Holidays, Colors, Traditions and Suspicions Across Countries and Cultures

To establish a global brand, it really does pay to invest in localization, right at the planning stage. Localization goes beyond just language. It makes certain your content resonates with your global audience on a personal and cultural level. Research on consumer habits, values and customs in the markets you are expanding into can help ensure your brand campaigns are prepared and developed with the target audiences in mind.

Consider these suspicions, traditions, holidays and the meanings of colors across countries:

China: Around the world, the way different cultures see and describe the meanings of colors varies dramatically. Colors may convey joy or prosperity in one culture, and doom or bad luck in another. In China, the color white is a color of mourning, while black is the color or mourning in many other countries. Red is a very important color in China — it symbolizes good luck, joy, prosperity, celebration, happiness and a long life. Because it’s such an auspicious color, brides often wear red on their wedding day, and red envelopes containing money are given out during holidays and special occasions.

Russia: Stay clear of the big 4-0 birthday for men. A common superstition in Russia is that when a man is 40 and celebrates it with a big party, it may attract the Death. If this birthday isn’t celebrated, there is less a chance that Death remembers there is a man somewhere to be soon taken.

Japan: One of the most important aspects in Japanese language is that there are different tones or voices depending on the speaker, the listener, level of formality and situation. Therefore, messages are written specific to the sender and the receiver. For example, in Japanese, it is a bit awkward to use expressions that are too casual or romantic with parents – you do not send “kisses” and “hugs” to your mother or father.

Greece: Sorry, Easter Bunny. In Greece, the Easter Bunny tradition does not exist. Bunnies can be used on cards but “Easter Bunny” itself is not considered a symbol of the holiday, e.g. the way Santa Claus represents Christmas in the U.S.

Spain: While finding a four-leaf clover and touching wood are considered good luck, Spaniards believe that Tuesday the 13th is a very unlucky day. If you live in Spain, or many other Spanish-speaking countries, it is the equivalent to Friday the 13th in the U.S. “Martes,” which is Tuesday in Spanish, is a word derived from the name of Mars, the God of war. Therefore, the belief is that Tuesday is ruled by Mars, the god of destruction, blood and violence.

Ireland + the UK: “Happy Mother’s Day!” Yes, we all want to share our well wishes with our moms, but these sentiments are shared on the fourth Sunday of Lent, typically in March in Ireland and the UK. Here is how (and when) many other countries celebrate Mother’s Day, as per Time magazine.

As companies become more global, it is beneficial to understand the potentially diverse cultural the meaning of colors, images, traditions and holidays. Find out more about transcreation services from the experts at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize company.

Contact Welocalize Life Sciences for more information about why localization and transcreation are important components of the marketing and commercialization process for pharmaceutical, medical devices and healthcare companies.

Conducting Clinical Trials in Latin America

In today’s competitive landscape speed is key in getting a drug from discovery through to market. Everything that speeds up the clinical trials process (without sacrificing safety and quality) is a priority to today’s drug developers because it is essential in shortening a product’s time to market. Clinical trials across multiple regions of the world have become common practice, with the goal of bringing new drugs and devices to patients around the world, as fast as scientifically possible.

Conducting clinical trials in Latin America provides sponsors large patient populations within a condensed geographical area. For example, more than 626 million people live in Latin America, with 70% of the population concentrated in urban areas like Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.  Additionally, the commercial markets are attractive due to relatively lower cost for greater speed.

Latin America offers patients in medical centers with competent and qualified investigators and established regulatory systems at comparable cost. There are challenges, however, that require forward thinking and strategic planning to optimize timely study start and execution.

Selecting an Outsourcing Partner

One of the most important decisions a sponsor makes is choosing the right outsourcing partner to execute a successful clinical trial program in Latin America. Clinical trials conducted by a Contract Research Organization (CRO) may be completed more quickly than those conducted in-house by pharmaceutical companies, and there are some very compelling reasons for that.

A CRO with representation within the country will possess the expertise to navigate the waters of regulatory submission requirements within each given country, and lack of regulatory harmonization makes it challenging for the novice.  Approval times vary widely and omission of required documents will delay review.

Furthermore, challenges to be expected and managed include status of Intellectual Property protection from country to country, cultural and medical differences, logistical challenges around drug storage depots, patient biologic sample handling, regulatory challenges associate with adaptive trail design, ethic review process and more.  Site feasibility alone must consider public perception and work to dispel misconceptions in multinational trials and identify and train sites of excellence, both in the private sector and in large metropolitan facilities.

An outsourcing partner must understand issues that affect the conduct of clinical trials unique to each country within Latin America, and be versed at accessing patients. They must have a representative that is a source of local culture, to provide insight to accommodate the diversity that exists within a given region in a country, and to address the challenges and concerns that arise.

Translation and Language Barriers

In addition to outsourcing the study execution, there is a translation component—working with a language services company who not only specializes in local languages and regional variations, but also translation of clinical research and regulatory documents. Only in some countries, the investigator´s brochure and a few other documents can be submitted in English, but these are rare exceptions. It is important to note that even though Spanish is spoken in most countries, except for Brazil, the meaning of certain words and phrases varies between countries.

Addressing language barriers therefore requires an understanding of the patient demographics in each country. Although all regulatory documents must be provided the official and written language of the country, any patient-related materials must be adapted for the target patient population. For example, the people of Peru predominantly speak three different languages: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara. In Colombia there are about 65 indigenous languages and nearly 300 dialects. Colombian Spanish is a mixture of the Caribbean dialect and Peruvian coastal dialect.

Dominant indigenous populations not only influence the way the language is spoken in each of these countries, but they are also responsible for differences in the local culture. Among the most common reasons for delays by ethics committees are problems with informed consent, and these are often associated with poor quality translation. In large part, this can be avoided if linguistic and cultural differences are properly addressed. Experts who are native speakers and have a background in clinical research are best equipped to perform such culturally sensitive translations.

Find Out More

In our next issue of Global Communicator, we expand on the topic of overcoming outsourcing challenges and working with qualified partners in all stages of the process. Sign up to subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more articles and resources specific to global life sciences companies.

For information on how Welocalize Life Sciences can accurately and efficiently translate and localize clinical research trial documents for Latin American countries, contact us.

For more information on conducting clinical trials in Latin America, consider these research-based papers and reports:

Cancer Clinical Research in Latin America

Doing Clinical Research in South America

Latin American Contract Research Organization Market

Clinical Innovation and Partnering World

Welocalize Life Sciences is attending Clinical Innovation and Partnering World on March 8 + 9, 2017 in London. Clinical Innovation and Partnering World is one of the most established and valuable conferences for the pharmaceutical and biotech community. Over recent years, there has been significant discussion about the challenges facing pharma and the resulting need for innovation and change in clinical trials. This event  breaks down the silos of clinical trial development and brings together leading experts in the fields of Clinical Innovation, Outsourcing, Alliance management and Strategic partnering to offer different perspectives on the same challenges.

Contact us to schedule a meeting during Clinical Innovation and Partnering World to learn about our translation and localization services for highly regulated industries.

 

The Price of Translation

What is involved in the translation process? To do it right, a lot more than you may think—from working with subject matter experts to ensuring messages resonate in local markets.

The team at Welocalize Life Sciences offers these tips for understanding the true cost of translation and why creative, technical and highly regulated industries may require additional steps and expertise in the translation process.

Subject matter experts. Quality, skilled translators cost more. Translating content for highly regulated industries involves a team of linguists who understand the subject matter and the local market. Specifically, translators must have knowledge of what will resonate with the intended audience, as well as what could offend or even result in an unfavorable outcome. For example, in some Latin American cultures the word simpatía represents an important cultural value. Translated as “congeniality” or “affection,” the level of simpatía that patients perceive in clinical settings influences how satisfied they feel with their care. Contact us to find out about our rigorous linguist selection criteria and subject matter expertise.

Transcreation. To resonate with a local market, sometimes translation needs to be taken a step further, which is where transcreation fits in. Transcreation is about taking a concept in one language and completely recreating it in another language – it is normally applied to the marketing of an idea, product or service to international audiences. The aim is to get the same reaction in each language, something that translation alone is rarely able to achieve. Transcreation projects require working with specialized teams which might include bilingual creative writers, linguists and marketing specialists. The transcreation process can include copywriting, image selection, font changes and other elements that tailor your message to the local market.

Project team. Translation projects require a proactive project team that works in alignment with the client, catering to their preferences and maintaining the client’s glossaries and style guidelines. The project team consists of multiple skilled members, including a dedicated project manager. The ultimate benefit of qualified professional translation management is that projects run smoothly, are more likely to be delivered on time and within budget and meet the expectation of the client.

Processes and procedures. A professional translation firm will have quality assurance processes in place—and follow them, as opposed to cutting corners to save money. These processes may include back translations, linguistic validation, structured client review and multiple translation revisions. In addition, language service providers working with companies in highly regulated industries should hold third-party quality certifications, such as ISO certifications which validate that quality management standards are met. Welocalize Life Sciences is certified in ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485 and ISO 17100.

Working with life sciences industry experts is also a key element of a successful translation process. If your materials, products or trials are crossing borders, contact Welocalize Life Sciences for more information about our professional translation and transcreation services for highly regulated industries.

eyeforpharma

Join Welocalize Life Sciences at Europe’s largest commercial pharma meeting of 1000+ industry leaders focused on commercial innovation, customer centricity and patient engagement. For 2017 eyeforpharma has enlisted a brand new faculty of C-suite industry leaders, a completely redesigned agenda and invited innovative tech companies and stakeholders to ensure pharma can truly become integral to healthcare. The event is co-located with eyeforpharma Medical Affairs, a platform for global medical leaders to position their organization as a business critical partner.

Welocalize Life Sciences is dedicated to the highly regulated industries of clinical research, biotech/pharma, healthcare and medical devices. As an exhibitor, the firm’s life sciences translation experts will share best practices on the important role that language solutions and translation plays in clinical trials, patient recruitment and regulatory affairs material and documentation.

Contact us to schedule a meeting with our team at eyeforpharma.

Communicate with Patients via Interpretation Services

People who are not proficient in the language of the country in which they live may have difficulty accessing health services. They may need access to medical interpreters and translated information when they visit a healthcare provider. The large number of languages spoken in certain cities and countries can make provision of translation and interpretation services complicated.

Spoken translation services through interpretation offer real-time communication solutions in a variety of medical and healthcare settings. Throughout a typical day, numerous interactions may require language services either by using translated patient materials or a medical interpreter. These medical language services ensure safety, accuracy and efficiency when caring for patients and are critical components of quality of care and patient satisfaction.

Legal Considerations

Communicating with patients in their native language is not only beneficial to the patient and the institution, sometimes, it is also the law. In the United States many private healthcare providers receive federal funds through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. All recipients of federal funds are required – per Title VI of the Civil Rights Act – to provide language services. Not providing these services to multilingual patients would discriminate on the basis of national origin, which includes one’s native language.

Types of Interpretation Services

Interpretation can be consecutive, sequentially interpreting statements, which is ideal for smaller, one-to-one settings or simultaneous, which is commonly used for large, one-to-many gatherings, such as investigator meetings. Whether in person, over-the-phone or via a video monitor, interpretation services help meet the needs of a diverse patient base and communicate in their native languages.

Welocalize provides quick references to the various interpretation services in this post: Connecting with Global Interpretation Services.

Medical Interpretation Services

Professional interpretation services by using subject matter experts increases patient satisfaction and provides outstanding care. Ensuring that interpreters have experience in the medical or regulatory fields is critical when selecting interpretation services within healthcare and life sciences. Interpreters who understand the critical nature of accurate translation and also have an understanding of the nuances of a highly regulated environment mitigate risk and ensure safe outcomes. Contact Welocalize Life Sciences for information about our professional medical and healthcare interpreters and interpretation services.

The Art and Science of Translating Regulated Content

To comply with laws and ensure that patients get the right treatment for their ailments, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare organizations must manage high volumes of content. They must keep all published information correct, current, and consistent across publications, packaging, websites and marketing materials. This is difficult enough to manage in just one language, but gets measurably more complicated as the companies add another step – translation into other languages. For each piece of content published in English, they now have to guarantee the accuracy, currency and consistency of the information they publish in French, German, Japanese, Russian, Thai and perhaps dozens of other languages.

Here are some tips from Welocalize Life Sciences for managing the art and science of translating regulated content.

  • Develop a clear global management strategy. Prepare the company and the products to compete in diverse international environments by aligning business goals with language, culture and communications characteristics. Appoint a qualified localization manager to oversee localization efforts.
  • Engage with partners who can help. Create and maintain processes for engaging and managing language and localization suppliers. Identify expert partners and technology platforms to help you efficiently translate and localize documents. Partner with industry providers like Welocalize Life Sciences who have specialist experience in regulated sectors and utilize only subject matter experts.
  • Consider language and culture. Regulated content may contain a variety of complicated medical terms that may not directly translate into another language. In addition, patients, whether inside or outside the home market, may have cultural values different from those of the researcher. Translation of clinical documents should take the specific culture into account. In many cultures, it is important that researchers and healthcare providers talk about the trial with – and possibly obtain permission from – the subject’s family. In some cases, organizations may need to gain permission from the local community before attempting to obtain consent from individuals for participation in a clinical trial.
  • Formalize your processes. Clearly document all processes connected with localization and use these processes to develop a system for efficient and effective localization. Centralizing translation and cultural adaptation processes often achieves consistency, correctness and legal compliance in global markets. This creates significant time and cost savings for your organization.
  • Leverage technology. If you manage content across multiple locations and translation providers, centralizing content management systems (CMS) and translation memory (TM) tools will streamline processes. Partnering with a language service provider who is willing and able to work across various technology platforms and provide guidance on how to optimize localization using technology is a critical part of a globalization strategy.
  • Conduct fluency checks. When medical and clinical materials are translated, it is not just accuracy but also fluency of the overall content that is required to ensure materials are culturally adapted for the target audience. Welocalize Life Sciences carries out a “fluency check,” after editing and proofreading, to ensure the flow of the compliance content is culturally appropriate and accurate. This ensures that consistency of terminology is maintained with no errors.

Cultural considerations, working with industry experts, and leveraging technology solutions are all key components of the translation process. Contact Welocalize Life Sciences for information on how we can help your global organization publish compliance materials and other regulated communications that are accurate and speak directly to your local, target audiences.

Language Barriers in End-of-Life Care

The population in the United States is growing older and more ethnically diverse over time, according to United States Census Bureau statistics. This means more medical resources will be devoted to end-of-life care (EoLC). Language barriers can often create additional costs and cause inefficiencies in EoLC. Studies show some patients from different ethnic groups are more likely to undergo intense, often non-urgent, treatments in their final years but are less likely to go into hospice care. end-of-life costs.

That’s a problem that better communication could ease, argues a team of researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration’s Palo Alto, California hospital. However, until recently, no one really knew what stood in the way of doctors talking with their patients about planning for their final days, especially when those patients were from different ethnic backgrounds.

A team of researchers, led by Stanford clinical professor and Veterans Health Administration Doctor Vyjeyanthi Periyakoil, has data from a study aimed at uncovering the stumbling blocks. Of the more than 1,200 doctors surveyed, about five in six reported having had significant difficulties talking about death and dying with patients from different ethnicities and as a group they cited language barriers as the top reason. (Read the full study: PLOS ONE.)

“Medical jargon is often difficult to translate into other languages [as equivalent words may not exist] and approximate translations do not convey the true meaning and may lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication,” Periyakoil and her team write. Doctors also cited families’ religious and cultural beliefs as barriers.

For any language team working on medical and healthcare translation and interpretation, they must be fluent, native linguists and hold a high level of subject matter expertise. It is important to keep the translated content aligned with the source content. There is no room for error. However, it remains important to adapt the content to resonate with local audiences, both culturally and linguistically. Putting translators, linguists, and reviewers into the shoes of the patient creates a deeper understanding of overall objectives which can be delivered into all locales.

Contact Welocalize Life Sciences for more information on our medical and healthcare translation services.

DIA EuroMeeting

The top regulators, clinical, safety and research professionals in healthcare and drug development convene at DIA EuroMeeting 2017 in Glasgow, UK. Meet Welocalize Life Sciences at DIA EuroMeeting to discuss best practices on the important role that language solutions and translation plays in clinical trials, patient recruitment and regulatory affairs material and documentation.

Welocalize Life Sciences is dedicated to the highly regulated industries of clinical research, biotech/pharma, healthcare and medical devices. Contact us to schedule a meeting at DIA EuroMeeting 2017.

Welocalize Launches Dedicated Life Sciences Division

Frederick, Maryland – January 31, 2017 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, announces the formation of Welocalize Life Sciences, a division that brings together the recent Welocalize acquisitions of Global Language Solutions (GLS) and Nova Language Services (Nova). The merged entities represent more than two decades of experience in specialized language services for clinical research, biotechnology, healthcare, medical devices, pharmaceutical companies and animal health. Read more