The four stages for a good medical translation

As a professional translator, as you want to do a good job with your text, you know there are some stages you must follow to have an excellent result at the end.

According to me, there are four important stages that can help you to work in the best way on a medical text.

The first one is the reading and the comprehension of the source text.

Then, you can do a terminology research in depth. Find all the information you need to explain every doubts or if your knowledge is not too sufficient for the topic described in the source text. (You know a medical translator can’t have a perfect knowledge in medical field; I think it is impossibile unless he is a doctor specialized in a specific area or unless you attend the many courses to specialize your way to work on translation). In this moment you are like a student, looking for files, documents, articles that can help you to improve your knowledge, for example in cardiovascular problems or in vitro experiments and researches. If you want to specialized in this field, I suggest you to analyze, during your free time, different topics of medical translations because, as you know, medicine consists of many branches.

Going in order, this is the most important stage of your job: the real translation of the source text. In this stage, terminology is relevant so it is necessary being concentrate on the text. These texts show many obstacles during the translation due to the specific terminology used by doctors. I suggest you to find good bilingual or monolingual glossaries available on the web as well. I usually do a personal research with analogous texts (you can find them on the web, finding on different web sites of medical and patients organisations. Sometimes, these medical group are set up by doctors, for example to discuss about a rare disease).

For a good final result with the target text you must have a proficiency knowledge of the source text and be mother tongue of the target language.

At the end, you will do a revision of your job to verify the correct use of therms and structures because, you know, the text could be read by a doctor or a patient sa well. You must be sure you followed the real sense of the medical text (in medical field you can’t be a poet!).

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