Medical language can be complicated for the average reader because it contains medical terminologies and intricate subject matters. Consequently, medical documents translation requires a high level of scrutiny and special expertise.
For starters, medical language involves using unique terminology with different spellings in different target languages. Moreover, medical abbreviations could mean different concepts in different languages. That is why a medical translator must be accurate and precise because any errors can result in costly consequences.
Here are the three key things to consider before choosing a medical translator.
Medica translation calls for an expert who understands the subject matter.
First and foremost, you cannot just hire anyone to translate your medical documents. Plus, you may need to translate so many medical documents, including surgical procedure explanations, physician notes, pharmacological instructions, medical device instructions, synopsis, medical regulations, informed consent forms, brochures, case reports, etc. Such documents have different terminologies for specific languages and audiences.
Because of the complexity of medical subject matters, you should consider a medical translator with background education or technical training in medical science and experience translating medical documents. Note that a small error in medical records translation can lead to inappropriate treatment or incorrect diagnosis, a costly mistake.
Although most translators can literary translate words, a translator without a medical background will lack the understanding of what those words mean. That can result in errors in translations, given that regional dialects also vary. Therefore pick a subject matter expert for your medical translations.
Medical translation involves different registers.
One of the biggest challenges in medical document translation is that it explores multiple word registers. In different media subjects, you realize that various diseases or diagnoses are called by one terminology in an elevated register (medical register) and different terminology in a lower register (everyday use). For instance, health providers or physicians may use the term thorax to refer to the chest.
Again, some languages use one word for both registers, while others use different words for the same thing. Therefore a medical translator must consider context and register during translation to select the most appropriate words, and that is why you need an expert.
It involves a lot of word-level problems.
Medical translation involves a lot of word-level problems in that, word use evolves in every language. Therefore a medical translator must understand the lexical word usage of their source language and target language, and words typically have different connotations and expressions when used in different ways.
Translating one word from a different language to another language is not enough. An in-depth understanding of medical terms is required. Luckily, the human anatomy, body parts, and diseases are the same everywhere, making it easy for expert medical translators. However, evoked word meanings may not translate correctly between languages.
The bottom line
Medical document translation goes beyond a word-by-word translation. It requires an experienced medical translator with in-depth knowledge of medical subject matters. Any inaccurate medical document translation can lead to life-threatening consequences such as misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment, which is why you should pick an expert medical translator.