Medical translator career - What do I Need to Be a Medical Translator?

Medical translator career - What do I Need to Be a Medical Translator?

One of the things that people need the world over is medical care. Travelers and immigrants can find themselves in a very unnerving and dangerous situation if they cannot understand medical documents and forms. Medical advances that can help globally are being developed in many nations. Translators are needed to disseminate that information to other languages and people groups. With rising numbers of people leaving their own countries to live elsewhere, hospitals and doctors are finding it necessary to cater to multiple languages in their writings, brochures, forms, and documents. A medical translator career can be very satisfying. These highly focused individuals must have several skill sets unique to the role of medical translator.

The first skill in a medical translator career path is linguistics. Translators must be fluent in at least two languages. Translators differ from interpreters in that they deal with the written word while interpreters are concerned with the spoken word. Translators must be good writers grammatically and stylistically in both languages. They also have to be great communicators. Knowledge of the cultures of the target and source audiences is also important for accurate translation. Cultural references, colloquialisms, and slang can all skew a piece of work if not understood.

The second skill for a medical translator career is knowledge of the medical processes and terminology. Translators need to understand what they are translating. This means that they must have a broad understanding of medical issues and a niche focus on the type of medical personnel and procedures for which they are translating. Medical translators need to have a good command of the highly technical vocabulary specific to the doctors for which they translate. Medical translating needs to be very exact as mistakes can be dangerous to the patients.

The third skill in a medical translator career addresses the skill set needed to run a translation business. Since most translators work in a freelance format, time management is essential. Learning how to estimate deadlines and work efficiently is equally important to knowing how many projects to take on at one time. Project management skill is also a key component. Translators should have the ability to break the project down into portions that can be completed with high quality and on schedule. Ethics issues and best practices of the translation industry are also good things for a translator to know. Certification programs can help students learn the skills of the translation trade and get started as medical translators.

-By Adriana Tassini

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