Selecting the Best Company for Medical Translation
Medical translation is a special type of translation that requires not only proficiency in the source and target languages but also a considerable level of medical knowledge. As such, choosing a medical translation provider should not be a “come what may” decision. Errors in medical literature and label translations can lead to severe consequences for many people.
The following should be useful in finding the right company for medical translation services.
Meticulously Research the Best Medical Translation Options
This is a no-brainer first step. You need to actively seek out the language service providers that can best serve your needs.
When shortlisting options, it’s important to take the following factors into account:
- Experience and expertise of the company. Long-running companies are usually preferable, but don’t immediately rule out new players especially if they have the remarkable track record to show. Examine their list of previous clients. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to try getting feedback or comments from these clients.
- Details of the process. Know how the companies perform medical translations. Ask for details and explanations of the steps they go through. Emphasize the need for thorough quality control. Choose the ones that allow you to get regular updates and make inputs or suggestions while the job is still ongoing.
- The importance of speed. Faster is always better as long as the quality of the output does not suffer. Medical translations are not usually urgent tasks, but it would be advantageous to get the output early so it can be reviewed and corrected (if there are mistakes) as soon as possible.
- And, lastly, cost. Of course, affordability also matters. Just don’t make it the main deciding factor. Most companies readily provide price quotes for a certain project through their websites or mobile apps.
Invite Medical Translation Companies to Send Their Bids
You can announce your demand for medical translation service and wait for language service providers to submit their bids. Then, you don’t have to do all of the research on your own. Wait for companies to pitch their services, and make them compete for the translation project you want to undertake.
You can announce your project at forums, on social media, as well as on job ad boards. Many companies actually go to job sites to look for potential clients. They would promptly send their details to you after seeing the opportunity you posted. Just make sure that you present your project in a professional manner, so you attract only the best service providers.
Ascertain the Credibility of the People or Review Sites You Use as Reference
If you ask for the recommendations of friends, colleagues, or acquaintances, make sure they have the credibility to speak on the matter. You can’t just ask referrals from people who haven’t actually tried the service you’re looking for.
On the other hand, if you go to review websites, make sure they are not sites created only to promote certain companies. A good site design and the absence of obtrusive ads don’t always mean that a site is credible. A useful review website is one that has been online for a long time, has numerous regular visitors, and presents verifiable information. If you have doubts in what a site is presenting, you can compare their content to those of similar review sites or verify their facts by asking for corroborations from previous customers and competitors.
Choose a Company that Sets Up a Dedicated Account for You and Provides a Dedicated Project Manager
You don’t want to compete with other clients for the attention of your account’s project manager. The team assigned to you should focus on completing your project instead of having revolving translators and project managers who keep becoming unavailable as they attend to the concerns of other clients. Get the assurance that they will only be working on your project for a specific period and that they will be there to respond to your concerns promptly.
Medical translations require a high level of precision and contextual accuracy. Don’t compromise the quality of your final output by choosing a cheap service that does provide the attention and responsiveness you should be getting.
Look for Relevant ISO Certification
Having an ISO certification means that a business has been evaluated by a third party and certified to have passed certain management standards. For language service providers, the most commonly obtained ISO certification is ISO 9001, which basically entails that a company has well-documented processes and a good quality management system (QMS). It is granted to businesses that are able to prove that they have effective planning, operation, and control over processes and continuous QMS improvement.
Remember: having certifications is good, but the proof of the pudding is still in the eating. More weight should be given to the actual track record of the companies you are considering.
Take the Time to Sort your Choices
Don’t choose a medical translation service company haphazardly. Give it careful thought and spend time to find the best possible options. After all, you are not only after the quality of service they deliver. You also need to make sure that the medical translations you use don’t end up creating problems for your company later on.
President and founder of Day Translations, Inc
Sean Hopwood is the President and founder of Day Translations, Inc. He is a thought leader, influencer, and risk taker, and provides the vision and energy that has inspired the creation of his translation service business.