Medical Translation Guide for Pharmaceutical and Life Science Organisations

This helpful guide is designed for anyone involved in producing documentation or communications in the medical device, pharmaceutical or life sciences sectors.

Specifically, this guide focuses on:

• Medical translation regulations
• Medical device translation regulations
• Pharmaceutical translation regulations
• Patient privacy and security
• The medical translation process
• Medical translation gone wrong

Download your copy here

Paul is Dead, the End is Nigh, and Mr. Squidward is Supreme Leader: 10 Language Stories to Read This Week

Looking for some new reading material? Wondering what’s been going on in the language and translation world? We’ve collected 10 language-related stories from the past month. They’re guaranteed to make you laugh, make you cry and give you plenty of office conversation material.

So, sit down, fill up your coffee cup, and let’s dig in.

How Translation Wages Affect the Popularity of Foreign Classics in China

Earlier this month, we posted a story about how literary translators are the unsung heroes of the literary world -and how they are frequently underpaid. This story from The Sixth Tone shows why low wages are a problem – it affects quality in a big way:

“[B]oth translators and editors are forced to work for paltry wages, and under such unfair working conditions, it is difficult to improve the quality of translations. This in turn gives translations of foreign literary works a bad name among Chinese readers, perpetuating a vicious cycle.

What Language Should Algeria Speak?

Next, let’s take a look at how Algeria is currently struggling to balance the country’s four major languages: French, Standard Arabic, Berber, and Darija. It’s quite a challenge to juggle the different languages used at home, on the streets, in the schools, and in courts.

New Imaging Techniques Reveal Secrets Hidden In Ancient Parchments

New imaging techniques have allowed scholars to read the “undertext” of ancient manuscripts. Hundreds of years ago, parchment was valuable.  In an old-school example of recycling, scholars would erase words from old manuscripts so they could be used again.  Some of these manuscripts landed in St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt, where scientists have been able to uncover the lost writing, including long-forgotten languages like Caucasian Albanian and Christian Palestinian Aramaic. Read more

Export packaging: does yours tick all the boxes

Export packaging: does yours tick all the boxes?

There’s no getting away from it: we live in a global marketplace. Despite some questioning the notion that globalisation is always for the common good, the vast majority of businesses will continue to look beyond their borders to grow revenues in line with their ambitions.

Once the preserve of big corporations, international trade is now so much more accessible, thanks to better communications, improved supply chains, faster payment infrastructures and, of course, the advent of e-commerce.

So it’s a particularly exciting time for SMEs who, almost from the get-go, can start branching out and sell products overseas. However, increased opportunities like this usually come with increased challenges and risks. This is, perhaps, especially true for smaller companies which may not be as well prepared as their more established counterparts.

Meanwhile, large companies face challenges and risks of their own- including increased competition from SMEs.  As a result, companies both large and small must be able to manage these challenges effectively.

One such challenge is complying with the varied demands of food packaging regulations in all your target markets. Read more

Do the Eskimos Really have 50 Words for Snow?

As Franz Boas travelled through the snowy landscape of Baffin Island during the 1880s on his quest to understand the Inuit people and their way of life, he became fascinated by the number of different words they used for the various types of snow, from piegnartoq, meaning snow that is firm enough for driving a sled on, to aqilokoq, meaning softly falling snow. His claim that there were more than 50 different words for snow was made in his 1911 publication A Dictionary of American Indian Languages and quickly became fixed in the public imagination.

Whether the claim is true or not, it led to a debate that has continued in linguistic circles ever since. Some of the confusion arises from the nature of Eskimo languages. Both Inuit and Yupik, the two main branches of the language, have many differing dialects, but they all have in common the feature of polysynthesis, which allows speakers to add a lot of information to a base word by adding suffixes. Information that would take a whole sentence in English can be communicated in a single (long) word. This makes the definition of words particularly difficult: does a base with various endings constitute different words or is it rather a single idiom with individual descriptive flourishes attached? Many linguists believe that the vocabulary lists compiled by Boas confused the two.

However, recent research undertaken by anthropologist Igor Krupnik at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Washington found that Inuit and Yupik languages do indeed have many different words for snow. He claims that Boas was careful to include only words with meaningful distinctions in his dictionary. Krupnik and other researchers studied the vocabulary of 10 dialects from both the Inuit and Yupik languages and conclude that there really are many more different words for snow than there are in English. The Inuit dialect of Canada’s Nunavik region has 53 words for snow, including pukak for powder snow that looks like salt crystals and matsaaruti for the slushy snow that is useful for icing a sled’s runners. In the other branch of the language, Central Siberian Yupik dialects have at least 40 such words. Read more

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