Medical translation

is the translation of all types of medical information and documentation from its source language to every other language where needed. Medical translation services use professional translators who have a medical background because of the importance of accuracy in this field of translation. It’s not just a question of understanding terminology in more than a single language but it is an ability to retain the medical message during translation that is so essential.

Partly because of the current ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, medical communication between scientists, epidemiologists, vaccinologists, biochemists and health authorities is more important than ever before. All these individuals and organisations speak a multitude of languages, which means that it falls to certified medical translators to ensure that everyone can communicate freely through effective medical translation.

The importance of medical translation

The pandemic has taught the global community a hard lesson: no-one is safe from novel viruses like Sars-Cov-2 until everyone is safe. Globalisation has meant huge economic benefits around the world and millions of the world’s population have been lifted out of poverty. The downside is that partly because of the ease of global travel dangerous new pathogens like Sars-Cov-2 move freely and easily from one part of the world to another. Global travel may mean an increase in the likelihood of global disease, so the response is also a global one where genetic sequencing of new viruses are shared quickly, vaccine development is achieved by international cooperation and things like Covax help to immunise large swathes of the less developed world. All of this depends on effective medical communication and medical translation services.

Medical translation services save time

It’s hard to imagine how international medical professionals could communicate and cooperate without medical document translation services. New drugs, medical procedures medical technology and vaccines are not instantaneously developed all around the world. It might be the U.S., South Africa, Israel or China where new discoveries are made. Most new discoveries are sent out to medical professionals elsewhere in the world to be peer reviewed.  Efficient and accurate medical translation is essential to speedy communication across language barriers.

Medical translation ensures better patient care

It stands to reason that information regarding any type of medical device, medication, procedure or illness ultimately helps to improve patient care. The only caveat is that this information is available in every health jurisdiction. A doctor in Brazil who is struggling to interpret information in English or Russian is totally dependent on professional medical translation to understand what is provided.

Accurate information helps research

Medical research is a multinational and multidisciplinary affair. Again, the current pandemic provides evidence of just how information from many different countries, often provided in a multitude of languages, helps to tackle a global emergency. To take a single example, data from the recent Omicron outbreak in South Africa gave valuable warning of a potential new variant’s spread right around the world. That information was relayed in dozens of different languages to health authorities who then acted on the information in ways that were thought to be sensible. Reading the news on the internet or listening to the national or international TV news gives no idea of just how that information is first translated by hundreds of professional medical translators before it is received by the people who have the authority to deal with it.

It’s best to hire a professional translation agency

Medical translation should never be left to agencies that do not offer medical expertise. Even worse is reliance on internet translation sites that seem to offer a cheap or free alternative to using a professional translation agency. This attempt to economise never makes sense as the result is inaccurate and potentially dangerously mistranslation which can hurt one’s reputation as well as the health of patients.