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5 Tips to Prepare For Your Medical Translation of Devices

Posted by Ariel D. on April 29, 2022.

The demand for highly specialized medical translations of devices has become an unavoidable trend in the global era, as the number of scientific works and medical terminology grows each year. The medical devices segment is expected at a CAGR of 5.4% from $455.34 billion in 2021 to $657.98 billion in 2028, owing to a sharp reduction in the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (Fortune Business Insights, 2021).

However, translation issues are difficult to resolve due to the language barrier and the specialized nature of medical devices. So, how should you prepare documents before using medical translation services for devices? This article would introduce 5 things you should remember when preparing medical documents.

1. Have The Final Version of The Document

Implementing a comprehensive and well-structured final version of the document is advantageous. Delivering well-structured, coherent, and accurate content not only assist the translator to reproduce your text accurately but also forms the right consistency of the information.

Furthermore, before handing over a document, consider working with a technical copywriter or reviewer. Because technical writing is a professional skill, incorporating it into medical translation projects from the beginning increases the chances of success.

Grammar is inherently complex between languages, and a tiny difference can result in the opposite of what was originally meant when translated. While medical devices are strict about referencing the original criteria, making too many adjustments to the grammar can cause problems with the device’s operation. For example, if you replace ‘prosthesis’ with ‘implant’ in your English text, the corresponding Polish translation will alter from feminine to masculine.

Of course, that isn’t to say there won’t be any new updates in the future. We only recommend that you keep these to a minimum because they will help you manage your medical translation project budget more effectively.


2. The Files Must Be in An Editable Format

Most converted files may require additional editing before the translator can get to work.

01 medical translation editable files

While all file formats can be converted to editable Word files, the process can be time-consuming. Even the most sophisticated optical character recognition (OCR) software struggles with complex layouts containing tables, formulas, drawings, diagrams, or special characters. As a result, if you can provide editable files, you can save a lot of time by skipping this step.


3. Clarify The Target Audience of Medical Translation

The right messages can be conveyed to the readers by accurately analyzing the target audience of medical device users. Medical documents frequently contain peculiar technical terms, internal technical information that is difficult to understand, and regulatory paperwork that follows convoluted rule patterns. As a result, navigating content toward customers or users should be appropriate, especially for audiences who are less technically savvy.

Understanding customer psychology and language ability facilitate partners in determining the best path to take when transmitting original content.

It’s important to remember that each country’s culture is distinct, even if both are linguistically compatible. For instance, Brazilian Portuguese differs from Portuguese spoken in Portugal in terms of vocabulary and grammar. this language localization creates intangible communication barriers.

As a consequence, medical translation involves not only presenting the original content in a different language to the intended audience but also adapting to various cultures.


4. Have Any Previous Translations or Reference Material

Given the complexity of medical literature, providing some references or previous medical translations can be particularly valuable. Previous translations can ensure consistency and accuracy in communicating information from the documents provided, while references aid in the understanding of specialized terms or broad concepts.

Consider the following scenario: In English manuals, the word “reagent” can be translated as “odczynnik” or “reagent” with each Polish version differing. Although both Polish terms are factual, each item should only have one identity in the technical text.

Typically, when working on large medical translation projects of devices, translators should establish monolingual or multilingual glossaries. The use of these glossaries lays the groundwork for subsequent translation teams to skillfully unify and integrate information. Minimization of cost and time resources will be conceived only if partners prepare references and translations in advance.


5. Consider The Publication-level Quality and Desktop Publishing

02 medical translation GTP

Given the importance of some separate documents, such as medical devices, quality control (QC) steps should be included in the medical translation project lifecycles. In fact, the writing in your printed sales catalog must be perfectly in place and error-free when it is sent to your customers. This can only be done correctly when using QC with stringent requirements for widely distributed content.

Nevertheless, QC may not be required in some cases, such as when the document’s intended use is less critical. For instance, if you only use inside information to provide information, you don’t need to rely on professional translators with time-consuming quality control procedures. As a result of these factors, depending on the intended use of the document, you should consider using QC to control some significant costs.

Moreover, you also should consider Desktop Publishing (DTP) for your medical document since it can bring several advantages. The DTP application, creating documents on a personal computer using page layout software, allows you to easily customize any type of document while also enhancing the page layout’s appearance.

Without UTP, traditionally translated publications such as IFUs, manuals, product catalogs, and so on would be stored in a static file that could not be edited. This complicates translation because we must export to an editable format compatible with our software. After finishing the translations, the translator must return them to the original files. The translation teams may need to adjust margins, text boxes, and fonts to match the original formatting.

In short, we strongly advise you to invest in multilingual DTP, which will save you a significant amount of time and money.


To Sum Up

Medical translation for devices necessitates translators who are not only fluent in multiple languages and possess a high level of medical knowledge but also understand the nature of the document to be translated.

Therefore, with native translators who have extensive experience and knowledge in the medical field, GTE Localize can definitely meet your needs since we specialize in providing medical translation for many major Asian, European, and South American languages. Discover our service now if you plan to work on medical translation.

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