An Introduction to Translation and the Biomedical Industry

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Because of developments in technology and the rise of affordable travel options, the world continues to shrink.  Globalization has caused numerous opportunities for people to find the best health treatments anywhere in the world. This has led to a growing need for translation services within the healthcare and biomedical industry. Here is a brief introduction on the impact of biomedical translation services.

Explaining Medical Translation

The benefits of medical tourism comes with many challenges, particularly language barriers. Most medical translations are used to explain new medicines, clinical trials, general medical information, and medical devices. Translating documents is also necessary so that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can provide the right kind of care and treatment to people who speak another language.

Healthcare professionals need to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with their patients, regardless of the language they speak. A skilled professional translator is a mediator for the patient and doctor, translating any necessary documentation about medical histories, patient discomfort, test results, costs of treatment and so on. They also translate any documentation that needs to be signed.

A specialized area of medical translation is biomedical translation, which relies on terminology. Specialist terms in medicine account for roughly 5-10% of technical translations. Translators, translation service providers, and translation agencies need to understand the richness and nuance of each language they translate. Some terms simply need a different ending, while certain phrases need to be reorganized to sound less scary to the intended audience. Translators shouldn’t be afraid to omit empty phrases and archaic or rhetorical terms that dress up functions or declarations.

Why Biomedical Translation Matters

Translating terminology clearly and consistently is vital to today’s healthcare and medical tourism industry. Being able to translate documents helps physicians get access to foreign patient records, and helps patients understand the procedures and treatments. Biomedical translation can prevent mistakes in translating documents or interpreting verbal communications, which can cause major harm to patients and legal ramifications to their doctors.

There are several legal reasons for using a biomedical translator or translation service. There are numerous laws within the European Union (EU) concerned with medicines, medical devices, and diagnostic tests that explicitly state what information to make available to users. For example, there is a law in the EU that requires translation of all information within the union into the official languages where medical products will be sold. If a country does not adhere to this law, then they can’t legally sell medicine or medical devices.

Doctor Writing

Biomedical translation is also important to the pharmaceutical industry. Prescription medicines and other pharmaceutical products are developed and manufactured in several developed countries. Professional translators understand how to succinctly translate complex medical and technical terminology. Sometimes, professional translation services and agencies will need to hire a linguist to translate or interpret medical and technical terms and phrases that the general public isn’t aware of. Life-threatening mistakes can happen when translators aren’t fluent in medical terminology, target languages, or both. With Tembua, Inc., you can rest assured that this will not be an issue as they work with Subject Matter Experts to revise their translations to ensure accuracy.

To learn more about biomedical translation, contact Tembua, Inc. at 1-952-435-8178 or visit their website at