Pharmaceutical Translation

The pharmaceutical field, much like the majority of scientific and health fields, is widely dominated by the English language. Therefore, pharmaceutical translation is carried out largely from English to other languages and from languages such as Italian, Spanish and French to English when new research is conducted. Needless to say, pharmaceutical translators in Italian, Spanish and French are widely required to work with developments and new research, including to check procedures and articles with new information.

But… what does pharmaceutical translation cover? Pharmacy studies include a variety of disciplines that serve this specialty amongst which you can find biology (and many of its subspecialties such as microbiology), genetics, chemistry, physics, physical chemistry (which, contrary to popular belief is a discipline in itself that uses aspects from both physics and chemistry); in addition to biochemistry, which as a degree programme has the first three years in common with the Pharmacy degree programme. Therefore, we can say that the variety of documents to be translated involves many disciplines and the rules and guidelines applied to all translations in the field of science have to be followed. In this sense, for example, a good translator should follow the International System of Measures when translating calculations and quantities expressed in these types of documents.  This requires a deep knowledge of the terminology and the correct form of expression according to the standards of bodies such as the General Medical Council or the Academy of Medical Sciences. It is also possible to refer to authorities in these matters so as not to make mistakes that lead to misinterpretation of the information, such as the ISO 17100:2015 Translation Services-Requirements for Translation Services by the International Organization for Standardization.

On the other hand, within pharmaceutical translation, in the workplace, the work of translators is not limited to the documents resulting from research. For large pharmaceutical laboratories, translators translate marketing materials, drug leaflets, summaries of product characteristics (SPCs), data collection books, good manufacturing practice manuals, pharmacovigilance documentations and laboratory tests and even documentation for the legal department.

Translators at BBLTranslation who work in the field of the pharmaceutical industry are highly specialised and, due to the constant modification of academic regulations in terms of linguistics, are constantly learning to stay up to date. As it is a scientific area, being up to date on scientific advances plays a fundamental role in the professional performance of the translator.

Our team also reviews drug package leaflets, medical trials, labelling and packaging information, patents, pharmaceutical specifications and pharmaceutical marketing texts, amongst others.

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