Challenges in Medical Translation

Challenges in Medical Translation

Translation generally connects people of different languages and plays a crucial role in many grounds, like when it connects businesses with their customers, or helps those in need of medical services.

When it comes to the task of translating medical documents, only those translators with special skills and knowledge shall translate the medical document in order to transfer the reality of the original document without any manipulation. As the profession of physicians and other healthcare professionals is of special importance and sensitivity, and they should know that any of their diagnosis, medicine, or prescription is transferred to patients or readers correctly, translators dealing with translation of medical documents shall have thorough command of both languages and also the medical terminology.

Now, we take a look at a few key challenges that translators encounter in the area of translating medical and healthcare documents.

Medical terminology

The specialized terminology of medicine is the main challenge facing all translators working in the field of medical translation. Not everyone knows the specialized words or phrases in medicine, such as the name of diseases, conditions, medicines, or words specific to a certain area of medicine. Therefore, many translators might not have heard those special names or words, no matter how good those translators are. However, every medical document is translated with much struggle on the part of translators in order to be acceptable and accurate.

So, translators employed to translate medical content shall be not only much competent in both languages but also have a good knowledge about the medical terminology and practices in a specific area of medicine. In this respect, the translations produced in medicine will be much higher useful in practice.

Expertise in various fields of medicine

Even with high competency in medical terminology and practices, the challenge continues to exist because of the various different fields that exist within medicine itself. Just because a translator has a good knowledge in the field of neurology, it does not mean that they definitely know much about all disorders in the nervous system. It means that even with a thorough knowledge in medicine, one may not know enough about certain areas of medicine to do the translation without any mistake.

It is very important, as a whole, that any company providing medical translation services have translators with expertise in a range of different medical fields to produce accurate translations in different fields of medicine. If so, customers will be relieved that they will receive a good work from that company.

Different target audience

The last challenging item discussed in this article is that translation products are usually intended for different audience, involving physicians, healthcare professionals, patients, academic environments, university students, etc. So, obviously documents that are supposed to be translated will be various in terms of style, register, language, degree of specialization, and so on. We may have academic papers, medical books, test results, prescriptions, manual users of medical devices, medical letters, certificates, etc. In the process of translation, translators shall take into account the style differences that are specific to each type of document. This allows them to communicate the message of the documents to the right audience and avoid any misunderstandings that may result in unpleasant outcomes.

The above three challenges discussed briefly here are a part of main challenges facing translators working in the area of medical translation. There are certainly other difficulties with translation of medical documents and will be discussed in next articles. There is actually a lot to say about the medical translation and its difficulties. Your ideas in this regard, whether you are a customer or a translator, are welcomed.

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