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Medical and Pharmaceutical Translation

Medical and Pharmaceutical translation is a highly specialised discipline and should only ever be carried out by suitably qualified translators.

That's why we only ever use specialist translators who are doctors or biomedical engineers, have experience in your particular medical field and have language degrees. These translators are extremely highly vetted and quality controlled.

Why do we use only medically qualified translators for medical translations?

Knowing a foreign language alone is simply not enough. The plain truth of translation is that a text must be understood before it can be translated. We are all confident of our knowledge of English, aren't we? Let us take a small self-test by considering two short sentences sourced from a medical text:

Tympanites and atony of the gastro-intestinal tract are often the first indications of parenteral nutrition, necessitated due to faulty utilisation of oral feeds.

Distention of the congested intestinal layers is possibly a contributory cause of blocked anastamosis or its dehiscence.

Honestly, how much of that did you understand? How easy was it to read? You can speak English ok, but understanding a medical text is a very different matter.

You can now see how a translator without a scientific or medical background would feel when faced with this text. Translators translate from a foreign language into her mother tongue. In other words, a translator should ideally be a native speaker of the language she is translating into. Somebody may possess excellent bi-lingual skills, but hiring her as a translator is a sure-fire recipe for disaster in translation, unless she is also an expert in her field.

Medical and scientific writing has its own turn of phrase. In medical texts written in German, for example, Anamnese is a commonly used word. Dictionaries give anamnesis as the English equivalent - and a translator who relies solely on dictionaries is looking for trouble. Why? Well, medical practitioners the world over never use the expression "anamnesis". They just call it "case history of a patient".

By the same token, hiring a translator with specialised subject skills to the exclusion of language skills is no less prone to pitfalls. For instance, a subject expert may spend many a sleepless night over the English equivalent of Patientengut, a German word best translated as "patient records".

Style, we all know, is the way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed. Have we ever observed that scientific-technical writing has its own style? To illustrate the point, let us take a concrete example. Faithful to the style of the source language, a translation would read:

Owing to improvements in medical first-aid and rescue services, a steadily increasing number of severely injured accident victims reach clinics in a condition in which intensive therapy may be started.

After correction for style by a qualified subject and language expert, the same sentence would read:

Advancements in medical first-aid and rescue services have made it possible to immediately administer intensive care to an increasing number of severe cases of accident victims who are brought to hospitals.

Need we say more?

Regardless of the subject area of your documentation we are able to provide translation for 140 languages in a timely and cost effective manner.

Here are some of the areas we have previously translated documents for:

·       Anesthesia

·       Biostatistics

·       Cardiology

·       Dentistry

·       Diagnostics

·       Electro diagnosis

·       Endoscopy

·       Endocrinology

·       Medicine

·       Prosthetics

·       Toxicology


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