There are reasons why people hire a translation company in Singapore, not only in the medical industry. Some want an expert to translate texts from different languages to their mother tongue, while others want them to describe what they are saying to someone in person. But both reasons are valid so one could overcome language barriers and avoid misunderstandings.
That is why medical industries often partner with medical translation services in Singapore. They want to avoid disputes and confusions between doctors and patients and deliver quality healthcare service.
Just imagine this scenario.
A patient rushed into the hospital at two in the morning. He originally came from Macau and tried to describe his pain in Cantonese but only received blank faces from medical staff. If you were in the patient’s shoes, that would feel awful since you need immediate care, but no one knows how to treat you because they do not understand Cantonese.
Keep in mind that even if Singapore is a diverse country and has 15.4% who speak Cantonese, these people are often in the older generation. The ability to communicate with native Cantonese speakers decline as time passes. Most of all, if you narrow down on who works in the medical industry, the numbers become smaller.
In other words, you might not find anyone who can translate the current situation. Even if you may find someone who can act as an ad hoc interpreter, the translation can be wrong and bad, just like this report from the National Public Radio.
To not let that happen to you, you should let an expert from a reliable translation agency translate and interpret everything on your behalf and the patient. But before you hire one, you should know how to work with them. Doing so would help you get the most out of what they can do.
Below are the things you need to know about how to get along with the medical translation company.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE VALUE OF MEDICAL INTERPRETERS.
If you read the scenario written above, you would understand why you should recognise how much value medical interpreters have. With their help, you can prevent mistranslations and misunderstandings between you, the doctors and patients.
A study from American College Emergency has proven this claim. It says that there is little to no error in medical interpretation if you rely on professional translators rather than ad hoc interpreters. That is probably right since experts have experience in healthcare settings and know medical terminology. In short, they can express everything, word by word.
That is why when you hire a translation agency in Singapore, never belittle their work since their interpretations have a tremendous impact than you can ever imagine.
GIVE A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE SITUATION.
When working with a translation agency, you should say something to the interpreter. Take note that even if they have been in the same situation before, the patient, condition, and concern are all different from what they had experienced. To make sure they will deliver your words well, give them a brief idea about the consultation. You should know that a pre-session in medical interpreting is the only time to make things clear before letting the patient know about their condition. Here’s how you should do it.
- Explain what the condition is and the treatment plan you have in mind.
- Also, include the side effects and how much it would cost.
- Lastly, give out the alternatives a patient could choose from if they want to get treated in other methods.
TALK CLEARLY WITH A NORMAL TONE.
As a doctor, it is your job to explain what your diagnosis and treatment plan is. But everything will be for nothing if a patient cannot understand the language you are using.
Fret not since a medical translation company can save your day. They can deliver your words as long as you disclose everything as clearly as possible. Also, make sure you use a normal tone so patients would not misinterpret the sound of your voice. As such, patients would have more peace of mind about their health and condition.
USE SIMPLE AND UNCOMPLICATED LANGUAGE
Just like with clothes, the more comfortable you are, the freer you feel. In terms of language, some doctors often use their mother tongue when speaking to their patients. That is alright if the patients can also express themselves in the same speech. But that is not always the case. Some patients speak differently, which is why they may not understand your words.
The same logic applies if you use highfalutin phrases and idioms since some have no equivalent in other languages. You should know that no matter how good the translation company in Singapore is, some slang and metaphors may not translate well, and that could cause confusion.
That is why you should use simple sentences and make your message clear and consider. For example, if the patient is not feeling well, do not use phrases like feeling blues. Some may not take it literally and look at the mirror afterwards.
TRY NOT TO GET IN THE WAY DURING THE INTERPRETATION PROCESS.
Even if you have plans to interrupt for a good reason, it is still not a good idea. Some might misunderstand your intention and regard you as a rude person. Besides, when interpreting medical consultation, patients want to know everything about their health, and your interruption could cause confusion and mistranslations in between. As a result, the patients might mishear and follow the wrong information, making their condition worse.
That is why you should try not to speak when someone is still speaking. Even more, when the translation agency is translating your words and explaining them to the patients.
Just in case you cannot help but interfere with the conversation to clarify something, here are some ways to politely interrupt:
- Find the right timing. (for example, when the professional interpreter stops for a while to breathe or think)
- Clear your throat as a signal that you want to say something.
- Use the sign gesture you agreed on doing from the pre-session. (for example, raising your hand to your head or putting the medical chart down the table. Either way works as long as they know the gesture signal)
- Stand back a little and make eye contact with the professional interpreter. This gesture will give them a clue that you add something to what you said.
- You could say excuse me if you cannot find the right timing to interfere.
Most importantly, once you successfully interrupt them, thank them for allowing you to interfere. Showing that kind of gratitude in front of the patients would make them appreciate you more as a doctor treating them,
PAUSE BETWEEN SENTENCES
When working with the translation agency in Singapore, remember to pause. Otherwise, the interpreter would have a hard time translating your words, and the patient might not understand you as well.
To not let that happen, make your explanation as brief as possible. Rely on your messages, sentence by sentence and not the entire paragraph at once. That is how a natural flow of conversation works. As a result, the interpreter could translate everything since they do not have to recall long messages.
Besides, speaking in long sentences can only cause anxiety to your patients. Just imagine what would they think if you continue talking and talking and wait for the interpreter to translate them. See, which is why you should explain your diagnosis and treatment plans as short and brief as possible.
If you can, pause every two sentences. That will make everything more understandable.
SPEAK DIRECTLY WITH THE PATIENT
As a doctor, the one you should reassure is the patient, not the interpreter. Remember, they are not the ones you will examine and treat, but the patient. They are only there to rely on your words and explain the treatment process you have in mind.
That is why you should be careful when you speak with the patients along with the interpreter. As much as possible, make eye contact with the patients when you explain the details of their condition and only look at the interpreter when you finish or are ready to say the next paragraph. The same logic applies when the interpreter is on screen and not in person.
Nevertheless, try not to relocate your focus on something else and concentrate more on the patient as you speak. Take note that the patients would feel more comfortable and at ease if you make eye contact with them and not with the expert from the translation company in Singapore.
NEVER HOLD THE INTERPRETER RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THE PATIENT’S SAY.
When working with an interpreter, you should never hold them responsible for anything the patients say and do not say. Keep in mind that they are only relying on your words and have nothing to do with the response from the patients.
For example, if the patients have comments on your diagnosis and treatment plans, do not question them. The only answer you can get from them is that they have no idea or clue the patient answers that way. That means you should never hold them responsible for something like this.
The only time you should hold them responsible is when they mistranslate your words to the patients that cause confusion and misunderstanding. Also, when they share the condition of patients with others. If they do so, that violates the law. But not unless they do it for medical translation services in Singapore, whereas they need help from their colleagues to translate the said information.
GIVE THE INTERPRETER SOME TIME
During your session with the interpreter and the patients, you should give them some time to think and speak. Otherwise, they would not be able to reconstruct their thoughts and translate your words the right way. You should note that when translating words, the interpreter is not thinking in your mother tongue. They are restructuring the information in a different language.
Here is an example of why you should give an interpreter from the translation agency in Singapore some time to think and speak.
What you want to say: The patient’s condition is not good.
What the translation should be: El estadodelpaciente no esbueno.
As you can see, there are many letters added in the translation of English to Spanish. If you do not give the interpreter some time, they might mistranslate not good into something else like not lucky.
Also, some languages have genders when it comes to words. For example, in Spanish, buenois for a masculine person, while buenais for a feminine person. That means if the interpreter interchange chose words, that could cause misunderstanding, and the patient might get offended.
To not let that from happening, give the interpreter some time to think and reconstruct what you have said to the patient’s mother tongue.
BE SMART WHEN WORKING WITH A TRANSLATION AGENCY IN SINGAPORE!
Being able to treat patients properly is what every doctor dreams of all the time. But with the language barrier getting in the way, treating them with the utmost care would be impossible. There will be patients that might even misinterpret your intention since they barely know what you are about to do with them. Some may not permit you to treat them, while others have no choice but to trust you despite the language barrier in place.
That is why as a healthcare facility, you should work with a translation company in Singapore. Through their help, your patients would be able to know and follow your treatment word by word. As a result, you can expect them to become better and healthier in no time!
Now that you know how to work with a medical translation agency in Singapore, you would not have a hard time dealing with one like Elite Asia. Fret not since this company has been translating for several companies for years. That means you would not have any trouble working with them.
If you are interested in hiring them, get a free consultation with Elite Asia here.