;   Medical Translation Insight: Localization vs. translation in medical device, pharmaceutical companies - ForeignExchange Translations

Typical contacts in a medical device or pharmaceutical company don't know what 'localization' refers to - they are used to talking about 'translation'The folks over at the Localization, Localisation blog recently posed the question Who's responsible for Localization in your organization? With the post talks about terms like globalization, internationalization, localization and even "glocalization", it struck me that 99% of our contacts in the medical device and biopharma industries would have no idea what these terms mean.

Usually, when terms like "localization" crop up in client requests or RFPs, it is a sure-fire sign that they have been talking to a software localization vendor. Just recently, we responded to an RFP for clinical-research-related translations that contained several references to localization and internationalization. Sure enough, when asked to clarify what kind of software was being used/localized, the company replied "none, we require translations for informed consent forms, protocols, protocol amendments, and patient recruitment materials."

For service providers and clients alike, it is important to not get caught up in translation jargon. While the use of some jargon is inevitable, it pays to be conscious of the fact that the other party may not be familiar with a particular expression. Clear communication begins before any translation is done!


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