What is Medical Translation?

March 26, 2024
8 minutes
What is Medical Translation?
Table of Contents

Medical translation refers to the translation of medical documents and files related to health services. Some of the most detailed parts of documentation created in the industry consists of sensitive documents that need to be examined thoroughly to avoid any errors. The major challenge is that, even while preparing all documentation in the local language is subject to a difficult and detailed process, when it comes to translating it into other languages, the translation process must be a process that goes beyond word-for-word translation. The main task here is to maintain the meaning of the source text and find equivalents for the complex terminology used by the industry.

Why is medical translation important for the healthcare industry?

Why is medical translation important for the healthcare industry?

Let's discuss why medical translation is so important. There is continuous progress in the field of medicine. New pharmaceutical products or medical devices are introduced to the market every day, and the product information needs to be accessible internationally. In this case, medical translation plays a very crucial role, because most countries in the world require that all documentation and labeling on medical devices or pharmaceutical products be translated into the official national language before being made available to the public.

Thanks to medical translation, most medicines available in pharmacies have translated content so that patients can understand the information about the medicine perfectly.

Fields and disciplines of medical translation

Fields and disciplines of medical translation

We are not referring to just one field, within the scope of medicine but a wide range of interrelated specialties and disciplines (each comprehensive and with their own challenges). Some of the main areas are:

   • Biochemistry

   • Dermatology

   • Ophthalmology

   • Genetics

   • Dentistry

   • Psychiatry

   • Virology

When you consider the different areas the industry covers, it becomes clear that the scope of the term "medical" is very broad. Therefore, when it comes to translating materials specific to any of these different branches of medicine, it is necessary to entrust the translation to professional translators who have experience in the relevant field, are specialized in the field of medicine, and are native speakers of the translation language.

How To Use Complex Terminology

How To Use Complex Terminology

A translator working on medical translation for the first time .with expert medical terminology Strugfor sure struggles. Even though he has done extensive research, if the translator is not specialized in the field of translation, he will face challenges of equivalence, interpretation and usage that differ between languages. It will also be inevitable to fall into the trap of “false equivalents”, which have similar pronunciations but different meanings, which is common between various languages, for example Spanish and English.

A professional translator specializing in medical translation will have the right experience to demonstrate the ability to adapt the translation both linguistically and culturally to the ultimate purpose of the translation (professional field, educational field, description, general, etc.).

What types of documents require medical translation?

When it comes to medical translation, it is very important to be extremely careful about terminology because even the slightest mistake can cause confusion and even have serious consequences for the patient. For this reason, it is essential that the translator has full command of the medical and technical language used in such texts.

As is seen, medical translation covers many disciplines, from pharmacy to dermatology, from dentistry to physiology, from genetics to ophthalmology, so it is a very broad field of translation that requires in-depth knowledge of the relevant discipline within the scope of translation.

Types of documents we translate at ADH Translation:

   • Medical records

   • Medical supplies

   • Reports for insurance

   • Medical reports

   • Medical records

   • Medical files

   • Clinical tests

   • Scientific publications

   • Scientific research

   • Academic papers


As you can see, there are a wide variety of documents that may need to be translated. Considering many factors such as patient health, acceptance of documents by authorities abroad or simply the quality of documents, it vital important to entrust all these different types of translation to professional expert translators.

ADH Translation offers medical translation services where you can entrust your translations to our team of expert medical translators. We can assist you with any project you need, so Contact us!