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All About Medical Translation Services

By: Norman Sheppard

In many places around the world as well as in the United States, a huge industry has grown around medical translation services. According to Language Scientific, the USA in particular, outsources a great portion of medical products to other countries. This explains why translations from English to other languages are important to companies that engage in developing products for research facilities and hospitals. Pharmaceutical companies also need these services. Translating also reaches a higher level of difficulty when employees have to understand and translate technical language, rather than just everyday conversation. Since the words being translated are not ordinary English and due to the sensitive nature of medical information in general, consumers must be extra careful when hiring or outsourcing medical translation services.

Some translation companies are not staffed or run by certified employees. These companies perform their own training and reviews internally and do not refer to a regulatory board. All companies are permitted to make their own decisions about this because it is perfectly legal to do everything internally.

When someone wants to hire professional translators, however, it is important to take this into consideration. Especially if hiring a company for the first time, it is wise to seek service providers with professional staff who have ISO 9001 certification. This certification must be maintained and ensures customers that a translation company updates their learning, teaching and project management systems to standards set by the International Organization for Standardization.

You can have your translations done in one of two ways. It can be done using translation software that was developed to meet ISO standards, but it does not work automatically and demands trained intervention and review. The second way, of course, is to order human translation services. This means a real person will work on your documents, which many companies prefer. Most medical translation companies require that the target language be the translator native language.

Once you have a relationship with a particular company, assessing their service quality is easy. When they have converted English instruction manuals or booklets to French, Korean, Dutch or Chinese, you will know how they work. If you do not have any experience with medical translation services, then the ISO 9001 is verification that they can produce quality works and are staying up to date in industry terminology. As with any outsourcing service, there is no guarantee that you will have a positive experience, or that every document will be perfect, but the certification is reassuring when you need to choose a provider. Your best bet is to look into long standing, professional companies that specialize in whatever type of translation you seek, be it medical or otherwise.

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