When it comes to getting any type of document translated for your organization, it’s crucial you find the right agency for the job.
However, when you don’t speak the desired language, it can be difficult to have faith that the quality of the document will meet all the right standards. After all, one inaccurate statement or lackluster piece of communication and your organization’s reputation and liability could be on the line.
This is even more imperative when you’re using medical translation services. Any errors when translating medical terminology could have devastating, and potentially fatal, consequences.
Thankfully, however, there are a number of ways you can gain control of your translations and achieve consistently positive and accurate outcomes.
To help you find a high-quality, reputable medical translation agency, here are some top tips for your search:
1. Be Clear About What You Want from Medical Translation Services
Before you start searching for medical translation services online, it’s important to establish what you want from their services, including the style of writing, technical precision, and the language(s) that you need your documents translated into.
This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page from the outset, resulting in greater accuracy and reducing potential problems further down the line.
Don’t forget to discuss pricing with them, too, to make sure their services are in keeping with your budget. A good medical translation agency will be open and transparent about their fee structure.
2. Get to Know the Agency
In order to feel confident with the medical document translation services you’re using, it is important to take an in-depth look at the agency before signing on the dotted line. Do they offer Certified translations? What are their response times standards and practices?
Next, establish whether they use computer-assisted translation (CAT) technology or Machine Translation (MT) as part of their translation processes. Some agencies use one or the other, some use both, while some use none. In any case, it is vital that human-only translators (not software) are actually carrying out your translations, and that the linguists are also subject matter experts in your medical/clinical field.
A translator may be a native speaker in the target language you require, but if they are not also medically-trained specialists, they should not be translating your documents.
Make sure the translators working on your project are professionally trained and that they understand complex medical terminology and concepts. And like all endeavors, the more knowledge and experience they have, the better your translations will be.
3. Check the Agency’s Quality Processes
The quality control processes a medical translation agency has in place can greatly affect the overall quality of the piece they ultimately deliver to you.
For example, is the work of a translator always reviewed and QA verified by a qualified editor? This is important because an experienced editor will evaluate the piece for important criteria that could significantly affect your content, including whether or not it captures the same message, tone, and context as your originally-approved source documents. This review should also check for accuracy in terminology, numbers, currency, weights and measures, and numerous other QA checkpoints.
Leading agencies will also compare the text between languages to ensure that the same function, style, and tone is achieved, which may include English back translation (a linguistic step commonly requested in pharmaceutical translation services). A back translation is where a document is translated into one language before being translated back again into English in order to ensure maximum accuracy and quality in the initial translation.
4. Ask for References from Clients of the Agency
Granted, this tip may seem like a time-consuming task, particularly if you’re in a hurry to have your medical documents translated. But it could help you determine which agency is right for you.
Anyone who is multilingual can claim to be a translator, but an established medical translation agency will be able to provide you with a proven track record of satisfied clients.
Request to see a list of previous medical clients they have worked with. Ask for industry-specific medical references (i.e. if you are in medical device, clinical trials, biotechnology or other life science modalities) before speaking directly to the clients to get their honest feedback.
Even though this may take a little extra time and effort on your part, it’s more than worth it if you want to create a long-term relationship with the agency.
5. Make Sure You’re Happy with the Speed and Confidentiality of the Agency
Lastly, you may want to inquire how long it will take the agency to produce your medical documents.
Although speed isn’t everything, it’s important to communicate your deadline needs and to always receive confirmation that they will be met. Can the agency point to a proven, reliable on-time delivery track record? These are all crucial factors to keep in mind, especially if you and your team will have on-going, regular translation needs in the future that are usually time sensitive.
And don’t forget to ask what NDA/confidentiality processes are in place so you can be sure your documents will be safeguarded at all times. Make sure they have confidentiality agreements with all of their employees, translators, and editors, and that all documents stored on their system are encrypted for security compliance.
Hopefully, the above tips will not only point you in the right direction when searching for medical translation services but also allow you to gain valuable insights into the customer service standards and ethics of the agency you’re considering hiring.
The bottom line is that when safeguarding your critically important medical documents, it is vital that you are offered a personalized, dedicated service that you can trust and feel confident in.
When you need accurate, timely, and reasonably-priced medical translation services that are hassle-free, DTS has the solution.