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As originally asked by Khaled Hamza.
I am curious to know, does the manufacturing company handles language part when exporting to out of home markets, or its the agent (distributor) is the one who handles this?
Vanessa Lontoc, MBA
I work for Merrill Brink International and we have industry ISO and EN certifications and registrations.
As to the distributor doing the translation more than likely he owns the registration unless your company has a local entity or agent and took steps to secure the registration and brand in the country. The distributor is often required to change the labeling to reflect the registered agent which will often put your marketing and regulatory departments in Apoplexy if they only took the time to read the final literature which often they don’t unless you have a dedicated team for the region or good agent that is independent from the distributor.
Khaled, this is a good question, but there is no easy answer. It really depends on the company. We have been translating user documentation and software for many medical device manufacturers since 1995 and it seems that larger companies will typically source their own translation to language service providers through RFP’s while smaller companies tend to leverage their distributors. This is of course a generalization based on what I have seen over the years.
One note of caution on using distributors, when I was a project manager for a medical device manufacturer one of our distributors handled the translation of one of our user manuals and changed the name of the company in the manual. He deleted all the branding and inserted a different company name because he thought it be a better fit in the marketplace. The corporate and marketing departments were less than amused.
A good LSP or language service provider should be able to protect your branding, assist with an in-country review (this is a good place for the distributors to have some input but still allow the manufacturer to retain control) and reduce cost through the use of translation memory technology.
Glenn, makes a good point about “certified”. That word is typically always listed as a requirement with high-risk products like medical devices. There really is no such thing as “certified” translation. However most companies will consider translations created by an ISO 9001:2008 registered firm as “certified”. Another use of “certified” is if the language service provider includes a document with a sworn statement pertaining to the accuracy of the translation.
Certified translators are not the key for good translation, its the quality process and choosing the translation team and the qualified proofreader with medical/engineering background and experience, having this would lead to good translations, especially in the Medical manuals field. The same goes if you are translating automotive manual so you will need relative experiences in automotive.
Certified translators mainly build their experience in legal and law related documents.
I have been working in the translation business for over 10years, I am not a translator myself, but I do the Business Development part in the Company. and we do group the translators based on their background studies and physical experience.
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