How Linguistic Services Support
The Medical Sector
Health is a global issue and providing quality medical care is a global challenge. This has been illustrated countless times, most recently during the Covid-19 pandemic. Clearly, global cooperation is essential in medicine – and this is where medical translation and interpretation come in: Medical translation and interpretation services enable global cooperation through clear communication, helping the medical sector respond to diseases and provide the best care for patients. In today’s blog we will look into medical translation and interpretation and see what these services are needed for.
Medical translation is a highly specialised field within life sciences translation services, which requires expert knowledge in linguistics as well as in medicine. Medical translations are needed for a very wide range of different documents. They can be requested by individual patients, patient associations, doctors, researchers, public institutions, pharmaceutical companies, etc. Typical texts that medical translators work on include the following:
– Research papers
– Patient health records and laboratory results
– Therapeutic guidelines
– Publications (journal articles, books, etc.) on medicine
– Health-related newspaper articles
– Medication package inserts
– Consent forms for patients
– Health insurance policies
– Product labels
– Instruction leaflets for medical equipment
– Surveys for patients, doctors or researchers
Interpretation services (both consecutive and simultaneous) are used widely in the medical field. There are even cases in which law demands interpreters to be present in medical settings, for example when doctors inform patients about risks of medical procedures. Some typical interpretation requirements in the medical and pharmaceutical sector include the following:
– Conversations between patients and doctorsduring first aid or appointments
– Presentations at international medical conferences
– Patient interviewsessions (with single patients or in groups), for example for medical trials, market research for medical products, etc.
– Expert interviews
Interpretation services have traditionally been provided on site. Now, however, interpretation is also offered over the phone or via video calls. Remote interpretation is particularly useful in urgent cases in which there is simply not enough time for the interpreters to travel to the locations where they are needed. However, there are also quite a lot of other cases in which clients preferinterpreters to work remotely, for example when they live too far away.
Medical Speech Transcription & Translation
There is another, often overlooked, type of linguistic service, which is particularly often requested in life sciences: Transcription with or without translation. Unless you are a linguist, you areprobably not very familiar with this term, so let’s explain briefly: Transcription means to convert recorded audio material (for example phone recordings) into written text, i.e. to write it down. Clients can choose to have the spoken content written in the original language OR in the original language and in translation OR directly in translation (without writing down the original). Clients can also choose between literal transcriptionservices that will include absolutely all utterances (includingfilling words and sounds), or transcription services that provide“polished” versions of the spoken content, which read fluently and smoothly. A quality life science translation service agency can help you decidewhich option is best for you!
Medical speech transcription and translation services are needed for a wide range of audio files. Examples include recordings of interviews with patients (for needs assessments, during medical trials, etc.), discussions with healthcare professionals (for reviews/audits of hospitals, to hear their viewpoints on new treatment options, etc.), statements by public health institutions, etc..