In our last post on medical device translation projects, we talked about how planning ahead will make the translation process more time- and cost-effective. Here are some specifics on what to address during the planning and preparation stage.

    • Decide ahead of time all the pieces that need to be translated – in addition to the required components. Include all documentation, packaging and software that will be needed. Additions and changes during the translation process will more than likely increase the translation cost and timeline.
    • Ensure that the product is internationalized. The documentation and software need to accommodate text expansion, diacritical marks (accents, tildes, umlauts, etc.) as well as non-Latin alphabet sets such as Arabic and Chinese.
    • Regulatory requirements may require that changes be made for specific markets, countries or regions. Be sure to include this information in the instructions to the translation professionals.
    • Identify all terminology that is critical to the product and create a glossary that contains definitions and explanations as needed. If you will be providing previously translated glossary items, this terminology should already have been validated by a medical specialist from each country. The glossary will ensure consistency in the translations and will avoid delays while the linguists wait for clarification of terms.
    • Choose a qualified reviewer for each language. Reviewers must have specific knowledge of the field, the medical device and be fluent in both English and target language (including grammar, spelling and the use of diacritical marks).
    • Determine ahead of time who the key contact will be for the translation professionals, someone who is committed to following up on questions and concerns promptly.

Planning ahead with these items in mind will ensure a smooth translation process and will keep unforeseen costs and delays at bay.

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