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Difficulties in Medical Translations

Difficulties in Medical Translations

Medical translations can be divided into two categories: information and promotion. Each of them requires a different approach to translation. While the latter require more stylistic polish and need to include the sales message, the former serve information purposes only. Our target audience is another important factor which has a huge impact on the final version of medical translation. Even though the text may cover the same topic, the style of writing will be different for doctors and for patients. Therefore, it is necessary for medical translators to know the target audience before they begin their work.

Medical translations require not only linguistic skills related to source and target languages but also the knowledge of medical terms. When it comes to translating medical terminology, translators have to deal with the interpretation of various abbreviations and acronyms. Since they may have more than one meaning, it is the translator’s task to figure out the right one for a particular context.  Due to the rapid development of technology new medical terms are frequently developed and medical translators need to update their knowledge to be able to provide proper translations.

Another key issue that has to be taken into consideration in medical translation is responsibility. Mistakes made in other types of translations have not as serious consequences as those in medical field. An improper translation of Oncology research or a document related to new drug application might result in incorrect treatment of patients which, in some cases, can be life-threatening. Therefore, medical translations should be often consulted with specialists in order to avoid potential mistakes and translators should be always aware of a great responsibility they have.

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