- Medical reports
- Medical certificates
- Information sheets
- Discharge letters
- Laboratory results
- Psychiatric expert opinions
- Correspondence between patients and hospitals
- Medical case histories
- Surgical reports
- Package inserts
- Research reports
- Examination and treatment of foreign patients in German hospitals
- Scientific publications
Furthermore, we provide specialist translation and interpreting services in the following medical fields:
- General medicine
- Occupational medicine
- Gynaecology and obstetrics
- Skin and sexually transmitted diseases
- Human genetics
- Hygiene and environmental medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Paediatric and adolescent medicine
- Laboratory medicine
- Microbiology and virology
- Nuclear medicine
- Public healthcare system
- Physical and rehabilitative medicine
- Psychiatry and psychotherapy
- Radiation therapy
Particularities of specialist medical translations
Medical translations, in the broadest sense, are subdivided into different translation types, such as the translation of texts from the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, medical technological and general medical fields. Any concrete medical translation can basically be seen as a specialist translation that requires not only perfect command of the foreign language, but also competent knowledge of the specialist medical terms corresponding to the subject of the text to be translated.
In addition to this, it is necessary to take the peculiarities of medical documentation, which adhere to certain standards in various medical institutions, into account: discharge letters, medical case histories, laboratory tests, epicrises, surgical reports, medical findings and certificates as well as analyses.
The translation of medical documentation for patients and their doctors requires utmost precision, a responsible approach and great care, as it is on the basis of information gained from the medical documents that a physician makes various decisions regarding necessary treatment.
Globalization and the constant improvement of the quality of life make medical treatment beyond national borders possible. An increasing number of people is looking outside their own country of residence for treatment possibilities in European medical facilities, particularly in order to utilise therapy options here that are of the highest quality and include the most diligent support – this kind of medical care is not always available in the country in question. Patients need to describe their problem as precisely as possible to find a suitable medical institution for their specific case. This of course needs to happen in the respective language of the country where they wish to be treated. The customer now requires a qualified, experienced and reliable translator and interpreter who can professionally translate his medical documents or support him as a medical interpreter on-site in communicating with the medical professionals.
This is where we come into play: AP Fachübersetzungen only employs competent and experienced specialist translators and interpreters to ensure the high and impeccable quality of our services.
Medicine and Translations of Medical Documentation: Specialist Terms, Meanings, Expressions
Medicine is a living and constantly developing science. The number of highly specialized medical institutions increases every year. Modern inventions in the development, production and use of medical technology and pharmaceuticals provide new options for the treatment and prevention of various diseases. This means that the requirements and demands constantly change for translators and their qualifications and work as well. For this reason, only specialists with comprehensive specialist knowledge as well as substantial expertise in the field of medicine are employed for medical translations. This type of translation occupies a special niche amongst other specialist translations.
Excellent knowledge of specialist terms and work with ambiguous medical acronyms and abbreviations make medical translations particularly challenging. In addition to this, many medical documents are not supplied in an easily legible form – translators occasionally even have to work with handwritten documents. We, as language professionals, do not always find it easy to decipher doctors’ handwriting. Particularly if translations are needed urgently, this can make the work considerably more difficult.
Hundreds of new medicines and drugs appear on the shelves of pharmacies and drug stores every year, as hospitals simultaneously implement the latest medical technologies. The spectrum of words and expressions describing new patient care and treatment methods is constantly expanding. Established terms lose their relevance, or even take on a different meaning.
If the person requiring the translation is a patient who has no medical training or no connection to the medical field, the translator has the possibility of adapting the text slightly. He can bypass the very specialized terms and abbreviations that are understood only by medical professionals, and instead use terms that are common and more generally understood. Medical professionals, on the other hand, need a translation using their specialized jargon – a correctly interpreted text containing both medical terms and Latin expressions.
Acronyms, abbreviations and Latin names particularly aid the precision of concrete specialist terms; they help physicians grasp the symptoms as quickly and accurately as possible, and must therefore be translated correspondingly in order to comply with professional standards. In addition to this – due to notorious globalization – medical documents contain numerous specialist terms borrowed from different languages which have achieved international status; these, however, are frequently only slightly or not at all adapted to the language of the document. Such language components are often encountered in discharge letters or medical reports given to patients who have been treated or who are undergoing rehabilitation in a foreign country. In such cases, the translator must pay great attention to the Latin terms which are understood in every country.
It is important to mention that translators must pay heed to the correct layout, usual form and style of medical documentation. On the other hand, the translator is repeatedly confronted with the reverse situation: in some countries, terminology is used which is country-specific and has nothing to do with the international system. This fact can cause considerable difficulties for the specialist translator. In cases like this, it is necessary to employ constant logical thought, consult specialists in medicine for advice and work regularly with relevant specialist literature in addition to working in the usual manner.
Challenges with specialist medical translations
Extreme precision and care are needed in the translation of medical texts concerning particularly serious cases and unclear medical diagnoses.
Medical documents often contain evasive, confusing and extremely vague expressions which must be translated impeccably and without any alteration in meaning and logic in order not to harm the patient in any way.
In such cases, translators will also consult the attending physicians; often they will ask to see the patient’s case file and will study scientific literature on a particular disease.
There are plenty of stories and jokes about the handwriting of doctors: a certain cliché has been established stating that no one can read anything a doctor has written. This, however, is linked directly to the specifics of the profession: time is mostly scarce and speed frequently plays a key role. Nevertheless, it is no easy task for the translator to work with an illegible document. Even if he has deciphered a word in a medical report which seems to fit the context, it is often impossible to be certain that this is exactly the word which is found in the original. Only experienced translators with in-depth knowledge in the medical field are able to solve these types of puzzle.
Every scientific paper inevitably contains an assortment of acronyms and abbreviations. Medical professionals try to avoid these in documents intended for patients. Here, translators must then choose between various possibilities. In such cases, the translator must orient himself toward the context or search for similar documents, where the abbreviations and acronyms have already been deciphered.
Modern medicine is continuously opening up new possibilities. In conjunction with this, there are growing difficulties with regard to the correct interpretation of very specialized medical texts. German hospitals also care for foreign patients and carry out diagnostics and successful treatment. Patients as well as medical professionals depend on a mutual exchange of information and thus on precise and high-quality translations. After treatment in Germany, foreign patients frequently need additional medical care and examinations in their home country. It is precisely at this point that a correct and professional translation of the accompanying documentation plays a crucial role, particularly with regard to the compliance with doctors’ recommendations, possible continuance of treatment, its successful conclusion and the recovery of the patient.
Our Germany-based translators collaborate almost daily with German doctors. If you contact the language service provider AP Fachübersetzungen, you will receive professional medical translations at any level of difficulty, which will be comprehensible for both German and any foreign physician.