“Now, get in touch with translation agency and ask them to have the text translated into English, French or Italian,” says your colleague when you’ve drafted the final version of your text.

What is simply an everyday experience for us, as project managers at medical language service, may well raise lots of questions for you, as you’ve never had to commission a translation before. Or, perhaps this is already part of your job and you would just like to know a bit more about what is actually involved in a translation order.

To give you an idea of what happens to your texts after we have received email inquiry from you, we’d like to give you a brief glimpse of the processes that are carried out at medical language service.

Preparing a quotation

As soon as we have received your inquiry, we first of all prepare a quote for you in our data processing system and then check the text to be translated, confirm the source language, and allocate it to the particular specialist area in order to ensure the correct choice of translator at a later stage.

In the next step, we take all the important information for the translation from your message: such as the target language; your preferred delivery date; or any other special features that need to be taken into account (e.g. if you require proofreading in line with the 4-eyes principle in accordance with DIN 17100, or a notarization, the use of particular terminology, or compliance with Swissmedic or EMA specifications). We record everything in the project, so that we can track it easily at all times and, if another colleague has to deputize, it’s all there to refer to. This is also the moment when we can clear up any questions that arise with you.

But what we still need to complete our offer is to determine the scope of the text. For this purpose, we analyze the text using software that lets us calculate the number of words to be translated and roughly how long it should take to complete.

We have now reached the point that we can prepare a free, non-binding quote for you and send it to you as soon as possible.

Although you can, of course, also commission a translation directly without bothering with a quote.

We should also say that there’s no need to worry when it comes to data protection with regard to your texts. Both we, the project managers, and our specialist translators are obliged to maintain professional secrecy – and this is guaranteed by confidentiality agreements.

Creating an order

As soon as you give us an order, we set about finding just the right translator for your text. The search for the perfect specialist is often made easier when we have been able to identify a regular translator for you. We can call on more than 600 freelance native speakers all around the world. Our translators are pharmacists, medical technicians and physicians working in the widest possible range of specialties as well as interpreters and graduate translators, who have specialized in the fields of pharmacy, medicine and medical technology. This means that we can offer you translations in more than 500 language combinations.

We now contact the translator.

For some projects, proofreading is a good idea in addition to the specialist translation, as with certain types of text it is important that not just 2, but 4 eyes have read through everything (ISO17100). This is particularly vital when a text is going to be published. And so, applying the same principles, we select a second translator in this case.

Once this has all been accepted, we finally create an order confirmation and send it to you with a binding delivery date.

And now comes the actual translation phase.


It’s delivery day! The translator returns the finished (proofread) translation to us. And we now check that it is complete and that all the requirements for the text have been taken into account.

Once we’re sure it’s all in order, we send your specialist translation to you just as you ordered and the project is now complete.

If you would like to learn more about similar related subjects, then please take a look at our website. You’ll find more information about our service here and other areas that should be interesting to you.

By M.A. Karina Köbel
Project Manager – medical language service