Peace of mind for your medical translations

Medical and Pharmaceutical
French, German, Spanish and Dutch
Turnaround time
9000 words in six working days


We were asked to translate a screener and main survey by one of our regular medical market research clients. The main challenge, was unusually not timings but rather technical content, working across a range of source formats and deciphering the complex file format structure to ensure correct and cohesive translations.


Once we had selected the best linguists for the project from our database of medical translation specialist linguists, we began preparing the files for translation.

As is standard practice for many of our market research clients, the survey was originally drafted in Word format, then programmed into survey software which provided us with XMLs for translation. The structure of the XMLs on this project was particularly complex, with many inserts to take into account and AND/OR coding depending on the respondent’s screening criteria.

The topic of the survey, targeting medical professionals in the oncology field, also meant there were a lot of technical terms and differences between markets that could not be translated with a one-size-fits-all approach.

When we had prepared the files for translation, we found that one of the files had a technical issue due to a rogue code. The section of text affected was identified quickly and translators were informed to ensure they would translate this section separately so the project didn’t slow down in any way.

Linguists, as always, were encouraged to query any issues they had during the project with their Project Manager. On this project it was quickly established that there were two types of queries emanating from the translation team: questions regarding the structure of the files for translation (where everything fit in the XMLs compared to the original Word sources) and questions regarding the text for translation itself.

Two query lists were drawn up. Technical issues were answered by our Project Manager – all of our Project Managers are well trained in working in various file formats especially XMLs from survey software – and textual queries were forwarded to the client (after making sure that other linguists in the team were not able to provide answers).

Solutions were also simultaneously being tested for the technical issue to see if it could be resolved prior to delivery.


The translations were delivered to the client on time and complete.  Thanks to the dual query lists, the client was not bothered with a long list of queries that we were able to solve in-house, and only saw the pertinent queries that required an end-client input. The separate technical investigations were also completed and although the main file was found to be incomplete, the missing text, that had been translated in the meantime, was delivered alongside the main translated files, for the client to easily slot into the surveys once the files were uploaded back into the survey software. The client was pleased that the potential issues caused by their file structure had not caused delays in the process and that we were able to resolve serious issues without their input.


"Thanks very much again for accommodating our last minute request - given the crunch timeline. We appreciate the detailed & thorough checking which was very helpful to meet our timeline to launch fieldwork on time."


Senior Research Executive Market Research Agency

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