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- translation of medical documents (epicrises, clinical summaries, medical histories, laboratory tests, doctors’ opinions etc.) and clinical trials;
- translation of pharmaceutical documentation (drug descriptions, various forms of information for doctors and patients, quality control documentation etc.);
- translation of medical equipment documentation (operation instructions, equipment descriptions etc.);
- translation and localization of scientific articles and websites dedicated to the medical and pharmaceutical industries;
- formatting of drawings and layouts, including DTP solutions;
- simultaneous or consecutive interpreting at conferences and seminars or in communication with patients, as well as simultaneous
- interpreting into sign language in communication with patients;
- language courses of various levels, including training of medical personnel for working abroad;
- as well as any other language solutions you may need.
The medical and clinical trial industries are demanding and uncompromising when it comes to any deviations. Any information that enters the medical industry is checked multiple times to make sure it is precise and unambiguous.
Medical texts are one of the most difficult types of translations, which are carried out by certified specialists. This is why the Skrivanek medical text translation team consists of doctors and people with higher medical education, experience in philology, and excellent native language skills. When working with medical texts, translators and editors are fully aware of the liability that will arise from inaccurately or carelessly performed translations.
Skrivanek language specialists ensure precision and are strict about deadlines. We are certified according to ISO 27001 and ISO 17100. Moreover, we guarantee that the information you have entrusted to us will not be disclosed to third parties. If you are in need of translations of various marketing brochures, patient medical records, clinical trial documentation, and other written materials, or if you are looking for interpreting services for conferences and other events, Skrivanek will be there for you, guaranteeing the best results.
Precision, care, the latest scientific achievements, modern technologies and responsibility – all this and even more characterises modern medicine in the most direct way.
Medicine (Latin: medicina – “treatment”, “healing”) is a system of scientific knowledge and a set of practical actions for maintaining human health. By nature, medicine is a branch of science related to human health. It studies the human body, its structure, functions, but most of all diseases and their treatment options. The goal of medicine is to determine the origin and progress of diseases, as well as their diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Today, medicine is closely related to the latest scientific achievements in health care and the advantages of medical technology. The first civilisation to extensively study medicine and leave written records of its practices and procedures was ancient Egypt. The oldest surviving Egyptian medical texts are six papyri. Between 2000 and 1500 B.C.E., Egyptian medicine influenced the medicine of neighbouring lands, including the development of ancient Greek medicine. From Greece, its influence spread further, thus significantly influencing the development of medicine in Western civilisation. Today, with the rapid development of medical science, technology, treatment methods, practices, pharmaceutical factories, large-scale conferences on medicine and medical equipment, and their production, are regularly held all over the world; young doctors study and train in different countries of the world, and exchange experience. New medical textbooks are published, studies are dated, publications are written to share the latest information among all people in the world, whose activities are related to medicine. These texts are written in different languages, so the translation of medical texts and translators and interpreters of medical texts are of great importance.
TRANSLATION OF MEDICAL TEXTS
Medical texts are one of the most difficult types of translations, which are carried out by certified specialists. This is why the Skrivanek medical text translation team consists of doctors and people with higher medical education, experience in philology, and excellent native language skills. When working with medical texts, translators and editors are fully aware of the liability that will arise from inaccurately or carelessly performed translations. Medical translation includes the obligatory study of complex terminology and glossary, the accuracy of the text shall be respected, the latest medical knowledge shall be acquired and the text to be translated shall be understood. Companies operating in the healthcare industry, such as pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organisations, and medical and surgical equipment manufacturers, depend heavily on the best medical translation service providers to ensure consistent and accurate content. Medical translation is also the translation of various documents– educational materials, medical bulletins, drug descriptions, etc. – translation for the needs of healthcare professionals and patients. Instructions for the use of medical devices, marketing materials or clinical, legal and technical documentation shall also be translated. Currently, all countries of the European Union require companies and organisations to translate descriptions of labels of medical devices or pharmaceutical products into the national language. Clinical trial documents often need to be translated for local physicians, patients, and regulatory representatives. Currently, taking into account the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical and medical device industries, in which research and investment opportunities are rapidly increasing all over the world, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for the translation of medical texts has become very urgent. The content of the websites of hospitals, clinics and polyclinics, even pharmacies, is not far behind marketing and any other business advertising content. There is a growing demand for promoting medical content in different languages in order to reach and address as many potential customers as possible. In large medical institutions or corporations of medical companies, translations of the content of their websites into different languages are in great demand, so that patients around the world can more easily navigate and not only access the best places for treatment, but also receive the most modern and high-quality drugs, medical procedures and manipulations. Skrivanek’s language specialists specialise in the translation of both clinical trial and medical research documents, drug prescriptions, descriptions, labels and other documents into and from all languages of the Baltic region.
SPECIFICITY OF TRANSLATION OF MEDICAL TEXTS
Translating medical texts is very difficult. The Austrian-born American medical translator Henry Fischbach (1921–2008) is famous for saying that “the translation of medical texts is perhaps the most universal and oldest form of scientific translation because human anatomy and physiology are ubiquitous and uniform”. According to Fischbach, the demand for medical translation and interpreting in health care is continuous because, throughout history, the study of the human body has focused on exploring common features and finding universal solutions to common problems faced by all people in the world. The consequences of inaccurate translation of medical, healthcare and pharmaceutical documents can be unpredictable. When translating medical and healthcare information, literal machine translation or human error simply cannot be tolerated. In fact, the language of translation of medical texts is a scientific language, in which any emotional shade and biased interpretation of the content shall be excluded; guesses or approximations cannot be used here. Therefore, only industry experts are involved in the translation of medical texts. For the purpose of quality control at Skrivanek Baltic, two experienced language specialists work with medical text translation projects – one plays the role of a terminologist and conducts terminology research and testing, the other works with text translation, and the terminologist is responsible for the correctness of the terminology of the entire translation project and the transfer of an accurate list of terms to the proofreader, who only performs a grammar check.
Of course, the tone of each medical translation text varies slightly according to the target audience and depends on who the text is addressed to, i.e., if the medical communication is between an expert and a reader, who is not a professional, for example between a doctor and a patient, or a manufacturer of medical devices/drugs and an end user, the translation should be lighter, with less complex language and terminology, while also providing additional insight for the end-user/reader, who is not a professional, to understand the specialised terminology.
THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS IN TRANSLATING MEDICAL TEXTS
The success or failure of a medical translation always depends on how accurately the terminology is used, as well as the level of knowledge and understanding of the language specialist who performs the translation. Errors and challenges in medical translation can be classified based on the criteria of equivalence, readability, eponyms, acronyms, affixation and polysemy, which represent the main stylistic and lexical problems that can make or “destroy” a medical translation. Medical eponyms are specific terminology in the field of medicine. These are signs and symptoms usually named after discoverers or patients. Given the wide spectrum of terminology used in the field of medical sciences, the question of choosing between an eponym and another equivalent term often arises; special attention should be paid to the use of terminology, also depending on which term is more often or more widely used. Furthermore, in addition to complex vocabulary and technical aspects, the challenges of medical translation on a global scale are also related to accuracy and market-specificity. This excludes a free approach to the translation; the message of the basic source is strictly followed and no free interpretation of the text takes place. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the equivalence of terminology to avoid mistranslations. If we had to precisely define the most important difference between translations of medical texts and texts of other fields, the main keywords would be “standard” and “quality”. The basic requirement for translators of medical texts and language specialists is practical experience, perfect theoretical knowledge in biology, chemistry and, of course, knowledge of field-specific terminology. In addition, every potential customer of medical translations highly values the compliance of the translation with regulatory enactments and regulations, thereby eliminating the risk of bad reviews and negative reactions. Standardised medical translation processes regulated by International Quality Standards (ISO) are also very important to practically ensure the quality requirements for medical translation. Therefore, a two-fold approach is essential in the translation of medical texts – translations shall meet both terminology and stylistic rigour and the requirements of the target markets.
The main advantages that differentiate the field of medical translation from other types of translation fields that are desired by stakeholders worldwide today: The need for professional, human-made medical translation is an integral part of any effective business in the healthcare and medical industry, as “medical tourism” today has greater importance than ever before. Quality medical translation, based on a mutually beneficial relationship between the medical institution and the customer, provides a beneficial result for the medical industry, ensuring patient and consumer satisfaction. Translating medical content, such as extensive descriptions of specialised studies or research on drugs and/or medical devices, benefits healthcare professionals and their patients equally by ensuring that each party is informed, and also opens up new ways of access for foreign patients and investors who are looking for modern health improvement services and medical procedures. In the pharmaceutical industry in particular, high-quality, professional medical translations have never been more valuable than they are today, as the availability of pharmaceutical products from developed countries in international markets is rapidly increasing.