Translation Methodologies for Life Sciences Documentation
By: Salman Saeed
There is no denying the fact that life sciences translation requires precision and absolute accuracy if it is to be done at a high standard. The workflow is very complicated. From the time the document is given to a translation agency or a professional translator, till the time it reaches the client as the final product, there are multifaceted sections that have to be considered in order to ensure that the translated content is delivered at par. In this article, we are going to discuss translation methodologies for life sciences documentation.
No Standard Procedure For Every Document
However, the most concerning issue for anyone attempting to translate a life science document is that no standard procedure or methodology could be utilized. The diversity of models is prevalent in this domain. The reason why this diversity exists in the first place is that every clinical trial research or case is different from the other.
Models And Methodologies
Given the variation in the circumstances, conditions, regulations, and documentation, it becomes impossible to see every case with the same lens. Hence, new models and methodologies are always appearing on the surface so that they can cater to the specificities and intricacies of one particular case.
Change In Priorities
There are certain factors that need more attention in certain cases. The prioritization of issues needs to be done before work on the project is started. However, every project will have different priorities from the others. The target market is the major catalyst for the change in priorities.
Every market is different from the other. It is the responsibility of the organization to study its target audience before they start the process of translation. Moreover, it is important to integrate the goals of the organization with those of the target market. The overlapping of priorities will ensure that both stakeholders get what they want to achieve from the job.
Nonetheless, there is no denying the fact that translation methodologies vary with the different life sciences documents.
Translation Methodologies For Life Sciences Translation
Let’s discuss the outline of translation methodologies that are often considered whenever a life sciences document is to be translated.
Overview of Translation Method
No industry has the capability to integrate different translation methodologies as the life sciences industry does.
If the aim is to translate certain documents that are directed towards a particular patient or a case, then there is a method available specifically for that. Moreover, if the goal is to translate documents that pertain to manuals or instructions for technical users, then there is a specific methodology for that as well.
But the real question is how can one specify which methodology to use for which purpose.
To tackle this challenge there is a simple system that can help companies or professionals to choose the best methodology for them. The system consists of three basic methodologies that are used for translating technical content or in this case life science documents;
- Generalized Translation
- Back Translation And Reconciliation
- Linguistic Validation
So let’s discuss the above-mentioned process in detail;
1. Generalized Translation
The basic strategy used for translating clinical documents is the generalized translation system or standardized translation. This step consists of three fundamentals. Moreover, all three steps are handled by three different people with a specific set of skills. These include;
- The Translator
- The Editor
- The Proofreader
One may ask when the standard translation strategy is used.
Well, it is taken into consideration when the target market already has the basic know-how of the medical device.
This specific target audience usually consists of the medical staff. They are the ones that often are at the receiving end of a medical device translation. The translation basically covers the instructional point of a project. User manuals for specific guidelines to handle a medical device are translated.
2. Back Translation And Reconciliation
Back translation is what the name suggests. It is actually the process of converting the translated text back into its principal language document.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
The next step involves the comparison part.
So what happens is that professionals take the translated content and the back-translated document, and begin to compare and contrast both of these documents. During this process, changes and alterations are made, in order to ensure that both texts are smooth and flawless. Moreover, it also helps to resolve any discrepancies that might be prevalent in both of the messages.
If you are wondering, which texts involve the process of back translation and reconciliation? Then these sorts of processes are used to handle very complex and technical content. The reason why professionals and translation agencies have to re-translate content multiple times is to ensure that no mistake is made in the translation. Because the repercussion of a mistranslation is far greater than you can possibly fathom. It can lead to many legal and financial issues.
The aim of this activity is to ensure that the quality is maintained. And errors and faults are reduced to a minimum level.
Moreover, the reputation of the company can also be permanently tarnished. And most importantly, it can affect a patient’s life, which is far greater than the other two. Therefore, it is the responsibility of organizations to ensure that the likelihood of an error is reduced to its minimum core.
3. Linguistic Validation
Linguistic validation is the methodology that concerns the medical documentation of a patient. Whenever a patient is treated, his or her entire medical information is gathered in a particular document. This process is usually taken up by the hospital management. Even when a person appears to see a doctor or a medical professional, the initial conversation usually takes place verbally and face-to-face.
At those particular moments, the management has the obligation to jot down every conversation or suggestion on a piece of paper. So that it could be validated in the near future.
This methodology is even more overwhelming and complex than it sounds. All the regulatory bodies that are part of the life sciences industry are involved or have their stake in its process in one way or another.
Linguistic validation is a very complex mechanism due to the fact that it constitutes the involvement of translation tools as well as patient-induced materials. These materials are specifically designed to treat a patient’s condition. Every patient responds differently to that material. It is the responsibility of the organizations to note any worthy notification that is observed so that it can be later utilized in the translation process.
Moreover, the linguistic validation process also has to take into consideration the back translation methodology. Though this process is a bit more complicated and involves many further steps, the base is provided by the reconciliation method.
Cognitive debriefing is another step involved in this process. In this step, the patient-facing instrument is actually utilized and tested on several people. This test is conducted on a sample of patients taken from a considerable target audience.
The sample size will also decide the type of questions that will be asked of them. All the cultural aspects and traditional nuances have to be taken into consideration as well. Though this step is a bit lengthy and tiring, ultimately it will help the data output to be more precise and effective considering that every possible variable was taken into consideration.
Conclusively, we have discussed some of the basic and renowned mythologies that are utilized in the life science translation industry.
However, if you are trying to figure out which methodology to go for, this article will help you to make logical decisions.
Nonetheless, it is your job to ensure that your translation partner and agency provide you with healthcare services with the option of choosing the right methodology for your project.