • The final step includes sending the text to the intended country. A native speaking ‘expert’ reviews it to make sure it is coherent and that it meets all legal requirements.

Who handles the process?

The process of translating medical texts is done by approved professional translators or their agencies. Establishments looking to get into the business of medical translations therefore have to adhere to the professional ethics of the medical profession. This is so because medical texts can have a life and death effect. One wrongly translated message on the label of a drug may convey a totally different meaning or be useful for a wrong prescription. Death or permanent maiming have been reported as a result which has led to medical negligence lawsuits.

Emphasis on Quality

The quality of translation is strongly insisted on and legally regulated. For a company to be given the green light to carry out medical translation services, they have to get certification from an array of international bodies and ISO standards.