Why is Medical Records Translation to English Important?


The dissemination of knowledge and novel medical breakthroughs depend heavily on translation. Moreover, international communication, commerce, and travel are all conducted in English. English is officially spoken in 39 countries and is partly spoken as the mother tongue in 19 other countries. According to Statista 2022.Therefore, the translation of medical records into English is crucial in communications between patients and physicians, and may act as an intermediatory language between two different languages.

What is medical record translation?

A medical record translation is the practice of translating medical documents from their original language to the language of the country where the patient will receive treatment. The main purpose of translation is to bring different cultures together and help them understand each other.

Each medical record must have enough precise information to be able to identify the patient, prove the diagnosis, justify the course of treatment, record the progress and outcomes, and encourage the continuity of care across healthcare professionals.

Medical records include a patient’s medical history, clinical findings, diagnostic test results, surgical procedures, pre-operative, and post-operative treatment, patient progress, medication, vaccination record, allergies, medical conditions, and treatment plans.

If these notes are properly documented, they will assist the doctor’s assessment of the efficacy of the course of therapy.

The translation process’s five basic steps include examination of the text that has to be translated followed by initial translation, then checking the translation’s accuracy, and after a few minutes’ rest a final proofreading is completed.

Why are medical translation services important?

As mentioned before, it is not always possible to translate from the original language directly into the required target language. When this happens, it is normal practice to translate into English.

 So, medical translation services shorten patients’ and healthcarers’ time and help healthcare providers in reaching diagnosis properly and immediately. They also save patients money by not having to pay for repeated investigations. All these improve patient care and ensure quality.

Why would you need a certified translation of medical records?

A translated document can be certified as being accurate and comprehensive. It means that a language service provider, like us, provides a signed and dated declaration of truth to certify that the completed translation is an accurate and true representation of the original document. This official declaration on company letterhead is attached to the translation

Patients who choose to travel abroad to access innovative private treatments and were first diagnosed or treated abroad will usually need a certified translation of medical records if they subsequently choose to continue treatment in the public health care system of their country of usual residence.

In cases of immigration or travelling abroad for work or treatment, the host country’s immigration office might require a certified translation of medical records. One of the main justifications for getting your medical records translated is the possibility that the immigration office would need the data in English. Everyone who applies for a visa must undergo a medical exam, so it’s also a good idea to get your current records translated. This guarantees that the immigration officer may easily access and study any supplemental material.

For example, when you immigrate to the United States, you’ll need to find a doctor in your new local area who can handle your medical care. You will normally be asked to complete various forms to get the basics of your medical history, but such documents may only provide enough space for a high-level overview of your health status.

So, medical records translation to English is essential to give the complete file to your new doctor. They will have access to specifics about your medical history, such as previous diagnoses, treatments, surgeries, prescriptions, and more.

In addition to this, high-quality certified translation of medical records is also required in clinical trial studies, in post-marketing pharmacovigilance and drug safety monitoring, such as reporting any side effects following the use of an approved Covid-19 vaccine; in personal injury and clinical malpractice claims; and in travel insurance claims where criminal proceedings are undertaken.

Why are professional translations important?

Medical translation services require technical precision so translation is completed by specialist medical linguists. Professional medical linguists, as opposed to regular translation providers, have a scientific background and are able to combine their medical expertise with their linguistic abilities to provide you with peace of mind that your medical documents will be translated accurately and to the highest standard.

Medical translation poses difficulties and challenges which can be categorized into general difficulties and specific difficulties. General difficulties are intrinsic when translating from one language to another and include language structure, compound structure, and multiple meanings of the word.

Specific difficulties include medical terms, issues on equality, readability, the equivalence of medical texts, and unique characteristics of the medical language such as multi-word terms, eponyms, abbreviations, acronyms, country-specific vocabulary, handwritten notes, and complex layouts.

Adding, removing, or replacing information is a common mistake. Misinformation misleads physicians and consumers, whilst omitting information is very dangerous. Patients need important information about their health status. If something is not on the translated record, a person can be completely misdiagnosed. This is especially true for handling patient prescriptions. By ensuring that all the information the patient needs for the prescription is present, you can completely avoid someone being prescribed a potentially life-threatening drug.


One of our industry’s most difficult specialisations is medical translation. Since the fifth century, words of Greek and Latin origin have been used in medical language. Medical records for patients may include information from a variety of specialties, including genetics and gynaecology. Medical records translation into English provided by experienced medical linguists may act as intermediate translation between two languages.


1.  World Data.info

2.  Statista. 

3.   NCBI

4.  Kids health

5.   Mastermind

6. Certified translation services.  

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