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Featured Industry: Translation

Seven Ways Transcreation is Different from Translation

Marketing a drug or medical device globally is not as simple as translating content from one language to another. Behind every global brand, there’s a team of translators, interpreters, transcribers, testers, linguistic copywriters and subject matter experts making sure that each piece of content is relevant and culturally appropriate.

One area that often requires further explanation is the difference between translation and transcreation. Both techniques are integral to the overall localization process but there are fundamental differences between the two. Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager, details seven ways transcreation and translation differ. 

  1. Content type. From patent documentation through to digital marketing content, each content type suits different localization techniques, often depending on impact. For content requiring high levels of accuracy, professional translation is used, which is supported by the relevant QA and review process. Content types such as compliance and regulatory information and technical manuals are suited to human translation. Translated output must remain close and true to the source content. For high visibility marketing copy such as slogans, taglines or adverts, linguistically translating from one language to another is not enough. The source content must be recreated to suit a local market and culture using transcreation. The overall brand concept is retained, but actual words and design features are changed and adapted.
  1. Talent. Translation is carried out by qualified and certified translators. For transcreation projects, this involves the talent of a linguistic copywriter who not only has in-depth knowledge of the target language and culture, but is also a skilled creative writer. The background and qualifications of a translators and linguistic copywriter will differ. The right translator or copywriter will depend on the content and the product itself. Translators often need subject matter expertise (SME) and copywriter will often have specialist experience in certain vertical sectors. 
  1. Brief versus source. For translation projects, translators receive the source documents with instruction, access to the relevant translation memory and terminology management and in-context information. For transcreation, the team receives a creative brief which outlines the desired outcomes including target market, demographics and any relevant branding and style guidelines they need to adhere to. 
  1. Hours not words. Translation projects are typically priced based on word count. Transcreation projects are billed by the hour, and costs vary depending on the skill and experience of the linguistic copywriter and designer assigned to the project. 
  1. Concepts and design. Translators work with words. Linguistic copywriters work with concepts which may involve words and design elements. Translation projects often go through a DTP checking process if there are diagrams or tables in the source content that may have altered during the translation process. For transcreation projects, certain visual elements may have to be recreated to suit a new market. 
  1. Review process. For many translation projects, there is a defined review process involving in-country and third-party reviewers. Any reviewer will be a native speaker and will review the translated output against the source and agreed Service Language Agreements (SLAs). For transcreation, much of the output is subjective therefore reviewers will often be stakeholders who are close to the product itself and the creation of the source campaign. 
  1. SEO considerations. Transcreation is often used to develop multilingual digital marketing campaigns. There is no point developing a creatively brilliant campaign if no one can find it. Transcreation doesn’t just apply to the actual campaign content, but also the techniques used to develop SEO strategies. The transcreation team must put themselves in the shoes of the local user and consider how they would search for certain products and services. SEO is an integral part of transcreation.

Contact us for more information on Welocalize Life Sciences’ multilingual digital marketing services.

 

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Clinical Trials: Patient Recruitment, Education and Retention

Clinical research is expensive. When a study does not reach minimum participation thresholds, pharmaceutical companies stand to lose millions of dollars, not to mention the lost opportunity of improved healthcare. Through clinical research, we gain insights and answers about the safety and effectiveness of drugs and other therapies. Advances in drug development are possible because of the participation of clinical research volunteers, both healthy and ill. Clinical trials constantly need a steady flow of patients and it is an ongoing challenge for CROs, sponsors and medical centers to gather the right patient groups.

The Wall Street Journal reports that nearly 40% of all clinical trials never get off the ground due to lack of participation. For decades, clinical research recruitment has largely been a word of mouth and paper-based process. Patients typically find out about available trials from their doctors, who might have limited information to provide about the specifics of the trial. Additionally, for patient recruitment, clinical trial studies are promoted through a variety of different channels such as television, radio, newspapers and the internet. Another way drug companies are reaching new markets is through expanding clinical trials into new markets.

According to an IDC research brief, mobile and other technologies may be the future of clinical research, in terms of increased participation and patient retention. By using technological tools, researchers can more effectively recruit trial subjects and gather more accurate clinical trial research. According to an IDC research brief “The Internet of Things and Digital Transformation: A Tale of Four Industries,” some ways that technology is being used to improve clinical trials include: Developing centralized databases that patients can search for potential opportunities; electronic health record (EHR) matching; improved patient education; and electronic data collection.

Lack of Participation
In addition to lack of awareness, there are many different reasons why people do not participate in clinical trial studies. Here are a few:

  • Lack of knowledge: People do not know that clinical trials can lead to a solution to their health problems or even know what clinical trials are.
  • Do not meet the study requirements: Some people are interested and willing to participate, but come to find they are unable to enroll or complete a trial for a variety of reasons.
  • Fear: Many people are reluctant to participate because they are afraid. Unknown outcomes, uncertainty if a new treatment can help them, being experimented on, possible side effects and receiving a placebo instead of an actual treatment are a few common fears. Although researchers cannot guarantee outcomes, patient safety is a top priority. Each trial has enforced oversight, and patients also have rights that help protect them.

Patient Recruitment + Education
Many patients and health consumers know very little, if anything, about clinical trials and its process. Educating patients and potential study volunteers is key to successful patient recruitment and retention. CenterWatch offers IRB-approved brochures specifically created for patients for use by sponsors, CROs and medical centers seeking to educate potential patients about clinical trials, as well as help patients make an informed decision about clinical trial participation.

The results obtained from a clinical trial study may generate changes in diagnosing, preventing, treating or curing diseases or disabilities. The participation of volunteers is crucial, medical advances depend on their participation to get the knowledge and answers regarding the safety and effectivity of the drugs and treatments to be analyzed. Without patients, clinical research doesn’t happen.

Welocalize Life Sciences specializes in the translation of clinical materials, including patient education and patient retention documents, helping CROs and sponsors reach diverse patients in more markets. Contact us for more information about professional medical translation services.

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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.

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.

Why Racial Diversity in Clinical Trials Matters

Clinical trials provide a critical base of evidence for evaluating whether a medical product is effective before the product is approved for marketing. One challenge that remains is ensuring that research participants are representative of the patients who will use the medical product.In 2014, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) released a report that called for, among other things, “identifying barriers to subgroup enrollment in clinical trials and employing strategies to encourage greater participation,” that was specifically aimed at underrepresented ethnic populations and women. Historically, the elderly, women (in some therapeutic areas), and racial/ethnic minorities have been underrepresented in trials. In response to these concerns, Congress included Section 907 in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) of 2012, giving FDA direction to evaluate this issue and take action.An infographic published by Continuum Clinical shows examples of the massive health disparities among common disease states across different races and genders.
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According to the FDA, African Americans comprise 14% of the U.S. population, but only 5% of clinical trial participants. As the infographic above illustrates, African Americans account for a disproportionately high number of cases of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Similarly, Hispanic/Latinos comprise 17% of the U.S. population, but less than 1% of clinical trial participants. Yet diseases such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affect Hispanic populations.Racial diversity in clinical studies matters because patients may respond differently to therapies based on their ethnicity or gender.For example, studies for a recently approved schizophrenia drug found that two important classes of blood pressure drugs were found to work less well in black/African American patients. The FDA has also reported labeling changes due to differences in dosing requirements between men and women, such as the recent labeling change with a sleep medication. As the  FDA’s Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Robert Cliff, stated in early 2016 when the FDA declared 2016 as the year of diversity in clinical trials, “These few examples show the importance of improving diversity in clinical trials, so medical products are safe and effective for everyone.”Welocalize Life Sciences specializes in linguistically and culturally accurate translation services for life sciences companies. Contact us for more information about our services for highly regulated industries.

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