Translating content from one language to another is growing in importance as the world goes global and more information travels from one country to another. And while great care needs to be taken when translating content for general consumption, translation becomes an important, absolutely vital process with no margin for error when it comes to more technical content such as law, science and medicine. When it comes to technical translation, an error is not just embarrassing, it could fundamentally impede a legal or scientific procedure, with serious consequences for everyone involved.
In addition to ensuring that the original data is accurately preserved, one of the big challenges with medical translation is ensuring a smooth transition of medical terminology from one language to another.
The translation of medical information can literally affect lives. Medical translation involves anything from contracts to clinical protocols to pharmacological studies. In addition to ensuring that the original data is accurately preserved, one of the big challenges with medical translation is ensuring a smooth transition of medical terminology from one language to another.
An aortic valve bypass surgery can’t simply be left as is when translating a medical document into Japanese, for example. It must be translated into Kanji and must follow professional Japanese medical conventions so that it can be understood by the professionals within that field. In this case, the translation requires a consummate understanding not just of the English and Japanese language, but the standards and terminology employed by medical professionals in both countries. In a situation like this, even a general translator, without industry orientation, would be unsuitable.
In a similar fashion, scientific translation also requires a high degree of familiarity not just with the cultures involved, but the science involved, as well as the standards and practices within the scientific communities of both cultures. Science is about the accurate recording and dissemination of data, so numerous scientific journals are published throughout the world that would also be of interest and benefit to communities outside the countries from which these journals originate.
After all, if the next great breakthrough in fusion energy originated in Germany or India, countries like Japan, China, Russia and the United States would all be eager to see the data and methodology involved, but only if it can be translated into the language and terminology that the scientists of those respective countries are familiar with. This is very high level translation that once again requires more than just knowing two languages fluently.
When it comes to legal translation, things become even more complicated. Legal terminology is just as highly specialized and technical as medical or scientific language, but there is the added wrinkle that unlike science or medicine, with legal translation, the rules change from one country to the next. In medicine for example, the heart is always the heart, it merely exists with another name.
However, when translating a legal document about assault and battery the qualifications for assault, the sentences carried out, and even the interpretations can change, and it becomes an extraordinary challenge to preserve the language of the legal conditions, while finding equivalents in the translated language that don’t conflict or modify the intent of the original culture’s legal interpretation. In some ways, translating a legal document from one language to the next is almost like translating two languages into two different languages simultaneously.
This is why it is always important to ensure that when you select a translation service, it is familiar and qualified when it comes to your field of interest. If you’d like more information these kinds of specialized translation services, ITC Global Translations would be happy to discuss your needs and find a solution.