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Why Is Medical Translation Important?

By Camille Bouvet, Lingolet Intern

Why Is Medical Translation Important?

It is imperative to understand patients in the medical field, and misinterpretation of a term is very dangerous. Latin languages such as Spanish or French have words that are very similar or even identical to English; however, in the medical field, they do not have the same meaning. For example, "intoxicated" in English means that the patient overdoses on a drug... but in Spanish, "intoxicate" means poison.

This has already happened in the United States; Willie Ramirez had quadriplegia because of this erroneous translation. The hospital did not use a certified interpreter; the hospital treated him for a drug overdose while the patient was bleeding from the brain.

He woke up as a person with quadriplegia. This incident cost the hospital $71 million in compensation.

With Lingolet, you have access to more than 4,000 translators in over 200 languages. You can choose a certified interpreter in a specific field: choose between medical, legal, and commercial. Interpreters are available in less than 30 seconds: this allows the hospital to have quality translations available quickly. 

Also, our interpreters are certified and bound by professional secrecy, which guarantees the protection of patient data.


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Learn more about medical translation: 


  • Why are medical translation errors unacceptable, and how can they be avoided

  • Is there a difference in medical language between Quebec French and French from France?

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