Hospital chart translation
Thread poster: Jessie Nelson

Jessie Nelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:38
French to English
Jul 21, 2012

I am working with Microsoft 2007. I translation hospital charts, sent to me in scanned format.
So far I have been printing and reproducing the chart, and then inserting the translated material.
This is very time consuming. Would Word allow me to blank out the content and just put the new translated material into the chart. I did not expect when I became a medical translator to also have to make up charts, check boxes, etc.
Thanks.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 06:38
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Template Jul 21, 2012

If most of the charts are the same or similar, could you perhaps make up a table, without any data in it, and save it as a template? Then you can fill in the details each time and save the completed chart as a regular Word document. I have several of these templates for documents that I translate frequently and are more or less standard.

 

Javier Wasserzug  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
Recommendation Jul 21, 2012

I strongly recommend MS Office Classes!!

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ms%20word%202007%20tables&oq=ms%20word%202007%20tables&gs_l=youtube.3..0l2.698.4222.0.4292.19.15.0.4.4.0.156.1527.2j12.14.0...0.0...1ac.jClsZvHfK5E


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:38
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Yes, Word can do it in some cases (and other thoughts) Jul 21, 2012

Jessie Nelson wrote:
Would Word allow me to blank out the content and just put the new translated material into the chart.

If there are only a few translatable on items in the chart (an EKG chart, for example), you can copy the image of the chart in the Word file and overlay text boxes with the translation onto those portions. However, this is rather time-consuming, and might not be feasible with a large number of items. Check boxes can be inserted as symbols - I find it easiest to just add one checked box and one unchecked box, and then copy and paste where needed elsewhere.




I did not expect when I became a medical translator to also have to make up charts, check boxes, etc.


These types of issues appear in many fields, so it's not specific to medical. Most of the clinical documentation I see are medical letters, discharge summaries, physician's reports, etc., along with some tables of lab work, so extreme formatting requirements aren't usually too much of an issue. You might ask your client how much replication of the format is actually required, as you might be surprised. I've worked for clients who specifically asked translators NOT to replicate complex formatting and instead key information to the proper location on the source page, and their post-processing department would handle the rest.

If you can't avoid doing the formatting, the solution is obviously to charge more per word or add a formatting charge. If that's not feasible, then just be "too busy" for jobs where the remuneration for time spent is inadequate (unless, perhaps, it's an anomalous one-off from a valued client who otherwise sends you good jobs).


 

Jessie Nelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:38
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for suggestions Jul 23, 2012

I would like to thank everyone for replying.

I dont need a Microsoft class as I can use the app just fine,
and have been making the charts, check boxes etc. But I am weary.
So I think I will at this point be too busy for those assignments.
I have tried getting clients to assist but they are not favorable.
The answer may well be to look for other assignments.

I was curious about other peoples experiences. Do you recreate everything?
I am working with a variety of charts and each one is quite different.

Jessie


 

Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:38
Polish to English
+ ...
How about "keying" the chart? Jul 23, 2012

In the past customers have asked me to "key" charts - i.e. do not reproduce the chart but just indicate what various parts mean by showing the position [top right, bottom left], etc. If the chart is too complicated for this, I have also numbered the text on the chart, returned the numbered chart to the customer, and then provided a key as to what the text with the numbers mean. This is less time-consuming than moving text boxes, etc. around, and I have used it for translating maps, land plans, etc.
As others have said, it depends what the client wants. If they want a "picture perfect" translation,
they should expect to pay exra.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:38
English to German
+ ...
Here is another possibility Jul 23, 2012

Whenever I have to deal with intricate forms such as German car titles or other forms that are packed with small print and only require the relevant parts to be translated, I insert the scan as .tif or .jpg into a word file and use text boxes (locked, to make sure that they can not be moved around) as an overlay. This file can be used as a template over and over for other jobs because the forms are always the same.

 

Jessie Nelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:38
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mark and Nicole Jul 23, 2012

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
I understand exactly what you are saying.
I will try negotiating with clients about both approaches.
Jessie


 


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