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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.