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Why medical translations are important

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medical translations

Document translation and interpreting services are essential in medicine, and medical translations are therefore a mainstay service offered by a translation agency. We need to appreciate how difficult a medical text is to deal with, especially when drafted in a language that is not ours.

In most cases the specific vocabulary encountered in medicine and pharmacology seems unintelligible to us. It tends to give us the feeling of unraveling a text written in another language. Things become even more complicated when you’re not in your own country and the doctor’s prescription is not even written in your language.

It’s clear that the work of medical translators is essential in ensuring that people from other countries can understand health personnel.


When we need translation services

There are many occasions when the work of a translator is vital for a fluent communication between doctor and patient, and it’s absolutely essential that this work is performed by specialized translators, backed by translation agencies that are devoted to medical translation.


Assistance when visiting the doctor

This is the most common occasion when the translation service becomes necessary. Both doctor and patient must be sure that the message has been conveyed faithfully. It’s therefore important for us to master the technical language of doctors, as well as the colloquial expressions and the most common phrases used in patient care.

This quality must be high both in the medical consultation and in any process that might be carried out in an outpatient clinic. On these occasions, the translator acts as an interpreter and a cultural mediator, since most of the communication is oral, and adapts the message to the target culture. We need to be sure that the doctor understands the symptoms and that the patient understands the instructions given by health personnel.


The written diagnosis

Both the assessments made in the doctor’s surgery and a medical report are documented in writing. This type of record may include details ranging from the patient’s name and personal data, to their history, why they visited the doctor, what the diagnosis was and what prescriptions they should take.

When these documents are translated by qualified professionals, there is a guarantee that the patient understands everything. With a document written in their own language, it is much easier for patients to understand what is said in a foreign language. They can follow the instructions much better and make far fewer mistakes.


Medicine information leaflets

Medical translations are essential in the case of medicine information leaflets. These tend to include a large amount of technical terminology that is already difficult to understand in our language. For a person who doesn’t fully understand the language, it is therefore necessary to translate the leaflet that contains information as sensitive as the correct dosage or the possible adverse effects of the medication.

Medical translation services carried out by qualified personnel facilitate the necessary and essential communication between doctor and patient.



This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) Français (French) Nederlands (Dutch)