What is Medical Translation and its Role in Vaccine Education? 

Healthcare services have become revolutionized with the swift globalization of businesses. Medical experts need to stay updated with the latest industry research because they need to constantly communicate with patients. They are also expected to stay current with advanced medical findings to provide efficient treatment and advice. 

“Medical translation refers to the translation of a wide array of medical documents while carefully ensuring the authenticity of information, research, terminologies, and instructions, prioritizing comprehensibility.”

In the post-pandemic world, it has become a prerequisite and challenge for all medical service providers and professionals to cater to patients from diverse backgrounds. Industry-leading medical translations face language barriers and ensure accurate life-saving information accessible to more people.

The pandemic caused the media industry to constantly talk about the medical terms that were once only a part of medical discussions. It was the need of the hour and resulted in the global medical industry carefully working on both clinical and paraclinical translations of the essential vaccine information. These are the primary motives of medical translations in vaccine education.

  • Fight contagious elements.
  • Spread awareness about the disease and life cycle of the virus.
  • Educate about the benefits and repercussions of vaccine information.
  • Comprehensively communicate about the symptoms and treatments of the viruses. 

Languages Spoken in the US other than English

Considering the non-English speaking population of the US, almost 75.04 % of academic research is published in English. It shows the urgency and importance of the medical translation for vaccine information.

Language Name Approx Number of Speakers
Spanish 42,157,140
Chinese 3,460,422
Vietnamese 1,528,461
Tagalog + Filipino 1,723,342
Arabic 1,305,000
French + Cajun 1,210,216
Korean 1,085,969
Russian 984,024
German 871,275
Haitian 868,051


Importance of Authentic Medical Translations

All types of medical translations especially vaccine-related materials aimed to convey the instructions, symptoms, guidelines, prescriptions, etc. While maintaining the utmost accuracy and correctness of data and information. 

Considering the potential health risks that any error in medical translation might pose, institutions and businesses need to understand the need to hire professional medical translators to mitigate the risks.

Examples and Repercussions of Bad Medical Translations

Below are some examples of inaccurate medical translations mentioned in the Granite Journal of the University of Aberdeen. These real examples highlight the importance of 100% accurate translations of information and show the possible dangerous repercussions. 

The outcomes of accurate medical translations multiply in case of virus-related material, communication, and research, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 virus because of its far-reaching effects. Inaccurate information or communication about infectious diseases can increase the contagion risks.

English Word/Phrase Translated Version Possible Reason
Once a Day Eleven a Day “Once” in Spanish = ”Eleven”
Boca (Mouth) Poca (Little) Misspelling
Cemented (ibid) Zementfrei (Without Cement) Poor Translation


Challenges and Technical Aspects of Medical Translations in Vaccine Education

In the wake of COVID-19, the world has witnessed the biggest fact-checking system on COVID-related information across all mainstream social media platforms. This step was initiated to ensure the spread of accurate information and to control misinformation. 

The matter of medical translation becomes more crucial in the case of any vaccine-related study or material because of its sensitivity and dangerous repercussions. 

Basically, the technical aspect of vaccine translation has two parts: 

  • Accurate and authentic translation

It refers to the correct use of technical and specialized medical terminologies while considering the comprehensible aspect of the information.

  • The translated version must reflect the same instructions and information

It refers to rigorously communicating the vaccine-related translation adhering to the medical nomenclature and conventions of the other language. 

  • Lexical Limitations

While translating vaccine information to another language, the reported primary challenge was overcoming the lexical limitations and hurdles. 

Lexical Issues: Specific use of terminologies, acronyms, and abbreviations.

Grammatical issues: Complex, nominal phrases, and Syntax related issues. 

Limitations of Vaccine-Related Medical Translations

There are some industry-specific challenges in the process of medical translation into different languages. Language barriers, syntax, and different grammar are some of the key challenges. Medical translation requires expert individuals with industry-specific expertise. These experts are capable of translating medical information into the target language and communicating the exact symptoms instructions and other life-saving information.

Source Text Targeted Language Translation in Targeted Language
Diagnosis of COVID-19 often entails ruling out other common respiratory viral infection (RVI) etiologies. Per poter effettuare una diagnosi di COVID-19 è necessario escludere le cause eziologiche di altre comuni infezioni virali respiratorie In order to make a diagnosis of COVID-19, it is necessary to exclude the etiologic causes of other common respiratory viral infections.
Prospective studies are needed prior to LMWH use in clinical practice. È necessario svolgere degli studi prospettici prima di poter procedere con l’utilizzo delle EBPM nella prassi clinica. It is necessary to carry out prospective studies before using LMWH in clinical practice

Vaccine Records and Professional Medical Translation

In the post-pandemic world, it is mandatory to carry certain vaccine certificates. For instance, before traveling to the UK, it is required to receive Hepatitis A, and B vaccines and a few others. In some cases especially while visiting for medical treatment, visitors are expected to carry their medical records. Sometimes, translation of their medical documents is required. 

The Biggest Vaccine Translation Project in the History 

COVID-19 caused the biggest vaccine education translation program around the globe. In the diverse spectrum of socio-cultural diversities and language barriers, there were many challenges for healthcare professionals because a huge number of the global population doesn’t speak the global language. 

Importance of Effective Communication Amid COVID-19

COVID-19 reignited the importance of effective communication to combat COVID and other contagious diseases. Clear and effective communication about the symptoms, preventive measures, and health guidelines were issued all across the globe. However, instruction varied based on geographical locations. It was a challenge for non-native speakers to get access to accurate information in their native languages. 

Amid the extraordinary conditions of the COVID pandemic, the role and importance of professional medical translation for vaccine education is not only highlighted but also acknowledged across the globe.

Final Thoughts

So there are many challenges in the process of accurate medical translation for vaccine education including grammar, syntax, and lexical language issues. The biggest step is to use technological tools for medical translation but not solely rely on it. Mars Translation has been providing top-notch services in every subject and niche including medical translation for more than a decade in 230+ languages. The lives of millions of people depend on the translated medical information and prioritize the health of people by providing expert professionals for your medical translation project. The world needs more and more industry expert human resources to monitor and cross-verify the terminologies and industry-specific medical vocabulary.