5 Tips for Selecting a Medical Device Translation Company
Does the prospect of selecting a medical device translation company fill you with anxiety? The right company can do wonders for your brand, while the wrong translation company can cause major damage to both your reputation and bottom line. It’s an important decision to make, and not one to be taken lightly. These five tips will help you select a translation company that can localize your medical device materials professionally, accurately and according to local laws and regulations.
1. Do Your Research
This cannot be emphasized enough. Only look for translation companies that offer medical translations as a specialty or as their core competency. Since this area is so specialized, you should only rely on experts who understand the complicated process. Medical translators must be subject matter experts, or even doctors, who know the regulations and certifications that are required in each country.
Check references to make sure that the vendor has plenty of subject matter expertise and that it has accumulated loyal customers over the years. Also, make sure the medical translation company you’ve chosen has a dedicated project manager who is responsive and available to you as needed.
Tip: If you’re new to medical translations, you’re going to need time to understand the process. It’s OK to ask for explanations and to expect a high level of responsiveness and customer service from your vendor.
2. Look for ISO Certifications
For medical device and other medical translations, you should expect a translation company to have the following ISO certifications:
- ISO 9001:2015 – This is the international standard for quality control. It specifies general requirements for setting up a quality management system (QMS) that meets customer and regulatory requirements. This standard is intended for any organization of any size in any industry.
- ISO 17100:2015 – This standard is similar to ISO 9001, but it’s geared towards the specific processes required to deliver quality translation services.
- ISO 13485:2016 – This standard outlines specific quality management system requirements for companies providing medical devices and related services.
Tip: If a medical device manufacturer outsources its translations, the manufacturer will be held accountable for the work of the translation company. That’s why many medical device companies require translation vendors to obtain the ISO 13485 certification.
3. Gather Bids
When you’re researching a medical device translation vendor, it’s a good idea to seek a few different bids. This does not have to be a formal RFP process, but it’s important to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. For example, when speaking to different translation companies, make sure you provide clear and consistent project instructions and then ask for a full explanation of how the vendor will complete the required tasks, how long it will take to do so, and what the cost for services will be.
It’s especially important to understand the vendor’s quality management system. If a vendor only has one quality control step, ask why. At Morningside, our quality assurance process includes multiple rounds of editing and proofing with built-in redundancies to ensure accuracy, proper terminology, and correct localization for the target audience.
4. Don’t Expect Cheap and Fast Translations
Have you heard of the project management triangle? It’s a concept that’s been around since the 1950s. In this model, there are three key elements – good, fast and cheap. Your project can be any two of these – but it’s impossible to achieve all three.
With medical device translations, the work must be good – there is simply no room for inaccuracy in this industry. If you cut corners to save money and time in the short term, you will pay for it later (products will be pulled from shelves and costly litigation can take place).
That leaves you with a choice to make about cost. If you want your project completed quickly, it’s not going to be cheap. Rush fees will be applied. However, you can save money (and avoid rush fees entirely) if you plan a project timeline with your vendor well in advance of your deadline.
5. Talk to Fellow Industry Professionals
Are you in touch with fellow medical device colleagues at other companies? Are you attending an industry trade show in the near future? Try asking fellow professionals which translation vendor they’re using and whether they’ve learned any helpful lessons along the way. It’s always better to learn from others than to experience issues first-hand.
Invitation to Connect
If you’d like more information about medical device translations, feel free to reach out to us today or request a complimentary quote. As a medical device translation company, we have all three ISO certifications and 20 years of industry experience.
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How to Protect IP Rights when Outsourcing
Outsourcing is a well-established phenomenon in today’s global economy. Although initially associated with large, multinational companies, today outsourcing is growing among small-to-medium businesses as well. The key motivations for outsourcing include cutting costs, solving capacity issues and maintaining a clear focus on the core business. On the other hand, outsourcing raises a very critical question: How do I protect my intellectual property rights (IPR) – both for existing IP as well as any new IP that may be created? In this blog, we take a closer look at how to manage potential IPR risks without losing out on the benefits that outsourcing can bring to your company and bottom line.
Determine your IP strategy
Before jumping onto the outsourcing bandwagon, you should do an inventory of the IP that will likely be exposed. If you have third-party licensing agreements, make sure you are free to share the required IP with your outsourcing vendor. Where relevant, strengthen your IP portfolio by registering and filing patents, trademarks and copyrights – not only in your own country, but also in the countries where the outsourcing would take place.
You should also consider defining an initial outsourcing scope of work that does not expose your core IP. After you have established a good working relationship with an outsourcing vendor, you can extend the scope with greater confidence that your business-critical patents will be safe.
Make IP part of your due diligence
Finding the right outsourcing vendor is a long and arduous process. Be sure to make IP an important part of your due diligence, at several levels.
Start with the target countries themselves. Respect for IP rights varies from country to country and you should consider avoiding outsourcing to countries where IP laws are weak or poorly enforced. Two websites where you can gather relevant information are the International IP Index and Country IPR Toolkits, both of which are maintained by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Regarding the vendors, you should ensure that they have well-established procedures and a security infrastructure for protecting sensitive data. Make sure that they do thorough background checks on their employees and properly train them on IPR. While checking out their references, explore their track record of respecting and protecting intellectual property. Verify that they have insurance that will cover them for any damage you may suffer if your IP (including your trade secrets) are compromised.
Key IP issues for outsourcing agreements
When it comes to drafting the outsourcing agreement, there are a number of IP-related issues that should receive special attention. For example, the agreement should contain comprehensive, enforceable non-disclosure and non-compete sections. These issues are particularly important when your IP includes trade secrets.
The ownership of IP is also a critical issue. Not only should the ownership of existing IP be crystal-clear, but it should also be clear who owns any new IP that may be created during the outsourcing. Newly created IP is typically defined as “works for hire” that belong to the company paying for the work. But it is not unusual for outsourcing agreements to include options for mutual licensing of new IP. That’s all well and good, as long as it is clearly spelled out and understood the same way by both parties.
Tip: Organize and file every contract and agreement related to IP for easy future reference, just in case IP conflicts arise.
Establish clear communications
Poor communication is the #1 reason for the failure of an outsourcing project. Language barriers and cross-cultural misunderstandings can undermine the development of trust that is essential for a fruitful working relationship in general and for the protection of IPR in particular. All efforts invested in establishing strong communications in a multilingual, multi-cultural working relationship will go a long way to ensure successful outcomes.
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How to Expand Your Business with Localization
In today’s globalized world, the ability to expand your customer base often means being able to communicate with new customers in their own language. To reach these new customers, you need to adapt your business materials both linguistically (via translation) and culturally through a process called localization. Here are four of the most popular ways to localize your business in 2019.
1. Penetrate new markets with website localization
The practice of regionally targeting website content is extremely popular and there are no signs of it slowing down. As such, high-quality personalized site experiences are becoming a central focus for businesses that wish to reach new audiences. To achieve a successful online user experience in new regions, you’ll need to consider translating and localizing all of your online content – from blogs and buttons to forms, videos and captions. If you use WordPress or Drupal as your CMS, check out these translation plug-ins that can help you manage regular updates.
It’s important to note that when you start planning for website localization, you need to consider what you can do to ensure that all of your carefully crafted content will actually be found by the various search engines available in different regions. For example, less than 2% of internet searchers in China use Google. If you want to expand your business into China, you’ll want to consider optimizing important keywords for Baidu’s search algorithms – not Google.
2. Attract new users to your app
If you want your software application to gain more users worldwide, you’re going to have to localize your user interface (UI) for multiple markets. Localizing your app is especially recommended for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and multi-player gaming apps.
Make sure you use local metrics, relatable images and appropriate content. Always adjust the text length to fit correctly in each language’s UI, and don’t forget to localize the copy for push notifications (which are a rich opportunity for building relationships with consumers).
Lastly, if you maintain a web and mobile version of your software, consider using Progressive Web App (PWA) development to combine your apps into a single simple-to-maintain platform that allows users to work offline.
3. Simplify customer service with chatbot localization
A chatbot is a computer program that runs off a pre-set script in order to simulate conversation with human users. Chatbots (or bots) are becoming increasingly popular as a way to provide instant responses to online customer inquiries. This rise of real-time messaging has led to a fundamental shift in how people prefer to communicate – they don’t want to wait on hold on a customer support phone line. They want to go online, see a product, type in a question and get an instant response. In fact, a recent report found that chatbots are being used by people from all 195 countries in the world, and 41% of those chatbot users are business executives.
Here’s some food for thought: While AI and machine learning are clearly the driving factors behind a chatbot’s abilities to do its job well, none of that matters if the script it runs off of is awkwardly written or incomprehensible. After all, chatting — whether with a person or a bot — requires a common language. So if you hope to close more deals and increase customer satisfaction by adding a chatbot to your website, it’s critical to ensure that all of your chatbot scripts are translated and localized correctly.
4. Embrace eLearning for more effective training
For businesses that operate in multiple regions (or in regions where multiple languages are spoken), eLearning is one of the most effective and versatile training tools at your disposal to connect with learners. You can use eLearning modules internally to conduct employee job training or externally to deliver product guides and information to your clients, and much more.
Effective localization of an eLearning course means reviewing every element of every slide, including text, images, captions, image text, videos, scripts, audio narration, subtitles, quizzes, example scenarios, etc. For a deeper dive into how to optimize your eLearning content for translation, check out this blog.
Use an expert LSP
There’s a lot to get right with eLearning translation, chatbot scripts, and website/software localization. If a translation is wrong or laughable, it can quickly go viral — turning a well-meaning company into an overnight laughingstock. Even if a poor translation doesn’t turn into a meme, it could still hurt your business if the content has not effectively delivered your message and branding.
As a result, it’s really in your best interest to partner with an LSP that has localization expertise in your industry. A qualified language partner like Morningside Translations can provide a step-by-step plan to ensure that all of your online content is successfully and efficiently prepared to hit the right targets.
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Website Translation: How Do We Manage Regular Updates in 20 Languages?
If you manage or operate a website, chances are high that it’s powered by WordPress or Drupal, two of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in use today. These two back-end frameworks power over 76 million websites worldwide, ranging from personal blogs and self-hosted retail pages to corporate, political and government websites. If you want to make your WordPress or Drupal-hosted content available to more people, one of the most effective ways to do that is to make your website multilingual.
Traditionally, however, the process of website translation has been very complicated, involving three time-consuming steps: (1) Manually download all the source text you wish to translate from your CMS. (2) Email the source text files to your language service provider (LSP) to translate. (3) Upon completion of translations, manually upload or copy/paste the translated content back into to your CMS. This manual system is antiquated.
Instead, you should consider using an automated translation plugin that makes the website translation process a lot easier to complete. Morningside Translator for Drupal and WordPress Multilingual (WPML) both work to build a bridge between your website’s source language content and Morningside’s network of 8,000+ native linguists and subject matter experts. Both plugins allow you to monitor the status of projects, submit & approve quotes, and review & publish translated content — all within the plugin dashboards. Let’s take a closer look at these two different options.
Drupal: Morningside Translator
Morningside Translator is a proprietary Drupal translation plugin for the Translation Management (TMGMT) module within Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. It enables you to seamlessly connect with Morningside to translate and publish multilingual content for your website without ever having to leave your Drupal CMS. This removes two critical steps in the traditional process – with this plugin, you no longer need to download or upload content to/from your CMS, making it easier than ever to manage your Drupal website translations. Once you’ve installed and configured the plugin for TMGMT, you can:
- Provide project details
- Request a quote
- Select a single page or multiple pages for translation
- Choose from over 150 languages
- Enter a project due date
- Approve translation quotes
- Monitor the status of each project
WordPress: WPML Plugin
The WordPress translation plugin is a translation tool for businesses that use WordPress as their CMS. Although WordPress is a great platform for managing website content, the process of translating and updating multilingual content can be extremely cumbersome and time consuming without a little additional help. That’s where Morningside and WPML come in.
Similar to Morningside Translator, with WPML you can create multilingual versions of your original website, and you can use a dashboard to manage your projects. It’s simple – you don’t need to create a new WordPress site for each language; you’re just duplicating and translating each page.
So how does it work? First, you’ll need to download the WPML plugin for Morningside Translations. Then please contact your Morningside sales representative to configure your account for the WPML plugin. If you don’t have a Morningside rep, simply contact us via our website and one will be provided to you. Once configuration is complete, you will be able to submit and approve quotes and monitor your projects from within the WPML dashboard. When translated webpages are ready, you can review the completed translations within WordPress or simply publish them.
Advantages of Using a Translation Plugin
Both Morningside translation plugins provide many advantages over the traditional website translation process, such as:
- Dashboard – You get to manage the quoting process through a dashboard, which means no more copying and pasting or uploading content to some other directory. Instead, you simply select the webpages that you want to have translated from within WordPress or Drupal, designate the target language(s) required and the plugin will efficiently package the translation files and send them to Morningside for analysis and translation.
- Project manager – When you use a Morningside plugin, we provide you with a professional, highly responsive project manager to act as your single point of contact. Your PM will manage the translation process, including overseeing any necessary collaboration between the translator, proofreader and in-country reviewers (ICR).
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – Morningside can create customized translation packages for SEO content, such as meta tags, h1, titles, and transcreation of keywords.
As a result of all the automation, minimal effort is required to manage the translation process when using a translation plugin. At their core, Morningside Translator and the WPML plugin for Morningside Translations simply make it easier for you to manage multilingual websites powered by Drupal and WordPress. If you’d like to learn more about either option, contact us here.