We talk to Éva Tóth-Tölgyesi, head of the Life Sciences Department, Hunnect about managing translation expectations in a specialist field.
How long has Hunnect had a life science group?
As an outcome of a long process, we launched our Life Sciences Department in the summer of 2015. We have been working on medical and other life science translations for more than ten years. The amount of these jobs was increasing so much that we had to dedicate a full division for the task with five members, who focus only on language services in life sciences. Three of us have a degree in translation specialized in life sciences; therefore, a top-quality end-result is guaranteed in all assignments.
What are the particular challenges of working in the life sciences field?
Quality is a major challenge in medical translations, since it can be a question of life or death. As a result, top quality is a default requirement. When setting up deadlines, we need to consider that our experts, the medical translators, are mostly part-time subcontractors.
What unique aspects does Hunnect bring to its work in this field?
There are two of them. One is the human aspect, as we maintain close contact with our clients and subcontractors as well as the students studying translation at the University of Szeged. The other aspect is technology. We always use the latest software and prepare client-specific style guides and terminology lists. Furthermore, we also offer complex services like voiceover or preparing subtitles, neither of which are typical translation assignments.
Hungary currently has a labor shortage affecting many areas. Are life sciences affected too?
Indeed, there is a serious shortage of labor in the medical profession throughout Eastern Europe. We work with physicians, biologists and pharmacologists who also have a degree in translation; thus, we have also experienced some labor shortage. Nevertheless, we have been able to cope with the problem and could complete our assignments in every Central and Eastern European language. Having our own experts within the department also helps a lot.
What are your expectations for the year?
Our aim in 2017 is to further increase our clientele. The first months of this year have confirmed that the need for our top quality language services in this special field is increasing both in Hungary and internationally.
Who are your typical customers?
We translate mostly for pharmaceutical companies. Typical assignments are clinical studies, drug descriptions, discharge summaries, scientific papers, etc. Companies manufacturing medical devices are also among our regular clients, but private people frequently order medical translations as well.