Terminology resources for medical translations
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Translating into a “small” language makes it hard to specialize sometimes. During my 10 years as a freelance translator I have specialized in IT, software and business communications/marketing from the start, based on my educational and professional background. However, during the last few years I have gradually taken on more medical and pharmaceutical translations, first by translating medical software and clinical trials and now also translating medical equipment, instructions for use etc. I have also attended presentations and taken courses in medical translation and have a trusted colleague, specializing in medical translations as a mentor. During this process I have discovered some great resources for medical terminology that I want to share.

My oldest resource is Karolinska Institutet’s MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) used by NLM (U.S. National Library of Medicine), with lots of English and Swedish medical terminology.

Some other great resources for international medical terminology are:

EU Clinical Trials Register, where I can search among clinical trials within the EU to find terminology

EMA – QRD: Multilingual QRD templates for product information and packaging

MedDRA: Clinically validated international medical terminology and AE dictionary

SNOMED CT: comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world.

Do you know of any other good resources? Please share!


Swedish Translation Services is a company owned by Tess Whitty, a freelance translator (English-Swedish), proofreader, editor, copy writer, localizer and entrepreneur.


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  2. Hi Tess,

    Yes, the EMA QRD templates and MedDRA are very useful resources for EU medical translators. Two other essential multilingual references are the EMA database for adverse drug reactions (free access) and the EDQM Standard Terms (€70), with all the translations for dosage forms, patient-friendly terms, routes of administration, etc.