Tag Archive for: Medical

How to Become a Medical Translator?

People often keep looking about how to become a medical translator. Medical translation is a challenging role and complex as compared to other domains of translation services. As it involves a high level of risks and errors it gets tough for the translators to translate the medical content. Medical translation is an extremely specialized area of activity that requires translators to be vigilant and active so that there are no mistakes.

Basic Traits to have for a Career in Medical Translation

Medical translation is a dense and complex job. It asks for a vigilant and active mind who can consider all the basic factors before he indulges in translation. However, a few basic traits that are inevitable for it are

Language Proficiency

Language proficiency is the first and foremost thing. For a translator, it is important that he is at least bilingual and proficient in more than 1 language. So, that he can pull off the process of translation from one language to another language well. As the labor Bureau of Statistics suggests a translator is a bilingual person who converts content from one language to another.

Qualification Required

In order to become eligible for a medical translator and to offer medical translator services, a high school diploma is a must-have. However, having a relevant full-time degree or medical assistant program is a plus and even more beneficial and a high school diploma is the least degree that is expected from medical translators.

Diploma and Certification

Along with being bilingual the knowledge of medical terminology is another must. A lot of translation companies and even people who outsource the project to medical companies look for a certified medical translator and for that purpose one might need certification from the National board of certification for medical interpreters (CMI) before being a professional medical translator.

Familiarity with Medical Terminology

Medical translation comes with certain responsibilities and translators should understand how medical translation requires translating a lot of medical text to translate and it is not possible for an individual to do it all. A beginner who aims to be a medical translator should go for this niche and should specialize in this category.

The new translators can start by trying their hands on product information leaflets or SmPCs which is a summary of product characteristics. Starting with these offers a lot of experience and helps to master this category. The first thing, however, is to process the approval in the target countries.

Communication Skills

A certified medical translator is one who not only is bilingual but also has a good grip on the good glossary and terminology. They should invest in good medical translation books and the content of their language pair. They also need to be updated and well aware of the fact of laws related to the medical field of the target country and audience. This practice of self-studying improves medical translation skills and makes the translator confident about the work he is doing. It is also wise for translators to get good medical dictionaries so they can consult these whenever needed.

Honing Medical Skills

Other than excellent grammar and language skills, medical knowledge is also of foremost importance. It implies the combination of three elements so that one knows which verb goes good with the medical term and the difference between identical items. The translator also needs to be well aware of the workings of the human body.

Teams of medical translators online are also acquired by pharmaceutical companies. In order to hone the medical knowledge translator should also read nursing books that are easier to study and follow. The potential translators can take help from the medical materials as well. A translator should also ensure to bookmark all the excellent online sources as they will be doing a lot of research online and offline as well.

Different Practices in Different Countries

There could be different procedures for becoming a medical translator in different regions. The individuals who intend to be medical translators in the European Union, however, should go for the four approval procedures and then should also be mindful of the country’s law and compliance. It is important to be aware of the guidelines. Medical translators work online as well as onsite. Moreover, the European medicine agency website is an authentic and good source. The site’s database can be used for practice translation. The content can either be translated into the source language or later downloaded. The translated version in the target language to compare how well the translation goes.

Medical translator services are now provided by a lot of hospitals, clinics, and health centers all over the globe. Medical translators once they know their field and are confident about being medical translators are unstoppable. However, they need to be mindful of the responsibilities and intricate details of the translation job. Moreover, they should be updated about the medical knowledge and the laws that keep on changing on regular basis through constant reading and updated knowledge.

Final Head Start

Head starting the job as a medical language translator is indeed tough. It is particularly hard and complicated at the start because of the tough nature of the job. Being a medical translator is not going to be easy, however getting subject expertise, fluency in both languages, and experience consistency is the key.

The initial phase is particularly tough in this regard when everyone looks for an experienced candidate, and you have no experience. During such situations, the individual should always go for volunteer jobs to have some experience. They can work with hospitals,s NGOs, and other health care centers. In order to build a portfolio, it is imperative to offer the services voluntarily initially and make some sacrifices, and not lose patience. Good and right traits need to be developed from the very start. A professional medical translator is one who goes through every single medical term with detailed attention and makes sure he delivers work that is error-free as the mistakes and negligences in the medical translation may lead to grave consequences.


Being a medical translator is not an easy task. When it comes to the paper qualification even a high school diploma may work. However, experience and practice are extremely important with the right subject matter expertise. Translators also need to be well aware of the rules of regulation of their target audience and market.

Translation Methodologies for Life Sciences Documentation

There is no denying the fact that life sciences translation requires precision and absolute accuracy if it is to be done at a high standard. The workflow is very complicated. From the time the document is given to an agency or a professional translator, till the time it reaches the client as the final product, there are multifaceted sections that have to be considered in order to ensure that the translated content is delivered at par. 

No Standard Procedure For Every Document

However, the most concerning issue for anyone that is attempting to translate a life science document is that there is no one standard procedure or methodology that could be utilized. The diversity of models is prevalent in this domain. The reason why this diversity exists in the first place is that every clinical trial or research or case is different from the other.

Models And Methodologies

Given the variation in the circumstances, conditions, regulations, and documentation, it becomes impossible to see every case with the same lens. Hence, new models and methodologies are always appearing on the surface so that they could cater to the specificities and intricacies of one particular case. 

Change In Priorities

There are certain factors that need more attention in certain cases. The prioritization of issues needs to be done before work on the project is started. However, every project will have different priorities from the other. The target market being is the major catalyst for the change in priorities. 

Every market is different from the other. It is the responsibility of the organization to study their target audience before they start their process of translation. Moreover, it is important to integrate the goals of the organization with that of the target market. The overlapping of priorities will ensure that both the stakeholders get what they want to achieve from the job. 

Nonetheless, there is no denying the fact that translation methodology varies with the different life sciences documents. 

Translation Methodologies For Life Sciences Translation 

Let’s discuss the outline of translation methodologies that are often considered whenever a life sciences document is to be translated. 

Overview of Translation Method

No industry has the capability to integrate different methodologies of translation like the life sciences industry does

If the aim is to translate certain documents that are directed towards a particular patient or a case, then there is a method available specifically for that. Moreover, if the goal is to translate documents that pertain to manuals or instructions for technical users, then there is a specific methodology for that as well. 

But the real question is how can one specify which methodology to use for which purpose?

To tackle this challenge there is a simple system that can help companies or professionals to choose the best methodology for them. The system constitutes of three basic methodologies that are used for translating technical content or in this case life science documents;

  1. Generalized Translation
  2. Back Translation And Reconcicaltion
  3. Linguistic Validation

So let’s discuss the above-mentioned process in detail;

1. Generalized Translation

The basic strategy used for translating clinical documents is the generalized translation system or the standardized translation. This step consists of three fundamentals. Moreover, all of the three steps are handled by three different people with a specific set of skills. These include;

  • The Translator
  • The Editor
  • The Proofreader

One may ask when the standard translation strategy is used? 

Well, it is taken into consideration when the target market already has the basic know-how of the medical device. 

This specific target audience usually consists of the medical staff. They are the ones that often are at the receiving end of a medical device translation. The translation basically covers the instructional point of a project. User-manuals for specific guidelines to handle a medical device are translated. 

2. Back Translation And Reconciliation

Back translation is what the name suggests. It is actually the process of converting the translated text back into its principal language document. 

Compare And Contrast

The next step involves the comparison part. 

So what happens is that professionals take the translated content and the back-translated document, and begin to compare and contrast both of these documents. During this process, changes and alterations are made, in order to ensure that both texts are smooth and flawless. Moreover, it also helps to resolve any discrepancies that might be prevalent in both of the massages. 

Ensuring Quality

If you are wondering, which texts involve the process of back translation and reconciliation? Then these sorts of processes are used to handle very complex and technical content. The reason why professionals and translation agencies have to re-translate content multiple times is to ensure that no mistake is made in the translation. Because the repercussion of a mistranslation is far greater than you can possibly fathom. It can lead to many legal and financial issues. 

The aim of this activity is to ensure that the quality is maintained. And errors and faults are reduced to a minimum level. 


Moreover, the reputation of the company can also be permanently tarnished. And most importantly, it can affect a patient’s life, which is far greater than the other two. Thereby, it is the responsibility of organizations to ensure that the likelihood of an error is reduced to its minimum core. 

3. Linguistic Validation

Linguistic validation is the methodology that concerns the medical documentation of a patient.  Whenever a patient is treated, his or her entire medical information is gathered in a particular document. This process is usually taken up by the hospital management. Even when a person appears to see a doctor or a medical professional, the initial conversation usually takes place verbally and face to face. 

Written Documents

At those particular moments, the management has the obligation to jot down every conversation or suggestion on a piece of paper. So that it could be validated for the near future.

Stakes Involved 

This methodology is even more overwhelming and complex than it sounds. All the regulatory bodies that are part of the life sciences industry are involved or have their stake in its process in one way or another. 

Linguistic validation is a very complex mechanism due to the fact that it constitutes the involvement of translation tools as well as patient-induced materials. These materials are specifically designed to treat a patient’s condition. Every patient responds differently to that material. And it is the responsibility of the organizations to note any worthy notification that is observed so that it could be later utilized in the translation process. 

Moreover, the linguistic validation process also has to take into consideration the back translation methodology. Though this process is a bit more complicated and involves many further steps, the base is provided by the reconciliation method. 

Cognitive Debriefing 

Cognitive debriefing is another step involved in this process. In this step, the patient-facing instrument is actually utilized and tested on several people. This test is conducted on a sample of patients taken from a considerable target audience. 

The sample size will also decide the type of questions that are going to be asked from them. All the cultural aspects and traditional nuances have to be taken into consideration as well. Though this step is a bit lengthy and tiring, ultimately it will help the data output to be more precise and effective considering that every possible variable was taken into consideration. 


Conclusively, we have discussed some of the basic and renowned mythologies that are utilized in the life science translation industry. 

However, if you are trying to figure out which methodology to go for, this article will help you to make logical decisions. 

Nonetheless, it is your job to ensure that your life sciences translation services provide you with the option of choosing the right methodology for your project.

Translation Plays a Key Role in the Medical Industry

Every field has its importance, but the medical field is the most critical of all. This is because it deals with human life. No doubt that technological advancements have made our life easy, but on the other hand it has resulted in environmental pollution. Environmental pollution and a lazy way of life have made human life prone to many diseases. For this reason, many developed countries are spending a large amount of money on medical research and development. Here the problem is that medical developments are done in one language and there are around 7139 languages spoken around the globe. Here the question comes, how to share medical development with people speaking different languages. Translation services play a vital role in the dissemination of medical information.

Everyone in the world has the right to live a healthy life. Ailments and disease are part of life. Doctors can cure your disease on time if they are provided with the information in the language that they understand. The same is the case with patients, they can follow the prescribed medicines if they can understand the language. Medical translation services can give you great leverage.

What is Medical Translation

Medical Sciences is a very vast field. Not only documents related to prescription and diagnoses are involved in medical translation. But the translation of pharmaceutical medicines and medical devices translation is also a part of it. Moreover, all the research and developments that are taking place around the world must be translated. Developing countries like, US lack proper medical facilities. Therefore, many people from these countries came to developed countries to get the best medical facilities. Medical translation services are of great help to the people that speak different languages. With the help of impeccable MTS, patients can communicate well with the doctors and on the other hand, medical doctors can provide them with appropriate treatment by reading the patient’s history in the language that they understand. Thus, medical translation is a two-way process.

It has been observed that medicines and drugs are prepared by the countries that have done more research. Therefore, they export the drugs to less privileged countries. Here again, medical translation services are of great use. This is because the person that can interpret the medical translation can check the composition and dosage of the medicine and can use it more appropriately. This is very important if the patient is on life-saving drugs. You need to know the importance of medical translation to help you understand the side effects of medicine.

Hazards Linked with Improper Medical Translation

The hazards linked with improper medical translation are as follows.

  • Health issue raised due to improper medical translation. Sometimes, it will lead to death.
  • Failure to provide the best healthcare facilities because of language barriers.
  • Not getting proper treatment on time will result in the prolonging of the disease.
  • Legal issues are raised if patients claim that they have signed the consent because of improper communication.
  • Miscommunication between the patient and doctor because of improper medical translation. 

How to get Best Quality Medical Translation

Medical translation is very sensitive. There is no room for error in it. To save lives from threats of lethal disease, many people look for professional translation agencies. These agencies employ a team of native translators who are subject-matter experts in their fields, and they possess prior experience in the medical field. The following steps should be considered while selecting a professional translation company.

  • Do thorough research to select the right translation company that can fulfill all your translation requirements. For this, you can check the recommendations of the people and check the ranking and review of the translation agency.
  • People consider old companies more, but this does not mean to consider new players, especially if they are making their name in the market, and they have remarkable projects to show. Do check the list of previous clients and take their feedback. Moreover, check whether the translators working in the translation company are equipped with medical terminologies or not.
  • Check how the company performs the medical translations. Give attention to details to their translation processes, analyze their quality control processes. Select the one that gives you regular updates and lets you know about ongoing translation projects.
  • It is very essential to get a medical translation service on time because if the diagnosis of any ailment is not diagnosed on time. It will result in the prolonging of the disease. Therefore, look for such translation companies that can provide error-free translation services in a fast turnaround time.
  • Price also counts while going for a translation agency but don’t make it a deciding factor. Quality matters more than price. This goes well for medical translation because health is wealth.

Whether to go for Google Translate or Professional Medical Translator

The study of medical translation journals shows a result of choosing ten phrases that doctors used in clinical settings and selecting Google Translate to translate it into 26 languages. The results that they get are

  • The African languages got 45% correct results
  • The Asian languages with  46% accurate results.
  • The Eastern European languages got 62% appropriate results
  • The Western European languages got 74% valid results

The entire average of translation services is 57.7%. These statistics show that you can get answers to many medical terminologies from Google, but it is not an appropriate option.

The Best Medical Translation Services

Medical translators face many challenges in providing a seamless translation service. They know slight mistakes can be dangerous for human health. You can get the best medical translation services from a professional translation company that is backed by ISO certification. This shows that they follow international standards in their translation services. Moreover, their translators are well-equipped to provide you with certified medical translation services. Additionally,  they deliver you the signed statement that validates the accuracy of the medical document.

Skills of Medical Translators

Unlike other fields, the medical field has its terminology. It is such a difficult terminology that people find it difficult to pronounce. This terminology cannot be understood by a layman. Only a medical translator that knows the different aspects of the human body and medicines can provide you with impeccable medical translation services. The medical translator should have complete knowledge of medical terminologies for interceptor so that they can provide certified translation services with full confidence.

Although all documents in the medical field are equally important, three of the medical documents are in great demand for translation. They are translating prescriptions, patient records, documents related to medicine usage. To get error-free translations, the medical translator must possess the following qualities.

  • A qualified medical translator must be proficient enough to translate medical content from one language to another. No matter which language pair, they require.
  • A medical translator should be aware of difficult medical terminologies, as they need to translate every word with utmost care.
  • The medical translator must know the culture of the language for which they are providing translation.
  • If the medical translator is translating any medical project, then he should make sure that the patient information is kept confidential.

If you want to become a competent medical translator, then you should have a degree in a second language apart from medical information.

Get an Experience as a Qualified Medical Translator

Due to the sensitivity of the medical translation, you should start taking simple medical translation tasks such as patients and medicines leaflets to introduce new drugs and medical devices in the market. This will help you in developing your translation skills. You can also translate the information given on the medical websites to gain experience. Moreover, you should have a complete understanding of human organs because the medical industry revolves around them. You can translate the content from your source language and then translate it in the targeted language and compare it to know how good your translation is. It will improve your translation skills immensely.

Keep Yourself Updated

In your spare time, do read medical journals and medical research to keep yourself updated on the latest medical terminologies, medical equipment, and treatment. One important thing to note is that with every new research and development, the previous medical procedure gets void. The other thing you can do is to invest in buying some dictionaries to enhance and polish your translation skills.

Wrapping Up

Every one of us wants to lead a healthy life. People seek out the best doctors in the town for their treatment. If the ailment is dangerous, they go abroad to get better medical facilities. There, they require medical translation services to understand the foreign treatment. For impeccable medical translation services, they hire a professional translation company that are prior experience in handling medical projects. People become translators if they have a passion for the language, but for becoming a medical translator, they should have a love for humanity. This is because medical translation services are all about saving human lives.

The Importance of Medical Translation

In this article, we are going to discuss the importance of medical translation. It is a common saying that health is wealth. We can perform the daily tasks of life if we are healthy. Without health, we cannot enjoy the beauty of life. Initially, people used to follow the remedies of their ancestors to cure themselves, then with time, developed countries started to research and development in the medical field. We are living in a globalized world. Now humanity is more important than different sects. So developed countries share their medical developments with developing countries to save humanity. With the development of medical sciences, ailments that were once considered lethal have become curable. Here the point of concern is, each country has its official language, so they research the medical field in that language. So how can they share their medical developments with developing countries? They take the assistance of medical translation services.

What is Medical Translation

The medical translation field is very vast as it deals with the translation of all kinds of medical content. It deals with the translation of diagnosis of the ailment, medical prescriptions, medicines, and documents that guide how to use medical devices.  

Benefits of Medical Translation

Medical translation helps in saving human lives. The people from developing countries that don’t have better healthcare facilities visit foreign countries to get better medical facilities. If the doctors don’t understand the patient’s language, then they will not be able to diagnose the ailment of the patient on time. It will be a threatening situation for human life. On the other hand, the doctors must provide the treatment to the patients in a language that they understand. How can they do this? They take the assistance of medical translators to get medical histories of patients translated that came from a foreign country to get better medical facilitation and don’t understand the host country’s language.

Due to digitalization, patients are more aware of health issues than before. They can easily get information about different diseases and medicines from the internet. Here again, this translation plays a pivotal role. People can get information from the net if the information given on it is in their language. Patients that get prior information from the net are aware of their health conditions. Moreover, they also know how their doctor is treating them.

The pharmacists that provide medicines to the patients also require the assistance of medical translators to understand the drug information and the dosage information. In this way, patients can understand when to take and how to take medicines on time. So this translation plays a significant role in getting a person to recover from the disease.

Medical Document Translation is Required in Multiple Languages

Medical document translation is required in each category of the medical field.

  • When people visit foreign lands for treatment, they need to sign many forms like billing statements, privacy policies, etc. Most of all, the document is essential to get permission in a foreign land to start medical treatment. Here, the medical document translation will help the patients to understand what they are signing.
  • Medical devices help doctors in diagnosing the disease. So, if the doctors have received the medical device from any foreign country, they need to follow its user manual. They will understand the user manual if it is translated into their language. In this way, they will know how to assemble the device and how to interpret its results. Here, the medical translator provides medical device translation services that resonate with the target market.

Challenges of Medical Translation

The medical and health sciences are very complex fields. There is no room for error in this field. Any error in this field will directly affect human life. Therefore, translation in this field should be precise and accurate. The most difficult part of this translation is understanding the medical terminology. A little change in medical terminology will lead to a big difference in health care. One of the challenges is that medical terminology in the source language cannot get the equivalent translation for the target language. For this, the words must be translated in a way that resonates with the target market. Moreover, the use of abbreviations and acronyms is also a challenging part of this translation.

To overcome the challenges of complex translation, you should hire a professional translation company. They employ a team of native translators that are also subject-matter experts in the medical field, and they also have prior experience. These translators are not only proficient in linguistics but at the same time, they are medical gurus. Thus, they are the best option to get a reliable translation.

Wrapping Up

Human life is a very precious gift of God. To save one person’s life means saving the entire humanity. Therefore, A translator who is working on a medical project should not only know the challenges of the medical field but should keep upgrading himself with the latest medical developments. To get error-free translation in the medical field, don’t forget to hire a professional translation company.