Medical translator – an opportunity for bilingual personnel

Medical Translator – An Opportunity for bilingual personnel

Language barriers have been broken down by the services of medical translators.  They are able to hear one language and communicate vital health information to someone who speaks another language.  Information about medical devices, procedures or devices can be translated so easy dissemination.

Excellent communication skills needed

This is not simply repeating information verbatim using a different language.  The Medical Translator conveys concepts and idea between the two languages.  There is a high degree of analysis involved in medical translating.  Superb editing skills are also a skill set among these professionals.  Most translation is now done via computer.  The usual way to translate is to read the document in its entirety to understand the message being conveyed.  The end result should be that the person reading the medical document or instructions cannot tell that it is translated.  The sentences should flow effortlessly into the interpreted language.  Special emphasis needs to be taken when dealing with other languages.  There may be some words in Spanish that do not translate readily to German.  Also, a translator must be cognizant of any offensive phrases or words of each language; the translator may need to find alternative wording for such instances.

Knowledge of Medical Terminology

It is imperative that a translator working in the medical field have an extensive medical background.  Certain levels of translators are even doctors and nurses.  There must be a high level of professionalism when there is direct patient contact.  A French Medical Translator may be called upon to go to a hospital when a French citizen is hospitalized in a non-French speaking country while on vacation.  Imagine the confusion and anxiety of the patient.  The translator will communicate what hospital tests are being run and be a liaison between the doctors and staff and the patient.   The translator can let the doctor know what type of symptoms the patient is experiencing.

PFIGS Translators Needed

The greatest potential for bilingual personnel is for those who can translate “PFIGS”.  This represents the languages of Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Spanish.  An example of an Italian Medical Translator function is to work with software developers to create interpreted software that serves an Italian population as well as it serves the original user population.

Job Outlook

The demand for Medical Translators is expected to rise as immigrant populations spread into more rural areas.  Cities such as Washington, D.C., and New York with its great employment potential attract people from all countries.

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