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International Medical Interpreters Association Publishes Guide to Medical Translations

Thursday, January 08, 2009

BOSTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The publication of a new guide on medical translation was announced today. The IMIA Guide to Medical Translation is the second in a series of guides to be published by the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA). The publication underwent a peer-review process and is intended to be a short primer on the topic.

The new publication can be downloaded at

"Hospitals and health care facilities throughout the world struggle to provide patients with translated patient materials," explained Izabel Arocha, IMIA president. "Our goal is to help hospitals and the public at large learn more about this important method of delivering language access to patients across the globe."

Medical translations had until now been mostly for critical trials or pharmaceutical clients. To develop the guide, the association enlisted Rocio Txabarriaga, an experienced translation and localization professional, author and educator. "The most common misconception among health care providers is that anyone with language fluency can perform or evaluate translations," says Txabarriaga.

"In the US alone, hospital-based translations generate critical documents that provide priceless information to LEP patients, and at the same time safeguarding hospitals from losing hundreds of million of dollars in litigation," says Oscar Arocha, MM, Director of Interpreting Services at Boston Medical Interpreter Services. "Vendor selection is very important to ensure quality, as mistakes in translation can incur a liability for the hospital. Health care professionals and policymakers can only stand to benefit from learning more about this critical component of providing health care services to diverse patient groups."

About the IMIA

The International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) is committed to the advancement of professional medical interpreters as the best practice for equitable language access to health care for linguistically diverse patients worldwide. Founded in 1986, it is comprised of over 1,600 members, and is the oldest and largest medical interpreter association in the world. While representing medical interpreters as the ultimate experts in the medical interpreting field, associate membership to the IMIA is open to multidisciplinary groups interested in medical interpreting and language access in health care, an international human right. IMIA has divisions of providers, corporate members, trainers and interpreters in over 100 languages. (


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