With technology evolving at an unprecedented rate, the days when medical professionals solely used only a handful of diagnostic devices are long gone. While thermometers, stethoscopes, and otoscopes are still in use, medical professionals today rely on diagnostic equipment never thought possible only a few decades ago. As a company looking to expand to new markets, knowing how to create technical documentation for your medical diagnostic equipment is of paramount importance.

This is particularly true when deciding how, when, and who to partner with to provide technical translation for documents related to your medical diagnostic equipment.

Before you jump into your next product launch, it’s important to give thoughtful consideration to document translation. You need a vendor that has best practices in place to ensure your translation is done properly, deadlines are met, and your content is accurately translated and easily understood by your target audience.

Here are two ways to ensure your technical document translation conveys your original message appropriately the first time around.

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Technical Document Translation: Ensure Translation Is Built Into the Project From the Beginning

Too often, a company closes a sale for medical diagnostic equipment only to realize there was never a plan in place for translating the technical documentation supporting the product. And with a shipping deadline looming, the company is forced to scramble for quick solutions to address this very important need.

It’s not uncommon for companies new to exporting to be totally unaware of how the translation process works, how long it’ll take, and how much it can cost.

Companies may hand over their translation project to a bilingual employee, only to discover this person doesn’t have subject matter expertise in the medical field or the proper tools to complete the task. This can lead to omissions, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies that cause confusion or worse—serious injury to the end user and possible litigation.

To effectively take your medical diagnostic equipment to a global market, it’s important to consider technical translation in the initial stages of planning. This includes creating a budget for the translation as well as designating the party responsible for paying—whether it’s your customer or is part of the overall development budget. Being clear on these details early on will help minimize delays in getting your translation completed.

A good practice is to designate a point person on your team to help your translation company get all the answers and clarification it needs during the translation process. This person can aid the translation process by being a direct point of contact between your company and your translation vendor.

Technical Document Translation: Choose a Technical Translator With Expertise in the Medical Diagnostic Equipment Industry

Technical terminology in the medical field is highly specialized and therefore, accurate, concise translation is required to guarantee your message is clearly understood by your target audience.

Because the stakes are high in this arena, a small error in translation can result in serious consequences, such as inaccurate test results, injury, or even death.

That’s why it’s imperative to choose a technical translator that employs native speakers who also have a deep understanding of your subject matter.

A translator without subject matter expertise may not fully understand the intended message of your source document, even in its original language. This can result in missing or misinterpreted information specific to the medical field, such as signs, symbols, abbreviations, and key terms related to your medical diagnostic equipment.

These errors in translation are far from insignificant. In a world where a patient’s health and well-being is on the line, there’s no room for error. A minor mistake in translation can result in grave consequences if the message is not correctly understood or doesn’t convey what was originally intended.

Accurate technical translation goes beyond simply translating word for word. This is especially the case in the medical field, as patients and physicians alike need clear and easily understood guidelines to ensure safety and success. Not complying with recommended instructions as a result of poor technical translations can result in life-threatening scenarios.

Because the medical field is required to abide by strict quality controls, the same should be true for the translation company helping you generate your translated technical documentation.

Only an experienced translation company with subject matter expertise and a defined quality control process can ensure your medical diagnostic equipment technical documentation is free of discrepancies and easily understood in your target market.


The Manufacturers Guide to Technical Translation

Learn all you need to know about technical document translation, key questions to ask, and critical pitfalls to avoid.