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THE NEED FOR ACCURACY IN MEDICAL TRANSLATION

29 Jun The need for accuracy in medical translation

Medicine is one of the oldest branches of human knowledge. Most of its terms have Latin and Greek roots, and are still used in combination with more modern words. These characteristics mean that medical texts have a strongly objective nature and complete emotional neutrality. Bearing these characteristics in mind, it could be said that medical translation has three main features: truthfulness, precision, and clarity.

Most medical terms have Latin and Greek roots, and are still used in combination with more modern words.
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Medical texts are usually translated from or into English, although this is not always the case. English is characterised by a great degree of simplicity and clarity, which makes it highly suitable for scientific and technical texts. In addition, it is the language of the main medical industries and the language of global communication. The complexity of this kind of translation comes from its lexical items, as Greek and Latin terms are frequently used, as well as compound, hyphenated words, acronyms, and everyday words that have another meaning in technical texts.

Bearing in mind that factors that characterise medical translations, they must be made with great accuracy, as any mistranslation might endanger patients’ lives.

To translate as accurately as required, medical translators should have deep knowledge of the target and source languages, as well as specific knowledge of medical language. A medical translator should not only translate the text but have up-to-date knowledge of medical terms and of all the sources of references that provide quality, faithful information. For this reason, a medical translator should have medical knowledge and be qualified in the various medical specialities, such as pharmacology, biotechnology, cardiology, pathology, etc.

Because of all these factors, and in order to achieve the accuracy required for medical translation, you should trust professional teams that have the right training and knowledge.

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