Basic Tips for Translating Instructions and Labels

Translation of drug instructions is a private form of medical interpretation that is in high demand. Each medicine must have a detailed description in other languages. Preparation of specifications for drugs requires a good linguistic and narrowly used medical knowledge from a specialist as well as a great responsibility. Not a single phrase can be unsaid or distorted. A good text should be concise, accurate, logical. 

Such work results are available only for true professionals. These specialists have to study drug labels and drug inserts, they should be familiar with the standards adopted by healthcare institutions in different countries.


Tips for Quality Translation of Instructions and Labels

To create an accurate interpretation you need to know the key problems that can lead to errors:

  1. Genre and stylistic. Medical documents use official business style. Despite the fact that the translation technique differs among different specialists, all annotations are written in a verified language, even similar to each other. When working with a particular specification, the translator must comply with the language standard that is characteristic of this style.
  2. Accuracy precluding a double interpretation. For medicines, this is more than important. Each drug is designed for a large audience, it gets to thousands of doctors and patients. All of them should understand the text of the annotation unambiguously.
  3. Terminology, the presence of stable momentum, cliche. The standard translation of the instructions for drugs does not allow any imagery of speech. All words in them are used in basic substantive meanings. Translators are required to adhere to common terminology.
  4. Pharmaceutical expressions have prevailing word forms and rules for their use. You can apply specialized dictionaries as authoritative sources.
  5. Acronyms and abbreviations. All designations, organization names, trademarks, other lexical units must be internationally accepted and complied with standards. Particular importance is attached to units of measure.


What About Labels?

Pharmaceutical drug names have traditionally been formed in each language form. There are certain rules for the use of these word forms that you should know and apply during translation. When interpreting drug descriptions, their names are transmitted only through transliteration (transcription). Even if the name of the medicine has an analog in the target tongue, you cannot use it, since it is a unique trademark. As for the active components of drugs, their names usually have Latin roots and are similar in all European languages.

In order for the user to adequately understand the meaning of what was written, the translation of the instructions for drugs, as well as the labels of the medicines, must be of very high quality. It is important to remember that not only doctors use annotations, but also ordinary people who are counting on the help of medicaments.

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