Translation tips

What Are The Dangers of Not Using Qualified Medical Translators

Andrew Samkowski 09 Mar 2018
What Are The Dangers of Not Using Qualified Medical Translators

There are many reasons for translating medical documents. In the pharmaceutical industry, a certified medical translator may be used to translate labels and packaging. This is because many drug manufacturing operations distribute the medications they produce globally. Medical researchers need professionals to translate vaccination record, medical terms for other researchers. This is just scratching the surface.

Now, imagine if a medical translation wasn’t a priority. What would happen if rather than using a professional service, companies simply relied on machine translation? What if the same translators who worked on simpler jobs were given the task of working on medical translations? Let’s take a moment to consider the dangers.

People Would Lose Access to Important Medications

As mentioned above, drugs are manufactured all over the world. In order for countries to accept medications into their countries, inspectors must determine that the medicines are safe, that they are tested properly, and that proper records are kept. If these inspectors cannot rely on those records being translated by professionals, they cannot certify these medications as being safe. This can result in important medications being kept out of entire countries. This could lead to lack of availability, shortages, and price jumps.

Travelers Could be in Grave Danger if They Are Sick And Injured

Imagine falling ill in another country with no ability to advocate for yourself. The only thing those treating you have access to is the medical records on your person, the medications you carry, and your insurance information. Thankfully, because certified medical translators are available, they can receive properly translated information about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have as well as data on the medications you may be taking. At the same time, thanks to professional translators, you can be confident that the care instructions you receive are also properly translated.

Without proper translation, so much of this would be guesswork. A translator who is not experienced with medical translating may miss important context or details. This can happen simply if they do not have knowledge of medical terminology. This increase in risk would very likely lead health insurance companies to refuse to cover people who choose to travel to foreign countries.

Read also: Engineering translation with an expert's help, to make all your document translation of high quality.

Mislabeled Medications Could Lead to Injuries Even Death

When it comes to taking, distributing, and labeling medications, accuracy is key. Imagine a pharmacy tech diluting a potent medication by 50% when they were really supposed to delete it by 50000%. Imagine a prescription warning label announcing that a medication could cause nausea, but failing to warn that patients should not drive while taking it. People rely on labeling and packaging to help them take drugs safely.

In the best of cases, mislabeling can reduce the effectiveness of the medication. At worst, it can lead to death or permanent injury. This is why proper translation is key.

Talented Students Would be Unable to Enter Healthcare Fields

Medical research, education, nursing, public health, physical therapy, and of course, doctors, these are just a few of the medical fields that impact the treatment of patients and healthcare policies. Right now, there are talented people from around the world studying to enter these fields. Thanks to translation services, they are able to learn in their native languages from research conducted worldwide and able to read texts produced from sources around the globe.

Useful information: Always entrust reliable healthcare translation services with the translation of your documents.


Medical translation isn’t a matter of convenience. It is a matter of life or death. The ability to have reliable translations can have a global impact. Because of this, trustworthy translation firms ensure that all medical translations are only done by qualified professionals. 


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