When a medical report lands in my inbox I know it’s going to be a challenge. It’s probably going to be a scanned PDF or image file. If the client is the patient, he or she will need to be guided through the translation, invoicing and payment workflow. The report itself may be full of abbreviations, none of which will be glossed. Here are some tips for translating medical reports efficiently.
1. Agree on what needs to be translated
A client may not need a 20-page report translated word for word. I sometimes offer an adapted or summarised translation service, especially if there are time or budget constraints. The exact content depends on the purpose of the translation. If the target reader is a doctor in the patient’s home country, he or she won’t need to know the patient’s hospital bed number and other details.