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The importance of medical translation

medical translation

The medical sector has a huge amount of responsibility towards its customers. A large amount of the content the industry generates is sensitive documentation that must be reviewed exhaustively in order to avoid any errors. Even preparing all the documentation the sector generates in the local language is difficult, so translating it into other languages is a process that goes beyond a word by word translation. The meaning of the source text must be preserved, and equivalents need to be found for the complex terminology the sector uses. Let's explain why medical translation is so important in the medical sector.

The sector has a vast number of specialist areas and disciplines

When we talk about medicine we're not just referring to a single field, but a wide range of specialist areas and disciplines (each extensive, and with its own challenges) which are all interrelated. Some of the main areas are:

  • Biochemistry
  • Dermatology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Genetics
  • Dentistry
  • Psychiatry
  • Virology

When you think about all the diverse fields the sector encompasses, it's clear that the scope of the term "medical" is vast. So when it comes to translating materials from any of these different branches of medicine, it's important to put the translation in the hands of native professional translators who specialise in medicine, with experience in the particular area you're dealing with.

The sector uses particularly specialist terminology

A translator who works on a medical translation for the first time needs to grapple with specialist medical terminology. Although an exhaustive approach to research can help, if the translator doesn't specialise in the field they will come across issues of equivalence, interpretation, and use that vary across languages. It's also very easy to succumb to so-called "false friends" that are common between various languages, for example between Spanish and English.

A professional translator who specialises in medical translation will have the right experience to give them the skills to adapt the translation to the end purpose of the translation (professional field, area of training, disclosure, generalist, etc.) both linguistically and culturally.

What type of content is medical translation useful for?

As we said before, the medical sector covers a huge range of disciplines, so it generates a particularly large amount of documentation, and this makes it one of the sectors with the most prominent need for translation. The types of content that may need translating are:

  • Medical records
  • Medical supplies
  • Reports for insurance
  • Hospital registration documents
  • Medical reports
  • Results from tests and analyses
  • Medical records
  • Medical files
  • Clinical tests
  • Scientific publications
  • Scientific research
  • Academic papers

As you can see there's a huge variety of documents that may need to be translated. And it's important that all these different types of translations are entrusted to professional specialist translators, given that so much is at stake: patient health, documents being accepted by the authorities overseas, or simply the resulting quality of the documents. At AT Language Solutions we offer medical translation services so you can leave your translations in the hands of our team of professional specialist medical translators. We can help you with any project you need, so do get in touch with us!