Medical translation is a tricky, unique and highly specialized field of translation where the target language expertise is not the only prerequisite for a successful and quality translation. Yes the translator has to be a native speaker of the target language, but with full subject matter expertise in the medical field and its terminologies to easily overcome the medical translation challenges.
About Medical translations
The medical language is so unique and different from the languages in the other translation fields. Therefore, one must have a medical background for him to perfectly handle a medical translation.
Medical translation requires accuracy, multiple levels of quality control, understanding of regulatory laws and current medical technical knowledge by everyone on the translating team.
Medical translations have faced a number of challenges over time that have made it a complicated practice and this comes along with numerous negative consequences of which careless loss of lives is a part of them. Therefore, any small misinterpretation in medical terms will perhaps cost someone’s life.
Major Medical translation Challenges
Here are some of the challenges faced in the medical translation process that have made it a quite testing profession.
Medical translations major challenge is the terminological problem. Medical field terminologies are continually evolving and changing every day and time that goes by.
With the World Health Organization (WHO), (www.who.int) statistics, it was estimated that thousands of new medical terminologies evolve every year hence medical personnel and translators have to be responsive to these adjustments and continuously update their medical knowledge so as to deliver superb quality medical translations.
More so, these evolving new medical terminologies are not the same in all the countries, I mean, every country has its unique terminologies that can’t be found in any other area. This is also a very big challenge to the translation agency. Therefore medical translators have to regularly do a lot of medical research and keep databases of all the medical terminologies used in most countries so as to be able to perform at a steadily high standard rate.
Linguistic problems is the other big challenge to medical translators. These linguistic challenges are put under two classes i.e. morphology and syntax. Morphology observes aspects like compounding, source, in-flexion of the document etc. whereas syntax looks at the arrangement and relationship of words in any medical document. What makes it difficult is that every language has its organization of morphology and syntax structure which makes translating them to a different language a core task.
Tense use is also different in most countries for example Romanian medical researchers always use past tense which may be a hard task for translators in that language in choosing which tense to use in their translations.
Medical translation needs keen attention, dedication, care, qualification and hard work so as to avoid small careless errors that may end up affecting people’s health conditions or if anything cost their lives.