Medical Writing Risk Management Gained in Translation

Volume 24, Issue 2 - Risk Management

Gained in Translation


We often write articles to satisfy two states of mind: pleasure and curiosity. In my case, this means the curiosity to delve into some of the intricacies of translation on the one hand, and, on the other, the desire to work together with colleagues with whom I share a passion for the transfer of knowledge through culture and time. Translation is involved in every level of knowledge production and distribution in medicine. It presents a wealth of opportunities to combine the insights of literary, historical, and cultural studies of science. Scott L Montgomery says in his ‘Science in Translation’1 that ‘As the second oldest profession on the streets of authorship, it is generally conceived in fairly obvious terms, as a matter of rendering the words of one language into those of another, hopefully with little or no spillage of meaning’. Yet, this is more a description than a definition and it does not deal with the enormous complexity of the inevitable sharing of knowledge in this global and multilingual world we now live in.


  1. Merriam-Webster. Unabridged dictionary. [2014; cited 2015 Feb 4]. Available from:
  2. Collins. English dictionary [2015; cited 2015 Feb 4]. Available from:
  3. Real Academia Española. Diccionario de la lengua española. 22nd ed. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe [2012; cited 2015 Feb 4]. Available from:
  4. Navarro FA. Diccionario de dudas y dificultades de traducción del inglés médico. 3.02 ed. [2014; cited 2015 Feb 4]. Available from:
  5. REAL DECRETO 223/2004, de 6 de febrero, por el que se regulan los ensayos clínicos con medicamentos [2004; cited 2015 Feb 5]. Available from:
  6. Borghini L. Objeciones planteadas por los comités éticos a las traducciones de los documentos de consentimiento informado en investigación clínica: análisis e implicaciones para el trabajo del traductor. Revista de Bioética y Derecho. 2015;33(1):14–27.



Risk Management
President's Message
The changing face of (benefit-)risk management
Pharmacovigilance medical writing: An evolving profession
A shot at demystifying the risk management plan for medical writers
Using social media as the patient's voice in the benefit-risk assessment of drugs: Are we ready?
Special section: Winners of the Geoff Hall Scholarship essay competition
News from the EMA
Profile: An interview with Ingrid Edsman on why attending EMWA conferences is so rewarding!
The Webscout
In the Bookstores
Regulatory Writing: Review process in regulatory writing
Lingua Franca and Beyond
Gained in Translation
Manuscript Writing
English Grammar and Style: Revising medical writing Reasons not rules: Backtracking, pronoun-induced Part 3 - Double syntactic unit revision and syntactic position revision
Out On Our Own

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