GTE Localize

3 Levels of Vietnamese Medical Translation Services

Posted by Anne Q. on October 25, 2021.

Translation is not merely just about translating words from one language to another. Other than translating, many other steps such as editing, proofreading, DTP, LQA, and LSO are included in this process to guarantee the accuracy of a document, especially when it comes to Vietnamese medical translation services where utmost accuracy is a must.

Each mentioned step plays a distinct role in the overall quality of your translations. Thus, depending on the purpose of your medical documents, translation agencies will recommend you use a different level of translation services. In the scope of this blog, we will discuss your three choices of levels for Vietnamese medical translation services as well as three additional services you should consider.

Before starting, let’s take a look at the list of common medical documents that should be translated for the Vietnamese audiences:

    • Drug labelling and packaging
    • Patient instructions
    • Instructions for use (IFUs)
    • Standard operating procedures
    • Patient records
    • Clinical trials
    • Patient instructions
    • Medica brochures
  • Medical findings
  • Pharmacological studies
  • Medical journals
  • Physician manuals

Translation Only (TO)

Translation Only (usually called by its short-form TO) is the most basic level of translation. Only one translator takes responsible for translating your whole medical document. After translating, this translator will act as an editor to self-review their own translations.



The most outstanding advantage of this level of Vietnamese medical translation services is cost-saving. The fewer people get involved, the less money you have to pay, and of course, the turnaround time can be reduced significantly.


One big problem of Translation Only is the quality of translations. Even though translators still perform two separate steps – translate and self-review, it is likely that they are not completely objective when reviewing their own translations. There might be many errors that are overlooked or missed during this process. Meanwhile, medical translations are among the most challenging types of translations that require exceptional accuracy and regular update to meet the regulatory authority’s requirements. Therefore, for specialized medical documents, this level of translation services might not bring “good enough” quality.

When to use TO

In general, we do not recommend Translation Only for Vietnamese medical projects. It should only be used for single-use content or for internal purposes (e.g. for your employees to understand the general content of a medical document).


Translation + Editing (TE)

A Translation + Editing (TE) project is assigned to two separate linguists – one translator and one editor. Once the translator completes translating and self-revising the documents, he/she sends them to the editor who reviews the whole translations to detect and correct errors relating to

    • Wording
    • Language-use Mistakes
    • Inconsistencies
    • Sentence Structures
    • Misuse Terminology



At GTE Localize, we sometimes call this level of translation “4-eye-principle services”. Thanks to the involvement of a second linguist, the translations will be reviewed more objectively and most of the time, a lot of mistakes that the translator misses in the self-review step are found and corrected. You can expect an almost-perfect and error-free medical translations when using TE.

TE is the most preferred level of Vietnamese medical translation services as it balances cost, quality, and turnaround time.


The turnaround time for Translation + Editing is averagely 1.5 times longer than that for Translation Only. That means it might not be the best choice when you need the Vietnamese version of a document urgently. Additionally, if you have a very limited budget, this level will not be an ideal choice.

When to use TE

Vietnamese translations undergone these two steps can be used for important external publications such as instructions for use or medical journals.


Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP)

When you choose Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP) services for your Vietnamese translation projects, your medical documents will be in the good hands of three different native linguists. Besides a translator and editor, a proofreader will revise the translated and edited documents in the third step. While the editor’ job is to read and compare the source files with the translated files to detect errors, proofreaders focus only on the translated versions of your documents. They read the translations to make sure the content is smooth and natural while the visuals are on point.

What do proofreaders pay attention to?

    • Typing errors
    • Spelling and punctuality
    • Grammar mistakes
    • Consistent language
    • Native expression
    • Overall format/layout



This process involves three professional linguists with solid medical backgrounds so you can rest assured of the accuracy and smoothness of the translations. As the layout is also adapted to the length of the target language, your documents are ready to publish.


It is quite obvious that with three linguists working on your projects, you will have to pay a much higher rate, followed by a longer turn-around time. Unless you have a loose budget and a long time frame, this service is not what you are looking for.

What to use TEP

TEP Vietnamese medical translation services are recommended for medical documents with high content of visuals such as brochures, apps, or websites.


Other Vietnamese Medical Translation Services

Desktop Publishing (DTP)

Desktop Publishing (DTP) is the process of creating page layouts for printed documents or online content through the use of page layout software on a personal computer. DTP is usually performed after the editing and proofreading steps for high visuals types of content.

You should use this service if your Vietnamese medical documents are

    • White papers
    • Newsletters
    • Website pages
    • Brochures
    • Leaflets
    • Journals

Tools for DTP

Tools for Desktop Publishing (DTP)

Linguistic Sign-Off (LSO)

Linguistic Sign-Off or In-Context Review is the process of reviewing the final version of a document and other high-visibility materials after they have been laid out and finalised in the Desktop Publishing step. In this process, all visual aspects such as layout, fonts, figures, photos, headlines, and so on are thoroughly examined from the perspective of users in order to optimize their reading and using experience.


Linguistic Quality Assessment (LQA)

Linguistic Quality Assessment (LQA) is the process of evaluating the quality of a translated document. Reviewers use a set of pre-standardized criteria (LQA form) to report and classify all errors before calculating the overall points for the translations.

Performing this step allows linguists to review and correct their translation quickly based on the recommendations from reviewers and identify the areas that need improvement or additional training for future projects.

For complex types of content like medical, healthcare, pharmaceutical, etc., we suggest you use this additional service for the best quality translations.


Choose the right Vietnamese medical translation services

GTE Localize is a Vietnamese based translation agency with a strong suit in medical translation. Our team has completed hundreds of Vietnamese medical translation projects for numerous clients around the world. With our knowledge and experience in the Vietnamese market, we bring you comprehensive Vietnamese medical translation services from best-in-class Vietnamese linguists with 5+ years of experience and a solid background in medical at the most reasonable price.

Our list of Vietnamese medical translation services includes:

    • Translation Only (TO)
    • Translation + Editing (TE)
    • Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP)
    • Desktop Publishing (DTP)
    • Linguistic Sign-Off (LSO)
    • Linguistic Quality Assessment (LQA)
    • Medical Transcription & Video Subtitling

Vietnamese medical translation services

Book a 1:1 consultancy with localization experts and let us help you reach your Vietnamese audiences through our high-quality Vietnamese medical translation services.