How to Prepare Your Medical Documents for Translation

The Importance of Knowing the Intended Audience!

Prepare Medical Translation ProjectsWith international regulations for medical products becoming more rigorous, medical document translation is becoming an essential component of successful product exportation and global system integration. While engaging a competent translation company will get you on your way to success, there are few steps that you can take to get there faster and cheaper. Here they are…

Identify your End-Reader

The target audience for your products and services may vary from medical staff, to maintenance teams to patients. All of them differ in background and educational levels. The written document will vary in level of complexity and use of technical terms or scientific language.  If you are targeting patients, always keep simplicity in mind and the text at the 8th grade level. Expressions utilized among medical professionals cannot be used as-is in a brochure or form that is intended for patients. Proper medical language translations can help simplify the language and offer feedback to the authors.

Write Professional Text

We regularly encounter medication leaflets that contradict the intended reasons for their creation–informing and warning patients. Medical documents should be composed by professional writers with medical backgrounds and not researchers or technicians that may lack the tact, style or thoroughness of professional writers. If the copy was poorly written, the final target language text will be equally confusing–garbage in, garbage out”) unless the linguist seeks clarification or rephrasing which will result in lost time and higher costs!

Avoid Vague and Culturally-Biased Language

The document should be free of figurative language which most likely will lack equivalence in other languages. This applies to idioms, adages, sports references and other culturally-dependent text. Should the subject in hand require the use of such expressions, implement a transcreation process instead of simple translation to adapt the document to the new audience without losing the intended meaning.

Establish a Process to Reuse Content

By avoiding unnecessary changes in the source text and applying approved glossaries and style guides, you can benefit from long-term benefits such as quality assurance, consistency and savings. Your translation and localization vendor should use translation memories and translation management systems to handle your updates and can recommend methods and tools to manage your glossaries and style guides.

Proper Medical Document Translation

Each category of medical documents needs a specialized approach in translation. Without overwhelming you with minute details, we collected the necessary information that would help you embark on your healthcare product localization journey in the below whitepaper.


Medical TranslationGet Free Whitepaper – Are you contracting Medical Document Translation Services? Why take unnecessary risk? Read our white paper 5 Case Studies in Medical Translation and Localization, or register to attend the 15 minute free webinar. You may also contact GlobalVision for a complementary professional consultation!

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