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The Importance of Professional Translation Services During Covid-19

The purpose of medical translations is different from any other type of translation. It does not aim to attract consumers and just earn out of it. Everything that is concerned with the medical or pharmacy is related to human life.


It demands the higher accuracy of the translations. Medical translations have to be perfect in all fortes, language, medical terminologies, and the context of the source data. Any small mistake in the translation can lead to misinterpretation and affect the medical services. 

Medical Translation and COVID-19

The healthcare industry has crossed the language barriers through medical translations. This has helped the medical industry save millions of lives. It is achieved through better communication between the patient and the medical practitioner.


Medical Translation during COVID-19 has taken a turn in the most significant way. In March 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Since then the world is witnessing the challenges faced by medical services. It has hugely affected the economies too. Past the year, we have seen how we were able to adapt to the situation and start the treatment, learning from each other.


The development of vaccines was faster than ever before. The documentation was done too for the present and future references. The international information transfer of all these things was possible only because of the medical translations. 


We have a past to this too. The pandemic of the 1918 Spanish Flu has taught us a lot. What was it?

How the Communication Helped During Spanish Flu

Like COVID-19, even in 1918, the world was tragically infected by the Spanish flu outbreak. As many as 500 million people were infected which was about one-third of the global population. The flu took the lives of about 50 million people. The tragedy has taught us lessons about clear and accurate communication.


That was the time when WHO was formed by taking the initiative from multiple countries. It was formed for researching, developing, and analyzing all the data related to the pandemic. Scientists, researchers, and medical practitioners participated in this. Their native language was not similar as they belonged to the various countries. This is when the medical translations and interpretations played a vital role.


At that time all the countries concluded that it was all about communicating the important data swiftly among the concerned countries. To achieve this and to stop the pandemic at the earliest, precise translations are needed. The same has been happening with the COVID-19 scenarios. 

How Are Translation Benefitting in the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Interpretations in COVID-19- We all know that the pandemic started in China. Imagine the international traveler who was infected with the virus and was admitted to a hospital in China. For clear communications between the patient and the doctor, translation was mandatory. So hospitals have become one of the most important places where translation services are needed. Interpretation is also required, but it is too risky to have an interpreter in the places where the COVID 19 patients are receiving the care.


Interpretation is easy and faster than translations. But it is not possible to have interpreters in direct contact with the COVID patients. However, Video Interpretation is helping patients describe what is happening with them. Effective communication is the way for the successful treatment of COVID patients.


Controlling the Spread- The ultimate goal is to stop the spread of the virus. The most effective way is to educate the people on how to stay safe and avoid contamination. Understanding, implementing, and then avoiding the spread are the major steps to stop the pandemic.


For instance, some countries are trying new ways to stop the virus, such as rapid testing. To spread this information about how to do it, medical translations are necessary. Though we have been fighting the virus for more than a year now also there is new information coming every day. For the faster spread of this information in all the infected countries, faster translations are necessary.


For instance- we knew about the coronavirus, but as the virus was muted, there was a new strain that was found in various countries. To let the world know about the characteristics of this virus, medical translations were demanded by virologists and epidemiologists. This kind of content directly affects medical treatments. So it is necessary to have accurate translations in multiple languages.


Data Interpretations in Medical Stream- It simply means interpreting all the data that is related to the pandemic. Such as understanding the pattern of the outbreak of the virus and the waves it. When was the first wave hit, then the second wave, the duration, the death rate, and the future predictions based on this data? To understand these patterns in foreign countries, the translators have to work very quickly without compromising accuracy.


At the same time, the translator has to adhere to the original context of the source data. Also, the virus is constantly evolving and changing its nature, resulting in an increased number of cases. When there is a change in the virus, the infected person shows different symptoms.


So the list of symptoms is being constantly updated. Laso there are certain geographical areas where the number of patients is high. So to help them predict future circumstances, the medical translations help.


Any such situation should be spread quickly too. The only way to curb the situation is through sharing experiences and better communication. Effective medical translation of the information is the key to this.

Coming Over the Translation Limitations

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented scenario. The new terminologies are coming up for a better understanding of the cases involved. When the new term is created in one language it needs to be reproduced in another language too for a better understanding of the citizens. Fitting that term in the cultural framework is another challenge that medical translators have to face. 


The translators have to be updated with the happenings around. The translation services too should evolve and update themselves in the ever-changing scenario of the pandemic. Medical emergencies have kept the world on its toes. In such scenarios, it is difficult to choose and tie up with the best suitable translation agency. You should consider the following things when you want to take the help of medical translations- 


  1. Quick Translations– All medical translation projects need faster translations. The client cannot afford to lose a lot of time on providing the translations. So search for an agency that will keep the medical translations on priority over any other thing. The agency should be able to provide you the medical translations on a promised timeline. 
  2. Sensitive Information– Medical documents sometimes contain very sensitive information. We have seen cases where the Covid-positive patients were not treated positively. Leaking of reports is highly not accepted. However, other than just the reports, there is various sensitive information produced in the medical field. High confidentiality has to be maintained. If necessary you have to get the non-disclosure agreement signed by the agency. 
  3. Medical and Language Experts– The agency should have a range of language experts. These experts should also have information about the new findings of the COVID-19. It helps them to produce faster translations. The agency should take the help of the medical practitioner to get better explanations of the related terminologies.  
  4. Easy Access– It means that the agencies should be able to take the documents in all manner, soft copies, hard copies, pictures, videos, or the audios. Every type matters. The agency should accept the projects in all forms. Considering the agency, the company should accept everything online. But should also be able to collect the hard copies of the document when needed. 
  5. Customer Support– The most important aspect of the medical translations is giving continuous customer support. Even during a pandemic, some documents would need urgent translations. Some clients will need continuous updates about the project. The translation agency should be able to answer all the queries till the client is satisfied. 
  6. Certificate of Translation– Medical translation is a sensitive thing. The agency should have a group of certified translators. These translators have pursued an education in translation which gives them the authority to issue the certificate of translation. When they issue this certificate, they assure that the translated content is accurate, authentic, and complete to the best knowledge of the translator. Getting a certificate is necessary as there is no scope of mistake when it is about medical translations. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone and every sector of the world. It has shown us the world that can happen. The catastrophic situation is difficult to control, but the hard work of medical practitioners will curb the spread. Translation plays a crucial role in this by working as a mediator.

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