Scientific translation refers to the translation of highly specialised scientific texts. Individuals who are scientific translators are qualified to deal with texts relating to medicine, chemistry and biology. With this in mind, specialist knowledge is a must. Cooperation between linguists and those who are subject specialists in such fields is normal practice with regards to this type of translation. Manufacturing industries, medical professionals, LSPs and scientific experts are among those who depend on this translation service. This is why translations must always be of a high quality to support scientific discoveries and developments. With that in mind, it is helpful to examine the contribution from translation in this regard.
Scientific translation is a growing service within LSPs
For these businesses in the translation industry, there has been a substantial number of projects
requiring scientific translation. Some examples include IFUs, manuals for clinical trials, IVRS scripts,
research papers and documentation regarding drug registration. Other projects can link directly with
medical devices, healthcare and the labelling of some drugs. Everyone requires medical care in some
form, hence a higher demand for translation. As scientific translations can overlap with medicine
and technology, it is therefore ranked amongst the top translation services for clients. As long as
there is scientific matter requiring translation, LSPs act as the gateway for this highly specialised type
Scientists need input from scientific translation
Even for linguists, their attention to detail is extremely accurate that they are capable of spotting
possible errors within the source documentation. This includes grammatical errors and errors in
figures from tables and diagrams which accompany journals, studies and reports. This level of
awareness to source texts can help to ensure accuracy by both scientist and linguist. The specialised
linguists are instrumental to ensure the material not only preserves semantic value, but also appears
professional. Without collaboration from linguists, this may reduce the credibility of data and
perhaps delay the publication of such matter in the requested language.
Healthcare professionals require scientific translation
The COVID-19 pandemic is one current example. With the unprecedented rate to which the virus
itself has been growing, the demand from the healthcare profession for this type of translation has
increased. This means that translators especially within the scientific domain have had to keep up to
date with developments and discoveries. In addition to being avid readers, these linguists will have
sharpened their skill set intensely. They have been working alongside scientists and other healthcare
professionals in order to produce specialised COVID-19 scientific material in more languages.
Subsequently, the aim is that individuals will understand the new scientific data and that this will
encourage them to follow that scientific guidance set by medical and scientific professionals.
Scientific translation tightens the language gap
From a language perspective, scientific research is predominately produced in English, from which
scientific translation into the other languages exists. Therefore, it is evident that English remains the
universal language of science communication. By way of example, English, Chinese and Russian
remain the most requested languages within Physics, Materials Science and Engineering. This shows
that individuals of languages separate to English require more access to this information. If scientific
translation can keep individuals of all languages informed, this provides a deeper understanding of
the subject and further close gaps in knowledge and language.
With all things considered, scientific translation can prove to be an effective tool to avail of in order
to enhance the work of these technical industries in the ways outlined above.