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4 Medical Translation Mistakes To Avoid

4 Medical Translation

4 Medical Translation

A translation has to be correct, error-free, and accurate. Whether it is about science and medical translation or biotechnology. Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary science that talks about the theoretical knowledge of biology as well as biochemistry, chemistry, and physics. It also helps with living organisms which could be either yeast or bacteria or living organisms’ parts. The professional medical knowledge and content are thoroughly different from the everyday conversation and exchange of ideas. Therefore, in order to work on a quality and error-free translation you need to make sure that the translators on board are the ones with relevant expertise. Medical translation is a broad field and contains regulatory translation as well. Hence, there is no point that one can do that without sound knowledge of the field and industry jargon. The process of translation has been evolving since the start.

The translators and companies keep witnessing changes and updates that are significant for better translation and striving in the global market. The mistakes and errors in the medical field often lead to life-or-death issues with further unpleasant variants. Medical companies do not bear such errors in medical leaflets or information brochures or any kind of content.

Here are a few common errors that occur in language translation for healthcare.

Hiring a medical translator without medical expertise

To err is human. Mistakes can occur and can go unnoticed. The main services that translation agencies have to offer are rectifying these mistakes. They should do that before sending the final draft. The first ever mistake occurs when you hire a medical translator who lacks proper training and competency. Though the budget issues do make sense and the cheap services also appeal. However, there are certain services on which you can not compromise on quality and accuracy. Medical and medical regulatory documents translation are a few of these. However, considering how errors in medical translation cause serious consequences. A medical translator is responsible for his work. Therefore, the selection of translators should be wise. They should be highly educated and should be working in the medical field for years. Also, they should have relevant training as well as proven experience in the medical field.

Not considering the target audience

Overall, translation in any subject is only acceptable when you do it considering the target audience. You can excel in translation when you know the preferences and choices of your target audiences. The second mistake is on the translator’s part how many of them do not consider the target audience. Also, you as a medical company should also check with your translation vendor while assigning tasks that only go to the team who is competent and professional. Target audience is primarily important while translating the content and you should narrow down your choices as per the preferences of your target market. The medical text is different when you intend to write for a doctor and it would have rather simple language when you are doing it for the patient. As a patient can barely know about medical concepts but he would be interested to know about his medical reports.

Likewise, if you are writing about medical equipment or biotechnology translation services, it is significant to be mindful of your target audience. Furthermore, it is also important that you produce content that is error-free and easy to comprehend for your audience. While you are explaining a certain text targeting doctors by explaining the surgery procedures and its steps, you don’t necessarily have to do that for the patient as he can hardly understand all this. What you want to convey and how to convey both are different things and it is extremely vital for you to understand the difference.

Use of incorrect symbols and pictures 

Many medical translators while performing medical and professional compliance translation often find it convenient to use symbols and pictograms unnecessarily. However, what is important is to scan whether the person you are writing for understands what it means. This is why many pictograms and symbols have been standardized and internationally recognized as well. This is particularly important to make people realize that everything exists for a reason and symbols also have their significant use. It is important to translate to the lab staff that it is crucial to rinse your eyes and hands after direct exposure to certain medications and also you have to keep these out of children’s reach.

Not polishing the skill and updating the knowledge

The rules and regulators as well as the medical language overall are in constant change. This fatal mistake is made by almost every one of them. The translators do not find it necessary to keep track of the latest happenings in the medical field. For professional biotechnology translation services, it is extremely vital to stay updated and keep observing what is happening in biotechnology. As the field of biotechnology is witnessing many new inventions lately and biotechnologists are working round the clock to make some amazing discoveries for the betterment of humanity. Also, medical language is so full of neologisms that are newly invented words and expressions. If a medical translator has not upgraded his knowledge he might lack the use of the terms in the right way. 

Therefore, it is evident that translators do not ignore the fact of keeping an eye on the content that relates to their field even if they are not working and taking a break. Best biotechnology translation services are only accomplishable when the team involved including translators and interpreters keep themselves posted about the new happenings in the field.


The Medical Field is a sensitive and broad field. The translation of medical text demands 100% accuracy and precision. However, there are some errors that translators commit frequently. The first one is on the medical company’s part. They often go after inexperienced translators to save some bucks. Also, translators for medical translations often fail to keep track of new happenings in the medical field and also often use symbols and pictograms without context and without considering their target audience. They should always work to rectify their mistakes.