How to deal with medical translation errors?


The medical industry is a tough and challenging field. Accurate communication is crucial for the better health of the patients. Translation of medical documents requires intense dedication and attention. Medical translators are always asked time and again to take care of accuracy and precision and to make it error-free. However, to err is human and errors may occur and can have serious consequences too. It gets significant then to deal with these errors sensibly without creating much hassle.

For medical content translation, it is evident to first know and have an idea about the basic types of errors and mistakes that may occur in medical translation.

Types of medical translation errors 

The errors in medical translation could be different and may vary. Here are the important ones.

Terminology errors

Medical terminology is complex. A lot of similar medical terms have different meanings. Many times translators fail to understand the context of the terms and eventually they end up using the wrong terms which leads to mistranslation and other errors in the translation.

Grammatical errors

Mistakes in errors, wrong sentence structure, and improper use of grammar also lead to mistranslation and it can be confusing as well as misleading for people. Misplaced words can change the meaning of the whole text. This further leads to making it tough for the reader to read and understand.

Cultural errors

Cultural differences also become one of the causes of errors in life science medical translation. Medical practices vary with the regions and countries and hence, make it tough for the translators to keep track of different practices in different areas. There are chances of getting misinterpreted and misunderstood greatly when it comes to culture.

Dealing with the medical errors

Terminology translation services in the medical field are challenging and complex. Translators are eventually individuals with experience in translating medical content, they are not experts and have not studied medicine. They are not supposed to know every term. So it gets tough for them often to deal with the medical content.

Dealing with medical translation errors can be a challenging task, but some steps can be taken to minimize the impact of these errors and prevent them from happening in the future.

Identify the source of the error

This should be the foremost practice to rectify the error. To correct the error, it’s important to determine where it originated from. Was it a mistranslation or it came from the original documents? This is why experts always suggest scanning the source document for errors. It could also be the result of misinterpretation of medical terminology. Can be a typo or a formatting error? Once you know the source, you can take appropriate action.

Verify the translation

This should be the regular practice of an online medical translator and others. They should not let it go without double-checking the translation against the original document. It is crucial. They should also make sure that the translated text accurately conveys the intended meaning of the original document. Verification of translation in the right way can save you from many hassles and you can do your work more peacefully.

Consult with a medical professional

When it comes to medical translations, it’s essential to consult with a medical professional who is familiar with the language and culture of both the source and target languages. Medical professionals should be hired for the review and check-up. They can easily help identify any errors or discrepancies and suggest corrections.

Make corrections

After the identification of the errors and their source, make the necessary corrections. Depending on the nature and severity of the error, you may need to revise the entire document or just a section of it. Rectification of errors is extremely vital in the medical text. 

Implement quality control measures

To mitigate the risk of errors in the future, it’s important to implement quality control measures such as reviewing the translation for accuracy and consistency. Memory tools can also help with the translation process. Consistency can be maintained by using translation memory tools and hiring qualified and experienced medical translators.

Establish a feedback loop

Encouraging feedback from healthcare professionals, patients, and other stakeholders to continuously improve the quality of your medical translations can be a good step towards maintaining the quality and avoiding errors in translation.

Monitor and track errors

It is important to keep a record of the errors and their resolution to identify patterns and trends that may require further action or improvement. Monitoring the whole progress of the translation is vital and can help with mitigating the risk of translation greatly.


Dealing with medical translation errors requires a systematic approach that involves identifying the source of the error, verifying the translation, consulting with a medical professional, making corrections, and implementing quality control measures. Also before analyzing the errors it is important to understand the type of errors that occur in medical translation. 

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