Top 5 Challenges Faced In the Medical Translation

Medical translation is an intricate part of professional translation that requires many details. It involves professionals from different parts of the globe, hence the technicality involved. Translation agencies in the pharmaceutical industry deal with many complexities. Medical translation agencies must work with highly trained professionals with a vast knowledge of medicine to be able to connect healthcare service providers and their beneficiaries.

The industry faces several challenges that only highly trained document translation services can overcome. This informative piece provides more information on the challenges in the field of medical translation.

Unique Features of the Medical Language

Medical language differs from all other forms of translation due to its unique features. The medical language is intricate with specific characteristics that cannot be misinterpreted. One misinterpretation can lead to a disastrous outcome.

 Hence, only professional trained by a medical translation agency can successfully take on medical translation projects. These professionals need years of experience in the industry to work on medical translation service projects.


Medical translation projects usually involve the academic and professional areas of knowledge and practice in the industry. Thus, there are vital factors that determine the success of a project. One of these factors is readability.

Medical language translated for use by experts must be readable and convey the exact meaning. While the use of language may vary due to the participants and other situations, a medical translation document must report the exact terms for it to be relevant.

Communications between a pharmacist and a drug user must be readable to another expert. Specialized conversations between an expert and the general audience should also be simple for better readability.

Dealing with Eponyms

Eponyms are medical terms from the different parts of the human anatomy and other medical-related terms such as medical procedures, diseases, medical symptoms and even medical devices. Examples are Adam’s apple, Bard-Parker Scalpel, Alzheimer’s diseases, and Othello’s syndrome.

Eponyms may pose a challenge as some of them may be eponymous in different languages. Thus, an eponym in English may have a different eponym in German.

Hence, it would take an experienced medical translation professional to translate eponyms successfully without ruining the document.

Legalities in the Global Medical Industry

The global medical industry is a highly regulated specialization with so many laws and policies guiding the stakeholders. Health professionals and companies have stringent laws protecting their operations. Their reputations are at stake as their business involves human life.

Thus, translation agencies must thoughtfully consider these laws and the official documentation languages when dealing with a foreign company. Only an expert translator can understand the basic requirements of these businesses to take on the projects successfully. Translation agencies also have to pay attention to cultural differences and sensitivities while following official regulations stipulated by different countries.

Multi-Sectional Differences

One huge difficulty faced by medical translators is the complexity of the industry. The medical industry is multi-sectional and would require a translator to have vast experience to be able to deliver a complex project.

For example, a translator with good knowledge of medical radiology may not be able to deliver a project on pharmacology successfully. Thus, experience in a particular medical field does not guarantee the success of a project in another field.

How do experts tackle this problem?

 Professional translation service providers work closely with experts in the different sectors of the medical industry to gain useful experience that would help deliver an impeccable translation project. Medical translation agencies work with professional translators from all sectors of the industry. Thus, when faced with a complex project, the agency would have a professional from each sector working on the project.

Bottom line

Medical translation is sensitive as human lives are involved. Thus, only trained experts with the right certifications can successfully handle a document translation service in the industry.

You need to work with the translation agency with the right experience to deal with these challenges.

EC Innovations is a reputable translation agency with over 23 years of experience in the medical industry. We offer complete medical translation services that meet the required regulatory standards. You can trust us to deliver premium translation services for your business.

To date, ECI has achieved ISO 13485:2016, ISO 9001:2015, and ISO 1710:2015 certifications. We have 11 strategic offices around the world and operating divisions in Asia, Europe, and North America, offering full localization support into 130+ languages and 260 locales.

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