In today’s world where communities of diverse cultures coexist, accurate and effective communication is paramount. How do you disseminate information across various cultures, languages and geographies? Enter Translation! Healthcare related translation demands competent translators as it is directly related to lives of human beings.

Medical translation is the process of translating various healthcare related content for various consumer segments. It could be related to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, different therapies, nutrition, diet, medical device manuals and much more. There may be a successful treatment, a care plan, diet plan etc, existing for some particular health condition in one part of the world. The same can be utilised by people suffering from a similar condition in a different part of the world. In such a scenario, by translating the content into the target language, even those people can take the benefits.

A big NO to word to word translation! 
A professional medical translator shouldn’t translate word for word, he/she should understand the context and convey the same meaning in the target language. Hence, it’s important for a translator to not just be good at languages, but also has expertise in the subject matter. Also, translation or localisation should always take into account the social and cultural nuances of the target region for it to be useful and effective. If a patient in the US is asked to include Quinoa in his/her diet, what could be its equivalent in India? The translator should research on this. The translator could also use local idioms/expressions to creatively convey the meaning of the source text. Also be mindful of the units of measurement. Indians cannot easily understand how much is an ounce or gallon. Make sure to convert these into the units used locally. Make every attempt to translate in such a way that the target consumer feels that the content is written exclusively for him/her.

You know where it hurts?
In order to achieve cost cutting, many companies may think about opting low cost translation services or even look at machine translation options. It may appear as a cheaper solution in the beginning, but could prove costly over the long run. A machine translation will always translate the words literally. You need a linguist who is well versed in the subtleties of both languages and a comprehensive background along with subject matter expertise to bring out the complete meaning of the text from the source to the target language. You may have launched a brilliant product and you plan to expand the sales and you’ve got a good distributor, but if you’re stuck with poor translation, it can hurt sales and put a serious dent in your company’s reputation. Just imagine if there is a meaning error in the translation or incorrect dosage instruction, then it could cause severe harm or even death of the consumer. This would have serious legal and financial repercussions on your company.

The process of translation of healthcare content requires stringent procedures to be followed. A native medical translator translates the content first which is then proofread by a subject matter expert followed by another round of quality review. Always double check the crucial information like dosage instruction, do’s and don’ts etc which if not accurately translated could result in gruesome consequences. We at Harivu Creations translating huge number of healthcare content and sharing some of our learnings here. Next time, when there is a requirement for Healthcare content translation, you know whom to ring :).