Get a Call
get a call back
Contact US

The Importance of Subject Matter Expertise in Translation

By May 26, 2017Translation Tips

When choosing a medical translation service, you need an expert medical translator who really knows the medical translation business well.

You need to know if the translator has…

● native-level bilingualism in both the source and target language;

● a thorough cultural understanding in both languages;

● a high level of expertise in the subject matter.

What is expertise in subject matter in a translation?

In the translation, world expertise in specific subject matter such as what’s needed for a medical translation is vital to ensure the translation is done both well and correctly using the most appropriate medical terminology. Put more simply if your medical texts need to be translated into Arabic from English the translator needs to possess a complete understanding and have expertise in both the English and Arabic medical scenario. For example, if the document is related to the field of Cardiology the translator must have plenty of knowledge and subject matter expertise in the cardiology field.

There’s considered to be 3 main kinds of expertise in subject matter which are

● academic;

● experiential

● performance-based.

Academic expertise is when an expert medical translator has a specific academic level in the subject matter such as a higher degree in the field.  This gives the translator a head start both linguistically and on the basis of learned knowledge about the subject-matter.

Experiential refers to the situation when a translator has actually worked in the specific field and has built up an understanding of the subject from having gained hands on experience. This is often the case when it comes to translators who have retired from full-time careers but carry out translations for economic reasons following retirement.

Performance-based is when an expert medical translator is working in their field of expertise giving him or her vital knowledge on current practices, procedures, terminology, and regulations related to the area. Typically, these translators translate on a part-time basis as a way of enhancing their knowledge in the particular field while earning extra money. They may also want to see certain information spread out to all corners of the world.

Information throughout the world is changing at a rapid pace. Along with this are the cultural and social situations of the world’s population. These can be transformed quite quickly, particularly as more of the population becomes urbanised.  Translators need to be aware of significant changes so the cultural nuances can be included in all their translations. It’s no good depicting women wearing a veil in a country which no longer enforces this custom.

Leave a Reply

No upfront payment for Australian ABN holders: Get the translation first, then conveniently pay within 7 days.