;   Medical Translation Insight: The value of long-term linguistic teams - ForeignExchange Translations

The value of long-term linguistic teams

One of ForeignExchange's clients, a 12 billion dollar musculoskeletal health leader, has exacting requirements for subject matter expertise and writing style. Their project work is ongoing and demands consistency in translation to avoid confusion and damage to brand but has very aggressive timelines due to product release deadlines.

There was a strong need for lower costs without a sacrifice to quality. Through the establishment of long-term linguistic teams and support materials, we were able to save money while increasing quality and consistency in the translations.

ForeignExchange developed three separate linguist screening tests for the differing needs of each client group – Orthopedic, Dental, and Corporate Communications. These tests are given in addition to our Compliance Translation Certification with the following criteria:
  • Orthopedic -- experience translating material for implantable medical devices for joint replacement. ForeignExchange created teams of three to four linguists per language pair to meet tight timelines and account for schedule conflicts. Our client selected the linguists with preferred style from those who had passed the technical test.
  • Dental implant -- criteria for this group were still more selective. All members of the team must reside in the country of the target audience and possess a medical degree such as M.D., D.M.D., D.D.S., R.N.
  • Corporate communications -- writing style is most important for this group. For effective translation of marketing literature, the core concept of the original must be maintained, but read as though it were crafted in the target language. Marketing writing contains more wordplay and cultural concepts, which are challenging to translate.
An expectation of consistent long-term work allowed ForeignExchange to set preferred pricing terms and turnaround times were reduced because time was not lost assigning linguists on a per project basis. Additionally, long-term teams do not need to be trained on the client style guide repeatedly.

Our client's in-country review teams have been pleased with translations, both in terms of technical accuracy and style. Redundancy in the teams ensures that tight timeframes are met.

Long-term teams of linguists provide greater consistency to translation, reducing the risk of reader confusion and strengthening our client's brand. Cost savings have been demonstrated in quarterly and annual business review meetings, which keep our client's financial auditors happy.

ForeignExchange's METRiQ quality system provides medical device and pharmaceutical companies with measurable, known medical translation quality.


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