23 Aug The crucial role of medical translators in dietetics and nutrition
For some years now, an increase in deficient diets has been observed in industrialised countries. This has consequences that affect the health of many people. Among others, we are already seeing an alarming increase in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. What role do medical translators specialising in nutrition play in alleviating these consequences?
Medical translators in nutrition to alleviate dietary deficiencies
Deficient diets mean that more and more people are checking the nutritional information on products when they buy them or before they consume them. This is not only the case for basic foodstuffs, but it also applies to dietary products and food supplements, which are increasingly becoming available on the market. So the nutrition labels, technical data sheets and all the documentation involved, like handwritten doctors’ documents, must be correctly translated in order to allow everyone to consume the right products.
However, translation in nutrition and dietetics goes beyond that. Without a doubt, one of the most important things is the translation of nutritional research in order to apply advances as quickly as possible and thus help to alleviate nutrition-related illnesses. This includes clinical trials, research abstracts, scientific journals, nutritional education guides, informative texts, monographs and even diets and recipes.
What are medical translators specialised in nutrition like?
This is not a job for just any translator, since it requires a professional translator specialised in nutrition. This is a translator who is familiar with nutritional, chemical and pharmaceutical terminology, both in the source language and in the target language.
The translator must also be a specialist that knows how to adapt the target language to suit the audience, whether they are health professionals or the general public.
Translation also involves knowledge and research in nutrition, food and health science. In addition, it requires clear and precise communication, as they provide solutions for both cures and preventive measures.
What do specialist medical translators have to consider when translating?
Food supplements vs medicines
Some products may be considered food supplements in some countries but medicines in others. Translations need to ensure that products are labelled accurately and in compliance with local regulations.
Sometimes different products are only for patients with specific conditions. For example, athletes, pregnant women, children or adults. Each of the groups that the medicine can be used by may have different nutritional requirements according to their physical characteristics.
There may be metric variations in a translation, such as weight, sizes, portions, calories, etc. It may be that in one country weight is measured in “kg” (kilograms) and in another in “lbs” (pounds) or ounces. Or perhaps cups are used instead of millilitres. So, if the system changes, the number will also change.
There are always differences in style depending on the type of text. However, one characteristic of this type of text is clarity in the presentation of the facts since these texts are designed to inform.
Abbreviations and terminology
Knowledge of abbreviations in both languages is also very important in order not to make mistakes. In addition, a lot of specific terminology related to biology and nutrition must be mastered and correctly translated.
There is a lot involved in this type of translation and it requires enormous precision, certainty and knowledge. Consequently, you need translators specialised in the field of nutrition in order to guarantee a correct translation. Hire the services of professional translators through a professional translation agency like Okomeds – people’s health is at stake!