Executive Summary

The client, a leading supplier of innovative medical devices for imaging, surgical, and radiation therapy professionals, required translated content to support international sales growth. They came to Scriptis for medical translation and keyword research. Scriptis translated instructions for use (IFUs) and website content into Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The Challenge

Translation into multiple languages requires careful organization and clear communication between the client and project manager. The timeline also needs to accommodate additional quality assurance steps required for medical translation projects.

This manufacturer of medical devices maintained two types of web content: patient-facing and physician-facing. These two different audiences required different approaches. The former required cultural adaptation and a warmer overall tone, while the latter faced technical communication requirements. The web content also required integration of keywords for on-page search engine optimization.

Finally, IFUs and some of the technical web content required linguistic validation with back translation, an additional quality assurance step.


A successful technical translation project begins with terminology management. Terminology management advances two goals. First, a bilingual glossary of approved terms, when loaded into the translation team’s computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, ensures consistency and accuracy. The tools deliver prompts to the translators as they work.  The client-specific term base and translation memory can then be re-used to inform future projects.  Second, the bilingual glossary can direct the translator’s choice of keywords when translating content and meta-data for web search purposes. 

To begin building a term base, the project manager ran the source content through a term extraction tool to generate a list of specialized source terms. In some instances, the client wishes to review the list before beginning the project. We have managed projects in which the client arranged term base translation externally, with a foreign language partner. However, in this project, each translation team began by translating and vetting the list of terms. Each team was comprised of linguists who were native speakers of the target languages and subject matter specialists in the medical device industry.

After translation, back translation was performed for the IFUs and other instructional content. Back translation is the independent translation of each target-language deliverable back into the original English. During the reconciliation stage, we compare source and back translation and engage the translators to resolve the differences. The purpose of back translation is to perform linguistic validation. It also provides documentation demonstrating that sensitive content received the highest level of quality assurance. This project required back translations for eight language pairs. Expert project management kept the project on track to meet the client’s deadline.


The client received the multilingual content on time for the product launch, fulfilling each market’s requirements for professionally translated instructions for use of medical devices. In addition, medical translation and keyword research improved on-page search optimization. Scriptis continues to provide localization for patient-facing and physician-facing content for clients in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.