I am mainly in charge of medical translation. Medical literature is a very unique field. The translator should have specific background knowledge about medicine. Although the translating process is not that different from general translating, there are several important principles about doing medical translating besides those do with other field’s translating. Here I just mention a few of them.
Firstly, be faithful to the original article
Unlike other kinds of translating, accuracy is extremely crucial for medical translation. We even sacrifice other less important principles to fulfill that. It is the most important thing for us to convey the exact same meaning of the source files to the target files. When it goes to the medical, even a small deviation can lead to a disaster.
Secondly, be consistent
As it is well known to all, there are a lot of terms in medical document. Some of those terms’ (Such as some medicine originally came from abroad) translations are various. You can translated it into anyone of them, but you have to make sure it is consistent all through the whole article.
Last but not the least, make the translation as fluent as possible
We said that accuracy is important for medical translation, but sentences in most medical articles are long and complicated, with a lot of medical terms in it. It is not easy for us to understand it even in our native language. So it is important to translate it into a simple style while keep sticking to the original meaning. It is not easy to handle it to an extent that it wouldn’t hurt the accuracy of the meaning while rephrase it simply. My personal experience is to make the sentence as short as possible.
Anyway, the same principle shared by both general and medical translating is that we need more practice to make us a professional on any field. The same goes with medical translating. Only hard working and concluding the tips frequently can we refine our skills. I will keep working on that and constantly improve myself.