Medical Translation Services & Costs – What You Need to Know

Do you need a medical document translated?  Maybe you are just wondering how much medical translation services costs.

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a medical translation services.  If you keep these questions in mind, you will have a better idea of how much to pay for a translation.  As always, our expert staff is always happy to answer any questions you may have about getting your medical translation done right, the first time.

1 – Who is the intended audience?

A translation of a medical journal and a community resource guide have different audiences.  Knowing the intended audience can help the translator maintain the same voice that the author uses in the original text.

2 – Do you need to have it localized or globalized?

This goes along with the first point.  Localization or globalization may be appropriate for your document, depending on your purpose.  It may be important to transpose certain information, like standard measurements into metric measurements.  You may also need the dates to be written as day/month/year, rather than month/day/year, as we use in the United States.  If you are not sure what cultural differences may lie between you and your audience, don’t worry!  Even if you do not need a whole document translated, translators are also cultural experts who can tell you if something does sound right, or if it has other connotations.  This should be a conversation between you and your translator, so that you can most precisely reach your target audience.

3 – How technical is the terminology?

As I have mentioned in other blogs about legal translation, technical terminology requires an expert translator.  Most translators may feel comfortable translating some nutrition tips for diabetic patients, but not detailed descriptions of illnesses and treatments.  This is another place where audience matters, as linguistic differences within a single language may confuse the intended message.

4 – Is it really a legal document?

Some medical documents are also legal documents.  Consent forms, privacy practices, and DNR’s are common examples.  The content of these documents is highly complex in both medical and legal terminology.  It’s best to pick a reliable translator, with training in both the medical and legal fields for a task like this.  The consequences of a mistranslation, whether intended or not, can be grave, both for the patient and the medical provider.

5 – Do you need graphics or catch phrases translated?

Sometimes medical translation services can be part of a community education effort.  One example may be a campaign to eat more vegetables.  Let’s imagine that some crack team of marketers decides to call this promotion the “Go Green” campaign.  There is so much more in that phrase than the words itself.  It’s catchy, but why?  This is where the translator comes in…a translator knows why it is catchy.  It’s catchy because it’s short, just two one-syllable words.  It’s alliterative, two words starting with the same sound.  It’s symbolic, going green has cultural meaning, and it also alludes to green vegetables.  If you hire the right translator, they will work to make sure these nuances have the same level of catchiness, dreamed up by the brilliant marketers is maintained.

Need medical translation services?  Get a free quote now.

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