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What is Medical Translation?

Any specialist will tell you that medical translation is just a kind of scientific and technical translation. It is true and untrue at the same time.

What Makes the Specific Nature of Medical Translation Services?

The finished translation must contain accurate medical terminology in order not to lead to indeterminate diagnosis, misinterpretation of scientific discoveries and therefore to serious professional mistakes.

Why Do Most Translation Companies “Dislike” Medical Translation Orders?

  • very often the source text is provided as medical certificates and case records performed in the best traditions of “doctor’s handwriting”;
  • such orders are often urgent, there are not enough professional translators in this field, and a staff translator is unable to “fight” with the illegibility of the text.

More About the Specific Nature of Medical Translation…

Medical texts contain a great number of terms, acronyms and special designations. The names of the same concepts may vary in different languages or regions. For instance the Russian term “анализ крови” can be translated into English in different ways: blood test or blood analysis, though British and American doctors use a special term – complete blood count (CBC) – which is not mentioned in any dictionary.

Do Translators Have to Know Latin?

Medical translation requires knowing or understanding Latin. For example an ophthalmologist’s certificate may contain the Latin abbreviations such as OD, OS which stand for oculus dexter, oculus sinister (the right eye and the left eye) – which may puzzle a beginner.

So Is It Worth Risking?

Any medical translation requires not only knowing the language well – it also means that a professional medical translator must have profound knowledge in medicine. Not only does a medical translator respond for the work, he or she is also liable for health and life of the people who will take the drug described in the translation or undergo the prescribes treatment.

For this reason, all respected translation companies often employ doctors or health consultants to do the careful proofreading of the ready translation. In case of complex projects such as translation of medical equipment technical specifications we also attract the developers and engineers.