Medical translations – when may these be needed? We often find customers need to translate the results of clinical trials, therapeutic preparations and other pharmaceutical documents required for the registration of medicinal products in the territory of another country. The operating instructions for medical equipment also need translation. Explanations of medical texts are also required for counselling in different health institutions – in these instances; the translator must translate the patient’s test results, medical history, expert opinions, etc. Also, medical translators may be asked to translate medical articles, publications and other specialised literature. Individual patients might need doctor’s notes, examination results, hospital in-patient and out-patient assessments, opinions, referrals and additional information translated.
Medical translations: translated fields
- Medical documentation: extracts, medical history, epicrisis, results of laboratory and instrumental examinations, protocol of surgical operations, etc.
- Documentation related to the clinical trials of medical products: contracts for conducting a clinical trial, clinical trial protocols, investigator’s brochures, etc.
- Pharmaceutical documentation: medical product descriptions, leaflets, information for doctors and patients, documentation related to quality control.
- Documentation related to medical equipment: operating instructions, manuals, descriptions, promotional texts, catalogues, presentations.
- Medical, pharmaceutical, clinical trial, medical equipment websites.
- Popular medical literature.
- Scientific medical literature: scientific articles, conference materials, reviews, essays, dissertations, detailed written studies, encyclopaedias, reference books, textbooks.
Medical translations: other considerations
The translation of medical texts describes translating in an exact field of specialisation. Only translators with medical education, and many years of experience can convey the essence of the text with maximum accuracy while maintaining the original document’s precise style. In general, many translators of medical texts are practising doctors who also have some additional medical knowledge in a foreign language.
Translators of medical texts can perform this complex work only because they are fully cognisant of the medical terminology used in both the language from which they will translate – and the language into which they will convert the topic. Moreover, translators have to understand the abbreviations used in medical science, the phrases used in Latin, and be able to translate these. As if that were not enough, a translator must, for example, know about the specific theme when translating a scientific article on a relevant medical issue. This type of translation becomes impossible without such precise comprehension by the translator.
It is essential that translators of medical texts translate, not only the printed text, but also anything that is hand-written. For example, individual medical documents; medical records, test results, and extracts from medical booklets are often written in the physician’s hand. Naturally, there may be occasions when translators have to face the fact that they cannot decipher the words that have been written on a document – and in these circumstances, they must revert to the customer, or the doctor who compiled the original record to clarify those words which are not clear.
Medical translations are made, not only in writing, but also orally. Oral translations are carried out both directly – when the interpreter meets the customer – and by other means of communication, for example, by telephone, or via Skype, etc.
The pricing of medical translations depends on the language, the scope of the text, and its complexity. Typically, the price of translations for handwritten texts is higher because translators often have to disentangle the text. In the case of oral translations, the price also depends on whether the interpreter contacts the customer directly, or whether some other means of communication is used.
The goal of translating firms when converting medical texts is to give their customers quality service. Even when the text is translated by a translator specialising in the medical field, the text is still verified by an editor. For large projects, working groups are often organized – these make use of close cooperation between several translators and editors to achieve outstanding results.
A translator would usually manage 8-pages of text within one working day. Most translation companies offer an urgent translation service to their customers, but it is important to remember that medical translations require very thorough and extensive work, so rushing this type of job is not advisable. It should also be remembered that urgent translations will inevitably cost more.
Medical translations: how much do they cost?
Find out how much the translation of your medical text to another language will cost. Find out