14 May Four requirements for the perfect medical translator
Medical translators are specialist professional translators with an essential role: translating medical content for health professionals or patients. In both cases, the job is very demanding and requires many skills such as accuracy and confidentiality, in addition to the four shown below.
1. They must be familiar with medical terminology
This first skill may seem obvious. However, it is not just about knowing the medical and scientific terms, they need to really understand them in order to provide rigorous and accurate translations.
Therefore, the perfect translator is often someone who has already worked in healthcare (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, etc.) or is passionate about medicine on a personal basis.
2. They need to adapt their translations to the target audience
In medical documents, the sentence structures are often as complex as the terminology they contain. However, at times the translation is intended for a non-specialist audience.
The perfect translator will have to produce a flowing translation that can be understood by their target audience, without losing the meaning of the text which, given that these are scientific documents, must be identical.
3. They must be good at technical searches
Translators must constantly read up on the subject to keep technically and scientifically up-to-date. Medicine and science are, in general, two areas in constant evolution and this includes the language used.
They will often have to translate prospectuses for recently discovered drugs, thesis defences or even official scientific publications. In any case, it is essential for translators to have at least some knowledge about the subject matter in order to produce a high-quality professional translation.
4. They need to have training and ideally a university degree
Although in general you do not need a university degree to be a professional translator, this is practically essential for a medical translator.
In fact, companies using medical translators or, more generally, technical translators, have tougher demands than those working with non-specialist translators. It is essential for the translator to have extensive knowledge of the area in which they are translating and the corresponding technical vocabulary.