Medical translations are possibly some of the most complicated kinds of translations to do. Here we’ve reviewed the requirements a translator must meet to take them on with all the keys to success.

What is a medical translation?

They are usually texts such as scientific articles, drug package inserts and clinical reports, or other content related to medicine or the pharmaceutical industry. It seems logical to surmise that translating them would require specific training on the topic and absolute accuracy.

What requirements must a medical document translator meet?

Requirements on education and experience: medical translators should have a recognized graduate qualification in translation or in any other field from an institution of higher education plus a minimum of two years of full-time professional experience in translating; native level in target language and a fluency level in the source language. Medical translators must be fully aware of cultural sensitivity issues, for example, some medical terms for diseases have a direct translation in the second language, while other terms have been adopted from English language.

It is the translator’s responsibility to maintain the patient’s privacy when doing their job. Its essential to ensure patient-physician confidentiality.

A professional medical translator must keep him/herself up to date  with the latest improvements and advances that have been made in the medicine industry and in medical technology.

Aside from a fluent level of the source language, experts in this kind of professional translation should understand that

· Their work must be highly rigorous, since the result directly affects the health of the readers. In fact, as a prerequisite the translator must be an expert in the pharmaceutical industry and scientific terminology.

· It is more than likely that the translator will need to do clinical research to find out what the exact translations of the terms are.

· This is a technical translation: synonyms, paraphrasing, and different wordings cannot be used. Either a known medical term or one that can be explained with footnotes must be chosen.

· Medical language is characterized by its direct and objective style. Every word counts, and the end text must have an expository clarity that makes it easy to understand.

· When terminology is used it should be clarified and justified in a footnote so readers will be able to easily understand it.

· Haste makes waste. Medical translations should be done with enough time to do a good job. New versions of previous texts should be translated from scratch so as not to repeat previous poor translations.

Why is doing a good medical translation so hard?

Because in any other field there are always references in the target language to check. Translating an article about a scientific discovery or about a new drug means the translator is on their own; they almost have to do some of the same research the author of the text did.

If you find yourself in this situation as a translator, keep the tips above in mind. If you need to purchase this kind of translation, choose an agency that offers pharmaceutical translation services to ensure the best result possible.

We hope we’ve given you a basic idea of what medical translations entail. Only the very best translators, like the ones at SeproTec, feel confident enough to take on these kinds of assignments because of their unquestionable complexity and the consequences of not doing a perfect job. Pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations (CROs), medical and surgical devices manufacturers and biotech companies rely on us for translation of their most sensitive documents and our strict quality control on the translated content. SeproTec delivers consistently clear, accurate translation of high-value information and our clients may be 100% sure they can depend on us.

To learn more about how SeproTec can help you with your projects, reach out to our global team today.

For many pharmaceutical companies, sourcing translations for documentation such as clinical protocols, labels, safety reports, questionnaires, PROs, COAs, and more may be as straightforward as letting their CRO take care of it.

Others, though, may rely on a patchwork of solutions, where each department works with its own vendors, even if the company has a centralized list of preferred suppliers.

If your role requires managing the internationalization of your company’s products, whether it’s during research and development of new candidates or supporting commercialized products that have been on the market for years, you might be stuck in a rut without even knowing it.

Sure, things may seem to be humming along smoothly, but on the other hand, maybe there are consistent nuisances in the process that, if addressed, could greatly improve your quality of life. Many companies, especially large ones, usually follow the path of least resistance and continue to work with established providers because “that’s how [we've] always done it.”

In a field focused on innovation and results, though, this can’t be the case.

We asked some of our own clients what they value most when it comes to sourcing translations. Here’s what they said:

Accuracy

Especially in the strictly regulated realm of clinical research, accuracy is indispensable. Mistranslations can be costly, both financially and socially.

If a patent isn’t translated precisely, you may as well not file the patent abroad at all.

If a questionnaire has not been translated with the relevant cultural context taken into account for different target groups, it can muddy your data.

And if an ingredient on a label is mistranslated, revising and resubmitting the relevant documents for approval can be expensive. Even worse, an end user of the product might be adversely affected, opening up your company to litigation.

Any language service provider (LSP) will tout its quality, but how can you be sure your provider is actually delivering? Here are some ways to find out:

1. Does your LSP possess internationally recognized certifications such as ISO 17100 or ISO 9001? Most mature LSPs consider these de rigeur, but not all providers are created equal. Check to see when your vendors’ certificates were last validated.

2. Does your LSP specialize in life sciences and use native speakers of the target languages? Many LSPs claim to specialize in certain areas, but the dirty secret of the industry is that many translation companies simply farm out work to other, lesser-known vendors further down the proverbial food chain. It’s imperative that your vendor retain complete control over the quality of the final product.

3. Do you receive feedback from other internal stakeholders or end users? Not all companies have multilingual employees who can review every language you translate– and honestly, you shouldn’t need to rely on these employees to do so. However, if you have colleagues who have voiced concerns about the translations you’re receiving, perhaps it’s time to evaluate other options.

Speed

While cost is always a factor for anyone responsible for outsourcing work, we consistently found that an LSP’s ability to turnaround projects quickly remains a deciding factor for many pharmaceutical companies, and they are often willing to pay more for this capability.

It’s important to remember that translation is not simply a mechanical process. For the accuracy required for life science documents, especially documents subject to regulatory scrutiny or intended for external use, human translators are necessary.

While it’s true that these humans work with computer assisted translation tools (CAT tools), haste usually makes waste. It is possible to assign multiple linguists to a single project, but this exponentially increases the risks of inconsistencies, mistakes, and breaches of data security.

Still, even though it’s important to keep reasonable expectations in mind, LSPs that can deliver translations quickly without sacrificing the aforementioned accuracy are valuable partners worth keeping, even if they cost more. Remember to weigh the costs of a good LSP against the possible costs of missed submission deadlines, multiple rounds of revisions, and even brand reputation.

Relationship

Your language services partner might provide an above average product, but how is your relationship with them?

Good LSPs do everything they can to create a frictionless workflow to make it as easy as possible for their clients to obtain quotes, approve projects, and submit feedback. But as much as it might be tempting to adopt a “set it and forget it” mentality, especially if things seem to be going all right, it’s crucial that your point of contact be available and communicative.

Does your LSP proactively warn you of any issues that arise during the course of a project? Do they watch out for you by educating you about more cost-effective alternatives based on the needs of different projects?

We in the localization industry are a naturally communicative lot. Words and language are our passion, so don’t be afraid to talk to your account manager.

Ultimately, outsourcing your translation needs to us requires a tremendous amount of trust on your part. Of course LSPs ought to provide high quality, speedy translations, but part of the value they ought to add comes in the form of being a trusted consultant who can offer so much more than just translation. If you can’t leverage your LSP’s experience in both your industry and the broader localization world, why are you keeping them around?

Whether you’ve been working with a provider for a while or you’re just starting out on the sometimes overwhelming path to commercializing your products internationally, it’s vital that you pick a language services provider with the necessary experience, know-how, and reliability to function not just as a vendor, but as a trustworthy partner. To learn more about how SeproTec can help you with your projects, reach out to our global team today.

Written by Edward Carlin, SeproTec’s Business Development Manager, based in Austin, TX.

SeproTec at DIA 2019 Global Annual Meeting!

marzo 14th, 2019 | Posted by admin in conferences | events | Life Sciences | Localización | SeproTec | Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)

Sharing views and expertise with industry leaders, meeting 6,000+ life sciences professionals, networking… This is what awaits SeproTec Team at DIA 2019 Global Annual Meeting in San Diego, June 23-27. We will be exhibiting at booth #621.

This meeting is a must-attend for all life science professionals around the globe. Stay tuned for more info!