Medical translation pitfalls

Medical Translation

In our last post we asked our Project Management team for examples of the challenges they face when producing high quality medical translations. Continuing the theme in this post we are looking at the ways an accurate translation, that’s both compliant and contains the correct medical terminology, can help avoid some of the pitfalls of medical translation.

The need for accuracy

As far as The Language Factory is concerned, all our clients’ documents should be translated accurately and to the highest standard required – whether it’s an internal employee newsletter or an academic text for publication.

However, when translating for the medical sector, an exceptional level of accuracy is essential to keep patients safe, among other things. We asked our Head of Project Management, Eirik Olsen, for examples of pitfalls which are avoidable through specialist medical translation. He said:

“Our clients require a wide variety of documents translated within the medical sector, each of which could have costly consequences if not translated with accuracy. Possible hazards from pharmaceutical items, which can occur from mis-translation, can be very harmful to the lives of patients and very costly to the companies involved. This is why it’s very important to have a high quality translation.

“For example, medical equipment comes with information detailing correct procedures and storage. If this information isn’t translated accurately it could lead to misuse of the equipment, which would be a serious danger to patients and doctors. Incorrect storage, another possible consequence of inaccurate translation, could cause expensive wastage for the company involved.

“For clients who need medical translations for international market research, the need for accuracy is just the same for the study and the responses. They need to rely on us so they can release their study on time, gather accurate data and finally release their product on time, in correspondence with their findings. Throughout all of this they need to feel secure that their research and products are compliant with regulations in all the countries involved.”

Quality control

We place quality as our highest priority which is why we’ll never agree to a deadline we can’t meet.

Our Project Managers are experienced in matching medical sources to the mother-tongue translator with the most relevant specialism for any given job. Being linguists themselves, all our PMs perform in-house quality checks, as standard, before delivering projects to our clients.

If you’d like to discuss our full one-stage quality control procedure, or have a medical project coming up, give us a call on +44 1727 862722 or send us an email at


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We have a range of qualified, mother-tongue translators ready to help with specialist medical topics and documentation.

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