Three A’s of Effective Medical Device Translation Services

Translation 1The most important element of medical translation services is, well, three things: accuracy, attention to detail, and appropriateness. Without them, it does not matter what type of technology your translation service uses or the experience of their translators. If they do not have these three attributes, what they produce for you will be less than optimal.


Without accuracy, your translation services are useless. This particularly applies to areas where precision is key, like biomedical translation or where language differences could play a role, like global translation. What that means is that your translators have to be proficient in the language they are translating as well as in the language they are interpreting into. They also have to have specific, professional knowledge and familiarity with the topic they are covering. If they are not, in either case, their translation will be vulnerable to misinterpretation or worse, inaccuracies.

On the financial side, it is critical that they are accurate the first time. You don’t want to have to spend time or money getting a translated document translated again or heavily edited. Your translation service has to be accurate the first time. There is also the issue of liability. If a translation is wrong and end users of a medical device use it incorrectly because of that translation, the liability is extensive, particularly if someone is injured.

Attention to Detail

“The Devil is in the details” is a saying most of us grew up with. This is particularly true with any type of business translation services, such as the medical field, academia, research or manufacturing. If your translators do not pay attention to the little things, they will be overlooked and only discovered when they become a problem. Even grammar has to be heavily scrutinized for accuracy.

For example, if directions on a medical device are inaccurate because of a misinterpretation, that lack of attention to detail can cost millions in liability. It also can harm the reputation of the company in question and in the worst case, cause them to lose credibility in the field in which they work. At best, in that situation, other professionals will look at their products with skepticism and even suspicion.

This is also true from a regulatory and compliance sense. Medical device manufacturers, for example, have strict criteria regarding their devices and how they are brought to market. There are strict rules on how they market the devices, which can rely heavily on translation interpretations. Having a device ruled to be in noncompliance with the law can sideline that device for years, costing the manufacturer millions of dollars.

Translation 2


Ever read those instructions from a foreign country where the translation into English is wrong? They can result in user errors in interpretation. Your translation services have to reflect the native language they are being interpreted into and they have to reflect how people actually communicate.

Language translation services must adhere to these three rules. If they do not, you risk losing business, credibility, and money. If you are in need of language translation services contact Tembua, Inc. and make sure your translators understand these three rules and follow them.