Why Pharma Translation Needs A Medical Translator
Statista, in its report on ‘Global Pharmaceutical Industry’ stated that the revenue of this sector exceeded 1 trillion US dollars for the first time in the year 2014. The constant breakthroughs in scientific research and the growing inclination to make healthcare available to masses have made the pharmaceutical industry hold great importance in today’s time. Before any product is introduced into the market, it undergoes a period of trial and testing aimed at confirming its safety and efficacy. This means there’s a good amount of documentation that takes place to record every stage of this process.
Pharmaceutical products are intended to be distributed beyond borders by both, big and upcoming companies alike. This is where translation enters into the picture and plays a vital role till the product is made ready for sale in the target market. Test procedures, user manuals, case report forms; drug labels and inserts, instructions for usage of medical devices and software, consent forms, localization of website content, newsletters are the kinds of content that are translated under this domain.
Translation of the above mentioned content must be done by a native, domain specific translator. Here are the reasons why:
- A language can certainly be acquired but the proficiency of a native level translator is bound to be superior to someone who has been learning it for some years. So, the ideal translator is someone who has strong linguistic skills in both, source and target language because being native in one language and having less than advanced proficiency in the other, would still leave some room for error.
- A native translator may well be an expert in certain subject matters or fields but this expertise cannot be transferred from one field to another. If a translator isn’t an expert in a particular domain, he or she would not be able to translate the document in a justifiable way or may end up providing acontextual translation.
- The kind of language and terminology used in a purely medical document is not something everyone is able to comprehend, let alone paraphrase in a professional manner. A relevant educational background and/or work experience in the required field is a must, in order to work on translation.
From the above points, it is evident that being a native translator isn’t enough to be a good medical translator. Since the product has a possibility of global reach and impact, it becomes increasingly essential for the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to carefully select translators who would work on their documents.