The reality of translation in general and healthcare translation in particular is that a cultural mistake in your translation can be damaging. In the case of hamburgers or ice cream, you risk your brand reputation. In healthcare, you imperil the very health of patients.
A recent article in eCommerce Times explores the sometimes overlooked reality that while the Internet is an exceedingly easy way to reach your audience, cultural accuracy is just as critical in your online communications.
Take the example cited by the article in which ice cream leaders Ben and Jerry inadvertently named a flavor “Black and Tan.” Unfortunately, they didn’t realize that the expression referred to British soldiers known for their cruelty in the fight for Ireland’s independence. Their Irish customers weren’t pleased. A similar sensitivity to the history and unique cultural touchstones of your patients is a necessary ingredient in successful healthcare translation.
Also important is the hiring of an experienced language services provider. Simply relying on someone on the staff who “speaks the language” or turning to one of the online translation engines is almost sure to lead to problems.
Plus, such options cannot help with critical website decisions like choosing an international-ready technology solution or ensuring an appropriate user experience. Finding the best answer often requires an expert’s help asking the right questions.
About the author: Reymond the Marketing Manager and is the administrator for VIA's Speaking Healthcare blog and claims no authorship over this post. Read more from this author