5 tips for a perfect pharmaceutical translation

5 tips for a perfect pharmaceutical translation

The pharmaceutical sector essentially creates, manufactures and sells medicine and other pharmaceuticals. Translations for the medical and pharmaceutical industries demand specialised expertise as well as excellent linguistic abilities.

In order to offer a superior translation service, we at Traductanet, as a reputable translation agency, closely collaborate with proficient pharmaceutical and medical translators.

So keep reading to find out what to look for in a pharmaceutical translation.

What is pharmaceutical translation?

Written translation created at several stages of medication development is known as a pharmaceutical translation service. Every stage of the process – from research and regulatory compliance to drug production, packaging and labelling – requires translation.

Why is it so important?

Pharmaceuticals are manufactured and administered worldwide in an increasingly globalised economy, which places a high demand on clear communication and correct translation. Pharmaceutical translation errors may impact overall expenses, have clinical effects on patients, give rise to legal action, or even result in the product being rejected during the regulatory process.

By enabling businesses from many regions to effectively share information at international conferences, accurate translation can also promote medical research as well as pharmaceutical product research. The health and safety protocols of specific medicinal items used in clinical trials around the world depend on translation accuracy within the industry.

Additionally, in healthcare, communication improves patient outcomes and safety while ensuring that pharmaceuticals adhere to the necessary laws and regulations on consumption around the world.


“If patients cannot access healthcare services in a language they fully understand, equal access to safe and high-quality healthcare is not guaranteed.”


In 2016, a study by the European Commission on public service translation in cross-border healthcare showed that in the absence of formal language guidance in EU legislation, in most observed cases, appropriate language services are not provided for patients who do not speak the language of the Member State in which they seek healthcare.

This fact has a severe impact on the health of patients, and it is by ensuring effective and useful translation that policy makers, healthcare providers, educators, translators and interpreters can close this gap.


5 tips you won’t want to miss

If you are in need of a translation or translate pharma yourself, read these tips and know what to look out for.

  • Become a professional

Prior to rendering medical literature, become a qualified medical translator.

We frequently discuss “specialisation” and translating in the subject areas we are experts in, but everyone has to start somewhere. Therefore, if you wish to work as a medical / pharmaceutical translator, the first step is to master your craft progressively and have an experienced linguistic team, a doctor, or another competent person review your translation.

  • Select resources

Following your project manager’s instructions for the job should be a top priority. He or she is in contact with the client and is familiar with their requirements. Try to obtain as much information as you can on this end.

It is also important to make use of the most trusted, accurate and comprehensive medical translation materials available, such as dictionaries, glossaries, manuals and journals. However, keep in mind that having too many resources will leave you even more confused.

  • Leverage CAT tools

It is a good idea to have a trustworthy translation memory and term base on hand every time you start translating after performing your research – these will save you time, but more importantly they will help you maintain consistency.


  • Revise, and eliminate ambiguity

“There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.”

British poet, historical novelist and critic Robert Graves really hit the nail on the head with this one. Revising is of the utmost importance, since medical translation can save lives. A person’s life can be jeopardised by a single mistranslated word or missing number.

As such, you should pay close attention to correctness (both in the source and target languages), carefully revise, and check for any cultural nuances that may need to be adjusted in the final product.

Avoid any needless ambiguity in your translation unless there is ambiguity in the source material. Any health professional, including surgeons, physicians, and nurses, should be fully prepared at all times and your translation cannot get in the way.

  • Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help

You may need to get a second opinion, or even a third or fourth. Ask industry experts and specialists if you are unsure about anything. You can direct your questions to medical forums, specialised physicians, or colleagues – one of life’s greatest wonders is how far interdisciplinarity can take us, so let’s leverage that!

If you are in need of a language service provider with in-depth technical knowledge and an effective and accurate translation process, do not hesitate to contact us. Reach out to our managers and kickstart your project today!

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