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Major Issues Faced by Medical Translators and Localization Experts

by Uneeb Khan

Medical localization is a demanding subject. It requires great skills and before the process of localization, the translation has to be accurate and precise. There are thousands of medical terminologies which are unique to many and also have different spellings and structures depending on the different target languages. Also, there are abbreviations that are used to define different states and scenarios.

As the whole process of medical translation and localization is challenging therefore medical translators and localization experts have to go through a lot of obstacles during the whole process. Even an experienced translator with subject matter expertise can stumble on different medical jargon while performing the translation so the difficulties that medical translators and localization experts can come across are many. A few of these keep on popping up every now and then.

Four of the most important and common issues are

1.  Language proficiency

Language proficiency does not stand for proficiency in original or target languages. The medical language is even important and plays a key role in the process of translation and localization. Professional medical localization services could be executed differently in different countries. The whole process is quite technical with a few terms that are not even tough to translate but many times these don’t get the best suitable alternatives. These are medical translators who have upgraded medical knowledge and can only translate medical content. This is one of the difficult issues and problems. A single language has multiple dialects in a single country which makes things tough and complicated. Therefore, for the detailed, intricate, and exact work, it is important to ensure that there are only experts on board for medical translation and localization.

2.  Required training

Medical terminology, phrases, idioms, and abbreviations are tough, complex, and challenging. Therefore, translators are not only supposed to be good at the language which is original and target but also trained in the medical language. Medical translation is a process that ordinary translators can not pull off and this field requires certain training. Though being proficient in the required language pair and the knowledge of cultures involved but it is not all for the medical translation and medical software localization. The localization process is even tougher and the experts have to understand the software well before they kickstart the process. Not hiring experts can lead to inaccurate translations followed by not-so-effective localization.

In the United States, the rules are quite tough when it comes to medical interpreters and translators while facilitating patients who have limited English proficiency. It is considered the basic right of a patient as he could only be treated well and diagnosed right when the physician understands him and he can communicate well about his situation. So in order to cope with this issue it is imperative that translators are provided with relevant training which is not the case for most making it a serious issue.

3.  Translation and interpretation

Translators many times also face this issue where their clients mix the requirements and are not clear if they want to go for the translation or interpretation. Medical interpretation is different that medical translation. An interpreter is hired to provide real-time services to bridge the language gap between doctor and patient. A lot of emergency situations require the services of a medical interpreter immediately and there is not much time waiting for the translation or translator. In such cases, the hospital and clinics arrange the interpreters and try to facilitate the patients as early as possible. The interpreters also offer their services on phone and through online platforms too which have made it convenient for all parties to coordinate with each other on a greater level. However, at times, it gets a serious challenge for interpreters and translators to cope with the rising need for translation and interpretation.

4.  Localization and globalization

Health products and pharmaceutical needs are required by everyone all over the world. So, localizing these according to the choices of the target audiences is vital. This is why medical and pharmaceutical companies are always looking for expansion and recent technology has made it quite easier though. However medical interpretation services are also equally important with localization and globalization. There are issues that the experts have to face despite advanced technology. Medical devices and equipment are manufactured in different countries and these are needed by people in every region. In order to make it available for every type of consumer the process of localization and globalization are vital. However, due to the complex nature of medical text and sensitivity, this field involves it gets challenging and many uncertain issues are encountered.

The rising need for professional medical interpretation services should also not be overlooked as it is extremely important to provide the patients with the interp[reters in real time whenever needed. Interpreters make themselves available and are flexible to show up timely.

Final words

Translation and localization are not everyone’s cup of tea and it gets even more complex when it is about medical text. The medical field is a sensitive and demanding field where there is no room for errors. Therefore medical translators and localization experts have to encounter particular issues which include limited language proficiency, localization and globalization issues, and lack of training to name a few.

Also Read:

How Medical Translation Can Help To Heal Patients?

Clinical Trials and their Importance in Medical Industry

Role of Medical Translation Services in Improving the Health of Patients

How to Increase Revenue and Patients in a Medical Practice

The Importance of Medical Translation

Free Translation Apps for iPhone

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