How to Translate the Language of Medicine

The importance of precise and particular translations is understood by most businesses trading on a global scale. However, when it comes to the medical, biotech, and pharmaceutical sectors, exact professional translation of essential documentation is paramount to success. How do we translate medical language to achieve the desired results?

translate medical language

Mastermind Translations bids farewell to a London Met student intern

Last week we bid adieu to lovely Jagoda who had completed her four-month work placement at Mastermind Translations. Making the transition from university to the world of work is never easy, but it can be a very rewarding and truly motivating experience for a young professional trying to find his or her feet in the translation industry. Read on to find out what Jagoda thought of her first taste of working as a specialist Polish translator at Mastermind Translations.

5 Ways to Make Your Polish Patent Translation Project a Success

From an innovative skin disinfectant to cutting-edge materials for decellularising and recellularising human organs, over the past decade we have covered a wide spectrum of medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnical topics in our Polish patent translation projects. This work has given us a wealth of experience which we always enjoy sharing with our clients to enhance our working relationship and ensure every project meets their high standards. So how can we further improve the way we work together and increase your chances of making your Polish patent translation project a real success?

What Opportunities the Clinical Trials Market in Poland Offers

Globally, the clinical trials market is forecast to reach US $22 billion by 2021, a compounded annual growth rate of 7.5% when compared to 2016. But how does this relate to the clinical trials market in Poland? This article will discuss the potential clinical trial opportunities in Poland and why it might be an appealing country for clinical research over the coming years.

What is Polish certified translation

Last month I was awarded the Chartered Linguist status for Translation. Since then, we’ve experienced a considerable increase in enquiries about our Polish certified translation service. However, many of our clients are still unsure of what Polish certified translation is. They also don’t know if they need it in their particular circumstances. We appreciate there is no one-size-fits-all answer. I hope with my advice you’ll be able to choose the translation service that matches your individual needs and objectives.

5 myths about working with a Polish medical translator

You have an important medical document to translate and need a professional Polish medical translator, but are unsure what to expect? You are not alone. Most of our clients have never used a specialist translation service before and are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the task before them. I have the same feeling of uncertainty when I need to have a home appliance urgently repaired.

Kasia’s fundraising for Sue Ryder

Do you believe in karma? I don’t if I am being honest, but I strongly believe every successful business has the responsibility to spread goodwill towards their local community.

Best translated books for the summer

Imagine you’re strolling along cobbled alleyways dotted with wine-stained traditional eateries which fill the air with unfamiliar yet intriguing flavours. The postcard perfect panorama bursting with vibrant colours calls for a no-filter snap. Regrettably, it took me almost 15 minutes to write these two sentences. Clearly, I’m no fit for a literary translator! Creating (or re-creating in translation) literary work requires a completely different set of skills than specialist translation, such as pharmaceutical translation, for example. However, I do like reading translated books, both fiction and non-fiction, because it’s the best thing next to travelling. It lets you experience different ways of...

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Polish Translator becomes the International Businesswoman of the Year

The glitz and glamour of a red carpet event with flashing lights are rarely part of your average translator’s professional life, however when I tentatively stepped onto the stage to receive my award for winning the Gloucestershire International Businesswoman of the Year last week, I felt as if I was there to also represent the entire translators’ community. I was completely overwhelmed to receive this prestigious award, and was absolutely thrilled at the positive reaction from the other local businesses taking part, as well as from my fellow translator colleagues. The lovely messages that have been pouring in to me...

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How can your organisation benefit from terminology management

It will please some of you to know that I almost titled this post ‘Stop wasting your money and invest in terminology management’. Then I thought it would be unfair to blame a business or an organisation for not implementing something they aren’t familiar with. Let’s face it. To most people terminology management sounds as exciting as a quarterly VAT return. But just like bookkeeping, terminology management often comes to the foreground when things go wrong. However, too often organisations overlook it or see it as an additional cost because they don’t quite understand what it is and/or how they can benefit...

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Is your translator taking confidentiality seriously?

Picture the scene. Taking a thoughtful sip from her flat white, the translator sits back in her favourite cereal café and types the final paragraph of her latest, highly confidential, pharmaceutical translation assignment for a clinical research organisation. With a self-satisfied sigh, she closes the lid on her MacBook Pro and contemplates dinner. Meanwhile, a stranger, who has absorbed and been taking notes on the classified secrets in the document from the next table, is already three blocks away, looking similarly pleased with himself as he makes off with the details of sensitive drug research data. Confidentiality was clearly not...

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3 facts I’ve learnt about Polish translation of vascular terms

Exactly a week ago I attended a highly informative medical translation workshop on vascular and abdominal surgery. The event took place in Olching, near Munich, Germany, and was organised by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Medical and Pharmaceutical Network, a UK-based group of professional translators specialising in the medical, pharmaceutical and related fields. I was especially keen to gain more insight into vascular surgery which would help me with Polish translation of vascular terms. The input provided by the speaker, Dr Everard Braganza, a Germany-based vascular surgeon, was invaluable. Here are the three most interesting things I learnt.

Polish translator in the Gloucestershire Women of the Year Awards 2016

Last week I was absolutely thrilled to learn that I was in the running for the Gloucestershire Women of the Year Awards 2016. A closer look at the official Gloucestershire Women of the Year Awards website revealed even more exciting news: I am a finalist in not one, but two categories, i.e. International Businesswoman of the Year 2016 and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016.

Pushing pills in Poland

If the British oil their social conversation with observations on the weather, the Poles, it seems, are obsessed with health, their lack of it and their natural-born talent for diagnosis and prognosis. Don’t ask a Pole how he or she is unless you have an hour to spare! Thus, it comes as no surprise Poland is the largest pharmaceutical market in the Central and Eastern Europe region and the sixth largest in Europe. It’s probably even less surprising to see online pharmacies as the fastest growing distribution channel. With an increasing demand for medicinal products, pharmaceutical advertising in Poland must be like shooting...

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Why you won’t see a doughnut in Polish medical translation

Imagine a classic sweetness-bursting yeast-raised doughnut which has been run under a flavourful glaze waterfall for added boost of scrumptiousness. If you’re born and bred in the UK, the chances are you’ll immediately think of a ring doughnut you can get from an old van on the high street. However, if you live in the Cotswolds like I do, your knee-jerk reaction at the mention of the word ‘doughnut’ may as well be GCHQ, the ring-shaped top secret offices of the Government Communications Headquarters, a British cryptography and intelligence agency, known to the locals as ‘The Doughnut’. Going back to...

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What changed in the latest EMA QRD template update

This month really got my heart racing, and it had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. The one thing that releases large amounts of adrenaline in any pharmaceutical translator is an update of the EMA QRD template for product information. On 9th February 2016, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published version 10 of the templates for product information for use by applicants and marketing-authorisation holders for human medicines, and I rushed to EMA’s official website to see what changes had been made to the reference documents we use religiously in our everyday work.

Why language is important for business growth?

The world is an interesting and diverse place. It would, after all, be boring if everywhere was the same. The differences in language and culture, however, can cause misunderstanding and friction if one is not aware of it. And I don’t mean here petty communication problems, such as asking for raisin in your best French accent just to get a bunch of grapes in return. Language plays a vital role in opening up your business to the world. You’re probably know that already if you’re a multinational giant, such as Google or Amazon, with branches all over the world. But it...

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British Jam Maker Spreads the Love to Poland — JimJams

Delightfully sweet plum jam happily bubbling away on the stovetop… yep it’s this time of the year when those disgusted by tasteless, lumpy and artificially coloured store-bought jam will take to their kitchens to make their own preserve and feel like Mary Berry. If only for a moment. Rhubarb, plums, pears. Check. Bag of sugar. Check. Diabetic coma. Check! Kevin Bath of JimJams had this ‘aha’ moment when one morning he sat down with his two young children at the breakfast table. So what do you do if you want your family to have a sweet life but without all...

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My Export Journey to Poland — Cotswold Gold

As the news of a Nazi gold train allegedly buried in the wooded hills of the south-west Poland is making headlines in almost every British newspaper, there’s another gold fever going on in Polish kitchens which doesn’t require any metal detectors or ground-penetrating equipment. Polish food connoisseurs are going mad for a rare treasure from a small Gloucestershire village. As sunny and warm as the Cotswolds fields at the height of the British summer, here, dear readers, I present to you the Cotswold Gold, an artisan rapeseed oil that made it to Polish pantries as part of the Food is...

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8 Good Reasons to Invest in Poland

Thinking of investing in Poland? Poland might not be the first place you would think of when looking for somewhere to invest your money. It’s a cold and obscure place, still suffering from its time under communist rule, right? Wrong! If by the end of this article you are not already booking your flights and Googling Polish investment firms, I hope to have at least changed your perspective on this exciting and energetic country. If we look back to the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s, we see that many people hesitated to invest their money. Those that did,...

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Poland grows appetite for British food with the Food is GREAT campaign

Unhealthy, fatty, sugary, tasteless, unsophisticated peasant’s food — that pretty much summarises the comments I got when I asked my Polish friends to share their views on British food. But British cuisine isn’t only the greasy fish and chips or the exceedingly sweet and heavy bread and butter pudding. There’s a whole different world of mouth-watering culinary experiences British food and drink businesses have been keeping secret from the overseas palates: the tongue-biting citrus tanginess of the old-fashioned lemon curd, the sharp, pungent flavours of the extra mature farmhouse cheddar or the smooth and malty earthiness of the traditional English...

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Polish Networking: 5 Tips for Connecting with Polish Business People

With the conference season upon us and the UK Export Week just round the corner, there’s never been a better time to brush up on your networking skills. Whether you’re heading to a business breakfast at your local Polish business club or a full-day international event in Warsaw, make sure you know how to mingle with the Polish folk. It’s unfair. Shameless. Even revolting how easily some business people manage to make crucial contacts, create opportunities and get what they’ve come for. Some just seem to have it all. Aren’t you tired of looking at the photographic evidence of their...

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Mastermind Translations wins Small Business Sunday with Theo Paphitis

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that this week I’ve become an official winner of the Small Business Sunday competition. Small Business Sunday, shortened to the hashtag #SBS on Twitter, is a weekly initiative run by UK top retail entrepreneur and former BBC2 Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis to recognise the work and achievements of UK small businesses. Following Theo’s motto: ‘make your own luck by making use of every opportunity’, I entered Small Business Sunday to highlight the role of translators and gain more exposure for my Polish translation business. Last Sunday, I tweeted Theo about Mastermind Translations, describing the language...

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Five Rules of Successful Business Negotiation in Poland

Over the past ten years or so, I’ve taken part in a number of negotiation meetings in equally challenging roles: as a negotiator or as a Polish interpreter. Striking a good deal is tough, but when cultural and language issues come into play, the negotiation process becomes even more difficult. Watching UK and Polish business people try to smooth a path which satisfies both parties has helped me get an insight into the differences between business negotiation in Poland and the UK. I hope this post will help you understand how Polish entreprenuers come to an agreement and get what they want....

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Why is my Polish business partner so humble?

Have you ever wondered why your Polish business partner sounds so modest and unobtrusive when they speak to you? Well, that’s a sign you’ve fallen into the trap of a cultural misunderstanding. Each culture has its own model of politeness. What in your eyes may seem like lack of confidence and self-esteem is actually the polite way of engaging in a conversation in Poland. The same way the chameleon adapts to the environment by changing the hue of its skin, you need to adapt the way you communicate to fit in. In Poland, this often means toning down. So are...

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My Highlights of Year 2014

As the end of the year is rapidly approaching, now is a good time to take a moment and reflect on the memorable events of the past twelve months. For me, this year has been a very busy one and full of interesting challenges and experiences. I’m pleased to report I’ve managed to tick (almost) all tasks off my annual must-do list. These mainly focused on honing my translation skills and enhancing my subject knowledge in the domains of medicine and pharmaceuticals to be able to offer even higher quality Polish translation and interpreting services to my clients. Below I...

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Polish Business Etiquette – Four Rules to Remember

Since Poland joined the EU Single Market in 2004, it has become easier to do business with Polish companies. However, if cultural differences aren’t taken into consideration, a prospective deal can easily turn into a humiliating failure. By now, foreign investors have learnt not to get offended by Poles’ directness or break the ice by attempting to make a joke about Polish drinking habits. There are, however, still more things you should consider before catching that flight to Warsaw with the hope to make millions of zlotys in the largest market in Central and Eastern Europe. Here are some tips to keep in mind for your next business meeting with a Polish partner.

Exporting to Poland

This week, UK Trade and Investment is holding its Sixth Export Week which features a series of seminars, workshops, and conferences organised across the country with the aim to provide UK businesses of all sizes with practical advice on exploring overseas opportunities. With its strategic location, substantial EU funding and dynamic, well-educated workforce, Poland ranks as the 32nd easiest country in the world in which to do business and the 41st for trading across borders (World Bank Group June 2014). These fantastic export opportunities have already been recognised by large UK companies, such as Tesco Plc, Glaxo SmithKline, Unilever, and an...

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Head and Neck Cancer Seminar

On Tuesday, 14th October 2014, I attended a highly informative seminar on head and neck cancers which was organised by the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and took place in Cheltenham. Because I often translate publications for cancer patients as well as more specialist materials in the field of oncology, I try to use every opportunity to find out more about this complex field directly from medical professionals. The seminar seemed like a great way to do so. Here’s my report from the event along with some resources on head and neck cancers for medical translators. Overview of head and...

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MedTranslate Conference 2014

The MedTranslate International Conference for Medical and Pharmaceutical Translation Professionals was truly one in its kind. But the uniqueness of this three-day event had nothing to do with it taking place in the heart of the beautifully mysterious Black Forest where Germany, France, and Switzerland meet, or having a fantastic line-up of speakers delivering straight-to-the-point presentations on subjects relevant to medical and pharmaceutical translation. The ultimate goal of the Conference was to bring together medical translation providers and buyers. This clever set-up created a perfect opportunity for translators to see what the medical and pharmaceutical industry professionals need and expect,...

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Translators’ Wall of Fame: Prof. Jerzy Koch

An internationally-renowned Dutch philologist, an excellent literary scholar and an acclaimed literary translator, Prof. Jerzy Koch is an intriguing individual with a sharp eye for detail and a soft spot for the written word. With these two qualities he has successfully unlocked the enthralling world of Dutch, Flemish and Afrikaans literature for the Polish-speaking readership. During his long-standing academic career, he’s published eight books and over 100 papers on the subject. A linguist of many trades, a globetrotter and a keen photographer, he’s the first foreigner to have become a full member of the South African Academy for Science and...

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Resources on Rare Diseases for Translators

Today, we celebrate Rare Disease Day to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and the challenges faced by people affected by these conditions. There are nearly 7,000 known rare diseases, and although they occur only in less than 1 in 2,000 people, it is estimated that 1 in 17 people will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their life. Because rare disease patients represent the minority, there is sometimes little public and professional knowledge of their conditions. This is reflected in the amount of reference materials available to professionals, such as...

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Drug Discovery Industry Course for Translators

As a large proportion of my work involves translating documentation used for the regulatory approval and marketing of drugs, I’m always very keen on expanding my knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. Last weekend I attended a very informative course which provided a comprehensive overview of the discovery and development of medicines. The course was held in the splendid surroundings of the 16th century Emmanuel College, the University of Cambridge. Our course trainer Dr Ed Zanders of PharmaGuide, whose experience in biochemical research spans over 25 years, walked us through the key stages of the drug development process, from early discovery...

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Medical translations that make us [sic!]

What could be the worst thing about a visit to the dentist? In my case, it wasn’t hearing the sound of the dentist’s drill but reading badly translated dental care leaflets in the waiting room. I recently travelled to Poland to have a dental implant fitted at a state-of-the-art private dental clinic. While patiently sitting in the waiting room, I noticed a stand with a selection of dental care leaflets. I wouldn’t be a medical translator if I hadn’t picked a couple of them for a quick read. To my astonishment, a leaflet advertising the various benefits of specialist dental...

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Translators’ Wall of Fame: Chris Durban

Chris Durban doesn’t need introducing. She’s a member of ATA and SFT, a Fellow of ITI, and an active member of the translation community. If you’re a successful translator, chances are you’ve already heard of her. However, if you’re still working your way up the career ladder, then stop what you’re doing right now and get a copy of “The Prosperous Translator” co-written by her. It’ll make your climb easier. I was very excited to have the opportunity to chat with Chris in September at The Cracow Translation Days 2013. She may be an excellent translator, but she’s also a...

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A Healthy Balance Between Medical and Language Qualifications in Medical Translation

A couple of weeks ago, a new direct client approached me with a request to proofread and validate a set of medical publications for patients. The client’s assurance that the documents had been translated into Polish by speciality registrars quickly fired my enthusiasm for the new project. As I started reading through the text, I could not help but notice the many language flaws tarnishing the otherwise accurate Polish translation. As a bona fide linguist (not a polyglot, but a linguistic practitioner, that is) with a Master of Arts in English specialising in Linguistics, I have a keen interest in...

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