6 rules for obtaining quality HEALTHCARE TRANSLATIONS

Healthcare is one of the highly specialized areas of the translation industry. Although quality control is the most fundamental requirement for any type of translation, when dealing with people’s lives, the concept gains a whole new importance. But what are the basic rules for obtaining a quality translation of Healthcare texts? Let us find out!


  1. Always look for the legal sources

In highly regulated areas, such as medical and pharmaceutical industries, to be familiarized with the international legal framework must be one of the top concerns. Content from European and American main regulating bodies as well as different national regulatory organizations provide abundant resources for healthcare translation experts.


  1. Speak the real language 

As with all other areas, an excellent command of the source and target languages is of the utmost importance. However, the additional understanding of the common practice of written healthcare content production is vital. The habit of reading medical documents is a lifesaver, and acronym and abbreviations databases, for example, are fundamentals to a specialized translator’s toolbox.


  1. Get expert subject matter support

Relying on the support and input of medical/healthcare specialists is an invaluable resource for achieving flawless translated content.


  1. Be prepared to adapt

Although many of the concepts and standard good practice are the same for all customers, each company has specific terminology, particularly in marketing and patient focused content (versus medical staff focused content). The translator must be flexible and consistent in adapting content to those specific requirements.


  1. Check and double check

Translation quality control is not only a final verification by the translator; backtranslations, specialist reviews and in-country validations are only some of the steps to take in ensuring maximum compliance with legal and customer requirements. Never forget that a translation mistake (even a tiny one) may one day compromise a patient’s life!


  1. Follow the industry

To know the customer is just the first layer of all the information healthcare translators must have. To know the industry as a whole – trends, common issues, legal changes, economical impacts, among others – is a rich knowledge base from which to produce top quality translated content.

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