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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Rausch - Marketing Manager

5 Translating Tips for Medical Device Labeling

In the highly regulated life sciences industry, medical device labeling is viewed as a fundamental component of the medical product itself. That’s because these products include critical information for both patient and medical provider about their risks and benefits and instructions for use.

There are a wide variety of medical device label content formats, from brochures and user manuals to graphics and even videos. The nature of this content is that there is absolutely no room for errors, meaning all medical device labeling translations should be completed by a specialized translator with distinct experience in the life science industry. Since medical translation services are needed before you launch your product in international markets, working with a trusted Language Service Provider (LSP) is paramount to ensuring quality, accurate translations for your global stakeholders.

From a translation and localization standpoint, here are some important details to consider when developing precise, informative medical device labels.

Plan for Translation Ahead of Time

While it is the job of your LSP to manage the translation of all your medical device content, planning for translation ahead of time can make all the difference. Doing so allows you to be more conscious of any bottlenecks that can get in the way of translation, but ahead of time.

Write With Clear, Accessible Language

Localization is the process of adapting content to the language and locale of the reader, and this can be challenging when jargon, slang, and idioms are used in the content. Words and phrases that are specific to one culture and region may be hard for the translator to adequately communicate in another language, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and write with concise language.

This means no acronyms, abbreviations, or cultural references, as the efficacy and safety of the medical devices are at stake.

Invest in Medical Terminology Creation and Management

It’s crucial to develop a comprehensive glossary (also known as termbase) specific to your industry and product. This will help to establish unique, definite brand and product terms for your language team to use. Your LSP will help you create a glossary of words, phrases, and even spellings that are consistently used within your content when describing your brand and/or product. Then this termbase will be added to every project moving forward, which ensures all your content is consistent, and there are no discrepancies on your regulated information.

Utilize Translation Memory

In the same vein as terminology creation, translation memory can be a very beneficial tool for your medical translation services. Translation memory keeps a record of every word and phrase translated for you in the past, and uses those same translations in newer content if there is an exact match.

Chances are, some of your content will be used over and over again, and translation memory will import your previously translated content to be reused. Our translators will double-check these phrases for accuracy, and use them in your new projects. Doing so allows you to leverage past translations and will result in cost savings going forward.

Prepare for Formatting Changes

It is common for text to expand and shrink when translated into different languages, so it's necessary to prepare for formatting changes during your medical translation process. Our multilingual desktop publishing team will take the time to adjust, adapt, and reformat your translated materials so they resonate across languages and locales. We will modify all medical device labeling content for you, making your materials ready for immediate global distribution.

Medical device labeling translation requires precision, accuracy, and a Language Service Provider with expertise in the life science industry. For more information on Language Intelligence’s medical device translation services, contact us today.


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