How To Translate Medical Device Instructions?

how to translate medical device instructions

Medical devices are essential in modern healthcare, and accurate and clear instructions are required for safe and effective use.

However, these instructions may need to be translated into multiple languages for patients and healthcare professionals worldwide to understand them.

Medical device instruction translation is a specialized task that requires meticulous attention to detail and knowledge of medical terminology and technical jargon.

In this article, we’ll go over some helpful tips for accurately and clearly translating medical device instructions.

Following these guidelines, a medical translator can ensure that medical device instructions are effectively translated, lowering the risk of errors and improving the outcomes.

Understanding the Readers

Medical device instructions are typically written for patients, healthcare professionals, or both.

As a result, a medical device instructions translator must identify the target audience and the medical translation needs to be done accordingly.

For example, instructions for patients may need to be written in simpler language and without technical jargon, whereas instructions for healthcare professionals can be more technical and detailed.

Cultural and linguistic backgrounds should also be considered.

Translators must ensure that the instructions are translated into a language that the intended audience can understand.

This may necessarily involve some research into the target language’s cultural norms and linguistic nuances.

Understanding How the Device Works

To accurately translate medical device instructions, the translator must first understand the medical device and its intended use.

It is critical to identify and fully understand the device’s key features and functions.

This knowledge can assist the translator in selecting the best language to describe the device and its functions.

In addition, the translator should conduct research on any relevant medical terminology and technical jargon associated with the device.

Medical devices frequently use unique technical language that may be unfamiliar to the intended audience.

As a result, it is critical to use specialized medical dictionaries and glossaries to ensure terminology accuracy.

The Medical Device Instructions Translation Process

For medical device instructions, the translator must select the appropriate level of translation.

Because the target language may not have the same structure and syntax as the source language, literal translation may not always be appropriate.

The idiomatic translation may also be ineffective because cultural idioms, slang, and abbreviations may not be accurately translated.

For medical device instructions, a hybrid translation approach that combines elements of the literal and idiomatic translation may be the best option.

The translator should use simple language that is clear and concise.

Medical device instructions should be written in a way that patients with varying levels of education and language proficiency can understand.

Using simple sentences and avoiding complex sentence structures can assist in understanding.

Visual aids, such as illustrations or diagrams, can be especially beneficial in improving understanding.

Medical devices frequently have complex features and functions that are difficult to explain in words.

So, using visual aids can assist the audience in better understanding the device and reduce the risk of errors.

Reviewing and Testing

The translator should have a medical professional or someone familiar with the target audience review the medical device instructions after they have been translated.

This can aid in identifying any errors or inaccuracies in the translation and ensuring that the instructions are clear and accurate.

Usability testing can also help ensure that the translated instructions are simple to understand and follow.

It entails instructing a group of people from the intended audience on how to use the medical device and providing feedback on the instructions.

This feedback can assist in identifying any areas of the instructions that may be unclear or confusing, allowing for revisions before the instructions are published.

Common Mistakes that Translators Should Avoid

  1. Translating too literally.
  2. Excessively using automated translation tools.
  3. Using overly technical language.
  4. Using unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations.


Medical device instruction translation is a specialized task that necessitates careful consideration of every detail and knowledge of medical terminology and technical jargon.

Translators must also consider the intended audience and tailor their work accordingly.

Following these guidelines, translators can ensure that medical device instructions are effectively translated, lowering the risk of errors and improving patient outcomes.

It is critical to translate these instructions accurately and clearly because it can affect patient safety and health outcomes.

As a result, selecting a skilled and experienced translator who understands the nuances of medical language and can tailor the translation to the target audience is critical.

To get the best translation for your medical needs, feel free to reach out to us at TranslationPartner.

Request a Free Quote from Translation partner

You can ask for a free translation cost estimate from our team, there is no commitment on your side