“I love that I get to learn new things every day”


jenna medical translator

14 Aug “I love that I get to learn new things every day”

Today, we are interviewing Jenna, an Okomeds medical translator who is giving us some insights about her job.

1. What is the most difficult problem that you have ever met in a medical translation?

Abbreviations are always tricky, but they are a particular concern in medical translations where they can convey critical information. They can often be quite difficult to discern, since the meaning can vary between institutions, countries and contexts, and they are often left undefined in the source file. Doctors’ handwriting would definitely be near the top of my list as well.

2. Do you think that any translator can properly work as a medical translator? Why?

Not immediately. It is a field that requires specialization and training; time and guidance is required to reach the necessary level. There is a lot of industry-specific terminology that varies from country to country, so it requires knowledge not only of the translation process and the medical field, but these nuances as well.

3. What do you do when you do not have new translation projects?

We have a large organic garden and I spend a lot of time with our plants when I’m not in the office. I love kickboxing and train 4-5 days a week. My kids and I also love exploring our local beach, especially at low tide.

A big part of translation is research, which I enjoy


4.What do you like the most about your work?

I love that I get to learn new things every day. A big part of translation is research, which I enjoy. I never know what knew facts I’ll run into.

5. Do you see doctors, nurses and other medical specialists in a different way since you are a medical translator?

Yes. Learning more about the industry in general has certainly helped me to better understand the way they work on a day-to-day basis and the pressures they face.

6. If you are a freelance translator, how do you separate your personal and professional life? Do you find it difficult?

Working from home can be rather difficult in this respect. I try to work during set hours to give my schedule a bit of “normalcy.” Fortunately, my family is very understanding when I have to work outside of those hours.

7. What advise will you give to another medical translator?

Stay connected with the field. Read. Research. Keep learning. Medical technology is changing rapidly and there are lots of sources for fascinating articles about new developments and challenges. You can never have too much knowledge.


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