medical-literature-translation-issues

With the blending of cultures and languages in many parts of the world, the linguistic challenge is clear. However, in the medical field where mistakes can cost lives, the importance of accurate language translations has never been greater.

In the area of medical marketing materials, getting it right is critical even when it comes to product labeling and descriptions of what features they offer.

Language is a Factor in the Sourcing of Medical Products

Not all medical products are made available in-country. Some are sourced from farther away and this requires that they be researched, sourced, and purchased from an international manufacturer.

In many cases, the product and its marketing materials are only available in the language used by the manufacturer. This can prove a hurdle necessary to overcome for healthcare providers sourcing new products. Such sourcing might be performed because the medical equipment is only produced in one country or by a single provider.

Medical product producers face similar issues when they want to provide medical marketing materials in multiple languages for healthcare providers. Accuracy matters.

What’s in a Word?

Translation of the written word isn’t as simple as people believe.

Many medical words and phrases don’t have a direct translation between one language and another without a loss of meaning. But also, a crude direction translation may misconstrue what was being communicated.

In healthcare, where lives matter, getting the right product information is critical. Marketing materials must be translated properly to communicate information correctly, including the right meaning behind the words, not just a word-for-word translation alone.

Is a Specialist Translation Company Required?

If you take the example of an operating theater in a hospital that requires sterile medical equipment and the means to re-sterilize it correctly between surgeries to avoid post-op infections, clarity is relevant.

Sterile processing departments need to know how best to sterilize each piece of supplied medical equipment. Instructions from the manufacturer as indicated in either the marketing materials or manual in the case of substantial medical equipment must be clear and not leave anything out.

Not being familiar with medical-specific terminology both in the original language and the one to be translated into leaves much to be desired. The company working on the translation must understand what’s being communicated to translate it properly. In the scientific and medical fields, small mistakes even with a single word or phrase get magnified in importance.

Is There Another Alternative?

The idea of using quick ‘n’ dirty translation tools like Google Translate is a bad idea. Automatic online translation tools such as this will only provide basic translations of individual words. Commonly, much of the original meaning gets lost in the process. Furthermore, the more technical or specific the language, the greater the likelihood of considerable inaccuracies too.

Essentially, what might be good enough for a tourist on a weekend city break is completely unsuitable in the medical field. The risks of errors and providing or relying upon misleading information is just too great.

With medical marketing materials, healthcare companies are relying on accurate information about products. Professional medical translation services should be used either by the provider of equipment to others or when seeking to purchase medical equipment from international sources. This ensures errors and misunderstandings are avoided.

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