Medical translations – the proper expertise is crucial

Medical texts are especially sensitive because they affect so many aspects of human health. Whether it is drug information, medical equipment manuals, clinical studies, reports, patient charts or patient education materials, it is essential for the text to be written in the native language of the patient or medical staff, and for all information to be correct.

It is really a matter of course that labels and other information for patients should be in their first language, in order to prevent accidents due to incorrect use of the products. But texts intended for doctors and other medical staff may also need to be translated. People often rely on the staff understanding English, for example, but unfortunately not everyone is as fluent in their second or third language as they think. Even if you have excellent skills in a foreign language, it can be easy to misunderstand important aspects of the text. Read more about authorisation here.

What does a medical translator do?

One question we often receive is whether we or our translators are certified in medicine. The answer is that Sweden has no official certification for medical translation. The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency’s authorisation also does not cover the medical field.

Medical translators have extensive experience with translating medical texts. This involves knowledge of terminology and stylistic register within the field. These translators often specialise in one or several types of medicine or text, because the medical field is so overarching, with so many linguistic levels. The task of the translator is to create a functioning text in the target language, which is their native language, and to ensure it has the proper tone and expressions for the target group.

But the translator is rarely a doctor or researcher him or herself, although many have some form of education in the field. When it comes to sensitive information or texts with highly specialised terminology, it is therefore important to have the text reviewed by an expert with the proper language skills. We do not check that the text is compliant with laws and directives in the intended market.

What do you get with Språkbolaget?

At Språkbolaget, you will always have the same contact person who will learn your particular conditions and stylistic register. By using the same translator for every project, we ensure the translator learns your specific subject, incorporates feedback and builds glossaries. A close dialogue between translator, project manager and customer is important in order to rectify any lack of clarity in the text and avoid mistakes.

Keep in mind that skilled translators book up quickly, so contact us early in the process. Our project managers will help you schedule time for translation, fact checking by an expert, proofreading and feedback.

Read more:

Read about our medical translations for Invinn and Sahlgrenska University Hospital.