There is a wide range of medical materials and documents that medical translators deal with on a daily basis. There are those in charge of translating marketing materials, and those who translate labels of food and drugs, including the instructions on how to take a certain drug, especially if it’s used to treat serious diseases. During these cases, a translator should not only be fluent in both the source language and the target language, but should also have an extensive medical background. Some hospitals and translation companies even require their expert translators to have a medical degree to be able to qualify. That’s how critical their job is.
Aside from ensuring the right labels of drugs, precise medical translation also lessens the risk of medical malpractice. Medical professionals in non-English speaking countries will have to deal with medical materials in English at one time or another. It is important that when that time comes, they are one hundred percent sure that the information that they are given is also one hundred percent precise. If not, it could risk a patient’s life. There are already a number of cases of medical malpractice due only to misunderstanding or the loss in translation. It’s sad that it has to come down to something so crucial before people realize the importantance of medical translators are in the health care industry.
There are also translators who deal mainly with translating medical textbooks for educational purposes. The health care industry, while it encompasses the entire world, runs with uniform rules and regulations. Even if medical textbooks are written in hundreds of different languages, it should still communicate the same meaning. And that is a big matter that medical translators need to address. They are the ones who bridge the gap between countries, break down the language barrier, and make medicine comprehensible and unified among everyone in the world. That’s why it’s important for them to be the best in their field, and to follow strictly the process of medical translation.
To fully understand how meticulous medical translation is, one should be familiar with the translation process that happens even for a single-page document. The length of the article or document to be translated is only one of the considerations one has to think about. Translation is a multi-step process which includes: translating, editing, proofreading and in-country review. There are many translators involved in the process and it takes a long time before the final version is set out for publication. So if you already have a medical background and in case you want to be a medical translator, at least now you already have a preview of what you have to deal with.
Charlene Lacandazo works with Rosetta Translation, one of the best translation companies in London, UK.
Rosetta Translation specialises in sourcing high level medical translators, as well as well as technical translation specialists worldwide.