Firstly, it’s important to note that, in an ever-connected world, there are many translations agencies selling medical translations. This is the first and potentially the largest problem. It’s a field that demands unwavering accuracy. The language will be technical, and the nature of the translation means it is often vital to patient health. This means the sector needs specialists.
There are some exceptionally important documents in medical translations; from medical history records, patient information leaflets, medical test results, operative reports and much more. This is why the quality of the translation is vital.
We’ll now outline some of the most common challenges medical companies face when sourcing translations services.
As medical and health products, as well as devices, are being manufactured across the globe, the industry is continually facing the challenge of localisation to ensure that research, brochures, user guides and product information are contextualised.
Skilful and technical translators
Language proficiency isn’t enough for medical translations. Excellent cultural knowledge, fluency and variety of language knowledge are excellent skills for most translators, but the medical industry requires medical knowledge and know-how for the complex types of translations.
Once you’ve discovered the right agency with the right medical experience, is that enough? We don’t think so. Medicine is full of specialisms and knowledge in one doesn’t necessarily translate to skills in another. Successful translations will rely on this varied and specialist knowledge to deliver the high level of accuracy you need.
Translating drug names
To gain a greater understanding of the importance of name-checking for translations, we spoke to Mark Bonnett, Project Manager at Brands & Borders, a disaster checking agency based in London. He said: “Name checking is the first tool any translations agency should deploy when a product is being taken into another marketplace. The first question to ask yourself is, do you know the literal and cultural connotations of that name in your chosen markets. If the answer is no, you need to ask your translations agency to perform a name check.”