Drug labelling translation services – in any language

Drug label translation is a very precise field of technical translation work. Get many areas of translation wrong, and you have a problem, with probable reputational damage. Wrongly translated drug labelling however, has a much more serious impact. The result can be death or serious injury, with the likelihood of legal action, and consequently, serious damage to brand reputation.

Even something simple like a use by date can have very serious consequences if mistranslated. Date format is not consistent from language to language, even between UK and US English this is an issue – in the UK day/month/ year is the common format, whilst in the US the norm is month/day/year.

The approach that we take to all pharmaceutical translation texts is that translators and proofreaders are always professional translators, with relevant professional experience, and translating into their native language. We check all translations in accordance with our ISO: 9001 certified quality management system.

How you shouldn’t source Drug Label Translation

A couple of years ago, I read an alarming article in the US press about pharmacists in New York. They were using “electronic translation” (by which we think they mean free online translation tools), to print labels in the customer’s language.

The article gave the example of dosage information using the English word “once” (as in “once a day”), being translated as “once” in Spanish. The major problem being that in Spanish “once” means “eleven”. The result of this could well have been fatal for the customer, resulting from a serious overdose.

No professional translator would make this kind of error, especially when they are familiar with translating drug labelling. A machine however, will just churn out rubbish, and a law passed with the best of intentions by the City of New York, could result in death or serious injury, rather than ensuring the health and welfare of citizens.

Is the law wrong? No, we don’t believe it is. The principle that people should have access to drug labelling translated into their own language is a sound one. The problem is with the way that pharmacies were trying to implement the rules. They clearly did not understand the issues involved with translation.

Thank you very much for the fast and excellent service you provide it is much appreciated!

Ellise Turney, River East Supplies Ltd.

Drug Label Translation Done Right

Our approach to drug label translation is not the cheap option. We carefully human author all our translations. Our translators are professional, and highly-skilled. Even the best drug label translators can make mistakes, so whilst we expect the highest standards, even at first draft, QA is vital to the process. We apply rigorous linguistic and terminology checks, as well as the project manager giving a final check before delivery.

Contact us to discuss your requirements, or call us today on +44 (0)115 9788980.