The Challenges of Medical Document Translation

The Challenges of Medical Document Translation

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While the challenges of medical document translation may vary from one project to another, here are some of the most common ones you are likely to face on every project:

  • High stakes: errors in medical document translation can seriously affect lives, careers and companies.
  • Language coverage:  health services are required to support a growing list of languages, even within local communities.
  • Specialist language: Medical document translation requires language experts with extensive subject knowledge. Translators must understand the meaning of specialist medical language (e.g. xerosis – dry skin)
  • Anglicisms: English phrases are widely adopted in modern medicine, but usage can vary across language and cultures.
  • Semantic similarities: Phrases between languages that share semantic similarities, but have different meanings, for example: “intoxicated” in English (drunk) and “intoxicado” in Spanish (poisoned). Read our article on Medical Translations and The 71 Million Dollar Word

The consequences of translation errors couldn’t be higher for patients or healthcare providers and companies, so consistent accuracy is essential.

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