How to Lower the Cost of Medical Device Documentation Translation
Translating English documentation into other languages for medical devices can be a complex and time-consuming task. The specialized technical vocabulary combined with the need for absolute accuracy, while providing clear, understandable information, requires painstaking attention to every detail. Even with highly experienced project managers and native-speaking translators with specific knowledge of the medical device industry, creating new translations from scratch for each new document would be a daunting challenge.
Translation memory is a tool that stores and provides ready access to previously translated terminology, phrases, and even complete sections of documentation, including user manuals, operation manuals, installation guide, safety instructions, online help files, IFU’s, etc. What that means is that once we translate documents for you, future projects can leverage your translation memory to speed the translation, reduce translation costs and ensure consistency from project to project.
Translation memory is a database that stores previously translated content words, phrases, abbreviations, and even complete paragraphs in the original language, alongside correct translations in the target language. Each item, along with its corresponding translation, becomes what is called a “translation unit.” The more content that is translated, the more the translation memory database grows. As the translator works on a file, translation memory finds matching translation pairs and presents them to the translator, who reviews and checks them for accuracy and accepts or edits them as needed. Even “fuzzy matches” can save time. For example, the phrases “Press the red button” and “Press the blue button” are fuzzy matches. The translator will only need to translate the word that indicates color.
Making Translation Memory Work for Medical Device Manufacturers
As much as 40% of a document may consist of recurring phrases that can make use of translation memory. Translation memory is not “machine translation.” Each addition to the translation memory database is individually translated by a skilled, native-speaking translator with expertise in medical device translation. The more matching phrases that are found in translation memory, the faster the document can be accurately translated. That increases efficiency and reduces costs.
As a medical device manufacturer, your documentation team can help translation memory work even better. By having your in-country contacts translate a glossary of industry specific technical terms, your translation services company can shrink their learning curve and incorporate your preferences into the translation. Therefore, even new documents can be translated more efficiently. In addition, using a style guide to prepare new documents in a consistent way, following some tips for creating documents for translation, and working with your translation service provider throughout the process can further reduce costs and reduce turnaround time on your projects.
Over time, in an ongoing relationship between your company and International Language Services (ILS), an expanded translation memory creates increased efficiency. As repeated content recurs across multiple documents over time, the benefits grow with every project.
Efficient & Accurate Translation Service for the Medical Device Industry
At International Language Services, our goal is to provide high quality, accurate translations of your medical device documentation at a competitive cost. Using translation memory and working in a state-of-the-art translation environment, ILS works with medical device manufacturers to provide the most efficient work flow possible. We have a pool of experienced translators who translate over 150 languages for medical device manufacturers. Some of our specialized languages include Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Korean, Latvian and Dutch. Our ISO-certified quality process and flexible, personalized service is your assurance of cost control and timely performance. Contact us regarding your current medical device translation needs or to discuss any translation issue.