Russian Translation of Medical Device Instructions

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Russian Translation of Medical Device Instructions

September 07, 2012

By Ofer Tirosh

Medical Translation for Words Like "Arteriovenous Fistula"

A client from a globally known, Fortune 1000 company contacted us several days ago to request a very large, technical English to Russian translation of a medical device manual. The Russian translation was a 15 page manual document with more than 14,000 words, completed in 2 days - which is no small feat for an accurate professional translation of that size.

But it is not simply the size of such a medical translation that presents challenges for a quick turnover. Approximately a third of the medical device manual was extremely technical - terms like "percutaneous coronary angioplasty" or "arteriovenous fistula" - terms that the vast majority of native English speakers do not have in their vocabulary, much less understand. What many people outside of the translation industry may not realize is that a translation like this requires much more than your average English to Russian translator who reads and re-writes the words into Russian. It requires several translators with medical background and expertise, more specifically in medical device instructions and manuals. Most European countries have regulations that require a translation of medical device instructions and information, for any medical device imported from the US. So, not only does the translation demand a highly technical medical background and translation experience, but it also requires familiarity with translation regulations of a specific target audience or country.

Add to that the need to localize certain terms that do not have an exact equivalent in the target language. For instance, what we call an EKG machine may have an entirely different name in another language. This requires an absolutely thorough understanding of the target language culture. Localization is very often part of any professional translation service, whether it is English to Russian translation for medical documents or English to Japanese translation of technical IT documentation.

Professional Translation is No Piece of Cake

When all that is taken into consideration, it becomes a lot more impressive that it was all accomplished in 2 days, with accuracy, open communication and fantastic customer service to boot. What all of this means is that providing professional translation service is certainly not the easiest business in the world - especially as a translation company that started out somewhat small-ish, competing in an extremely fragmented industry with tens of thousands of other competitors.  It takes a passion for both linguistics and language translation, to keep things going, and to be consistent with the end result. That's why we do it.

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