They don’t understand the directions

They don’t understand the directions on how to take their medicine.

Today NPR aired a report about Chinese and Vietnamese speakers in California who are unable to understand their prescriptions. California is proposing a law to require all prescription labels to be bilingual.

Among the reasons given for objecting to this legislation, one stood out to me: liability if there’s a mistake in the translation. I want to tell Californians to choose a linguist as carefully as they choose a tax accountant or a contracts attorney. Don’t pull from the lowest rungs on the professional ladder when you need work from the highest rungs.

Just like any other product or professional service, translation comes in many different quality levels. You should order—and pay for—only what you need. In the case of prescription levels, translation quality is paramount.

This means translations done by scientific and medically trained teams of translator plus reviser whose work is reviewed by subject matter experts working in the field and trained in the languages reviewed. The linguists who do this type of work are committed to quality because they care about the end users.

Tembua’s Biomedical Division would gladly help California!



About tembua

Tembua: The Precision Language Solution provides comprehensive linguistic services for 100 languages to private industry and government agencies on a global scale. Services include document and website translation and localization; conference and 24/7 telephonic interpretation; glossary development; proofreading, text adaptation, editing, multilingual design and DTP; transcription; technical / custom authoring editing, foreign search engine optimization; translation memory management; subtitling.
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