With many medical companies working overseas and requiring high volumes of content to be translated, why is terminology management an important localization solution for saving costs and ensuring a high-quality and consistent translation? Translating medical content requires language service providers (LSPs) to leverage a range of different tools and strategies for creating clinically accurate translations while also maintaining a high degree of accuracy, as the stakes of a mistranslation could endanger someone’s life. To navigate this challenge, terminology management for medical translation becomes a cost-effective localization solution that enables medical companies to maintain consistent and brand-centric messaging across a wide range of content necessary for competing in international markets.

Terminology Management: A Step-by-Step Process to Cutting Costs

When translating medical content, LSPs can use terminology management to more efficiently organize and manage project-specific glossaries to ensure the phrases, terms, and sentences that will be translated, can consistently be used in different translation projects. Prior to the translation project, the key focus of terminology management is creating or updating the glossary which contains the language and terms for the project, both in the source language and target language. Using software known as a terminology management system (TMS), companies are able to add the words, phrases, or sentences which will be translated, ensuring the any terminology specific to their brand identity or product can be consistently translated in a range of language. With a glossary in place, an added benefit for LSPs is there will be less time needed to proofread for spelling or linguistic errors, since the terminology is company approved. Next, LSPs will translate the content while directly drawing from the language pairs stored in the glossary, which further ensures a more efficient and timely translation process. While terminology management can reduce time and costs for a wide range of translation projects, it is especially useful for medical translations of content such as:

  • Operating Manuals
  • Medical Patents
  • Trial Master Files (TMF/eTMF)
  • Regulatory Correspondence Documents
  • Instructions for Use (IFU)
  • Medication Labels and Package Inserts

For documents containing technical and medical terminology, using the same translation for a specific word or phrase is important for eliminating potential errors in translation and ensuring the LSP or subject matter expert becomes well-versed in the project-specific terminology. Moreover, glossaries can be updated for future translation projects, which supports consistent localization solutions and reduces the time needed to create new project-specific glossaries.

Why Terminology Management is Essential for Medical Translations

Outside of translations of medical content needing to be clinically accurate to protect end users and patients, terminology management plays an important role in helping companies maintain a sense of brand identity and consistency throughout the translation project. Moreover, while terminology management helps to save costs and reduces the turnaround time for translation, using an established glossary benefits the LSP by mitigating the time needed for editing spelling and linguistic errors, which can be a pressing issue during the translation process. In an industry with high volumes of patient facing documents, technical documents, and regulatory compliance content, medical translation necessitates a high level of cultural appropriateness during translation, which LSPs are able to maintain through terminology management. From medication labels to surgical instrument manuals, all types of medical content require expert localization before being brought to market overseas. In order to help companies compete abroad and reach patients and customers globally, experts in medical translation like CSOFT Health Science leverage localization best practices including terminology management for cost-effective high quality medical translations. Visit us at lifesciences.csoftintl.com to learn more.