When Translation Becomes a Matter of Life or Death

Let me ask you. When a medical translation goes wrong, what could be at stake?

The answer is lives. Lives of real people. Someone like me and you. Therefore, it is not an option that you hire high quality experienced translation agency when it comes to medical issues. It’s a dreadful must. Stories about the frighteningly huge costs of poor translation in health industry are uncountable. Lives may be lost. Translation agencies may go out of business. Companies may pay filthy amounts of money as compensation.

As humans, you probably notice we carefully listen to stories about incompetent doctors and health workers because their incompetency matters. The same applies to medical translation. You come across an old friend, someone you haven’t seen for a long time. He looks troubled when he starts talking about his child. He seems to be on the verge of tears. He stumbles over the words.

And the story may go like this: “If we had access to a quality translator when we rushed him to the hospital, you would have seen him running on his feet, not on a wheelchair?”
Translation mistakes are as costly as medical mistakes. In fact, they are not mistakes. They are disasters or worse. They are a matter of life and death. Hence comes the strong emphasis on the quality of medical translation.

medical translation services

Examples of medical translations

Probably, you ask… We’ve done tons of medical translations so far. These translation included the following:

Difficulties of Medical Translation

The number one difficulty is the translator’s lack of medical knowledge. He or she may be unfamiliar with medical terms and phrases. And medical documents have lots of them.

How do you overcome this difficulty?

You ask.

We know that to translate medical documents, a translator has to have at least semi-native level of language competency. Needless to say that his linguistics ability should be combined with deep knowledge of the L1 and L2 languages, the source and target languages. One of our standards for a medical translator is to have been educated in the two languages on a college level.

Familiarity with translation theory and practice as well as medical practices can be a preference. Being able to write well and to do research well is also a requirement.

On top of that, translators recruited by Elaph Translation to do medical translations should be able to make use of the best online and offline medical resources available on the internet. Elaph Translation makes sure their medical translators are aware of medical terminology, including surgical, diagnostic, operative, symptomatic, laboratorial, clinical and medicinal terms. We meet this requirement by picking only those translators who have reasonable experience in medical fields. Partner with us for healthy translations.