Model of work to guarantee the quality of medical translation
Based on the submitted requirements for the quality of medical translation and existing rapid procedures, a model can be proposed that can help translators, project managers, and health care workers, cope with medical translations and achieve quality assurance.
The notion that critical quality factors should be provided before the actual translation action. At the stage before the translation, target readers of the text or its objectives should be identified and communicated to the project manager, translator and proofreader. The team of professional linguists should be responsible for the overall quality of translated texts. The team must include a translator and one or preferably two proofreaders. Their qualifications should include considerable experience in medical translation and proven expert knowledge, as well as proven skills – based on translation samples. Many language specialists do not support the view that only medical workers or only linguists can perform medical translation tasks. The skills required in this particular area, i.e. Interlingual communication skills, intercultural communication skills, general linguistic skills, including writing skills and familiarity with medical genres, proficiency in medical language, medical knowledge, IT skills can be acquired throughout the career, so the choice of an adequately qualified professional should rather be based on samples translation and evidence. Budget and time schedules are two critical quality factors. To the team to perform a medical translation, there should be enough time and money. The translation process itself must strive to satisfy the needs of the readers and the client’s requirements. Medical translation, of course, requires extreme accuracy, because it can potentially affect the decisions of patients and health professionals, thus affecting medical services, clinical studies, etc. The output language should be natural, correct and suitable for the purposes of the text and its genre.
Once the target text is produced by a medical translator, it must be adjusted to match the goal, the needs of the readers, the client’s instructions, accuracy, information transmission and linguistic quality. With the proposed revisions of the proofreader and the reasons for them, one should always consult a translator. Texts for patients or other readers are not specialists, medical texts should undergo cognitive review, which will allow to check whether the value of the source text is transferred in the target text and whether it is clear. The process must be completed with a review provided to translators and proofreaders to ensure the improvement of the quality of medical translation. The translation tools used, such as translation memory and terminology bases, must be updated to provide accurate and consistent support in subsequent projects.
The model presented above, which covers the team’s harmonious work process over the medical translation, is based on the assumption that the translation has mutual support from clients, translators, proofreaders and project managers. This includes three stages of translation with their critical territories, which must be preserved in order to meet the relevant medical requirements for the level of translation quality.
To facilitate communication with foreign or immigrant patients with limited language skills and provide translated versions of medical documents (regulatory documents, scientific forms), professional medical translators must be hired. The fact that mistakes in medical translation are quite common means that there is still scope for improvement, as far as the process of verifying and qualifying a translator is concerned. Competent professionals must be hired to create a medical translation. Medical hiring of knowledgeable linguists, or linguistically knowledgeable health professionals, is still a controversial issue, but it seems that the most reasonable solution would be to design a translation and a verification system in which the texts will be translated by an experienced translator who specializes on the medical field and then checked by an expert to finally be proofread by a third party. Such a process would change the current situation in which the translator is often the only responsible person in the translation process, and not the member of the translation team. A model for quality assurance, offers one way, organize a medical translation project. Such teamwork will ensure the best quality standards in medical translation.