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Translating Informed Consent Forms into Hindi  


Informed consent forms are by law required to be readable and easily understandable by patients and/ or their representatives. This means they have to be written in clear, precise terms that a layman will understand, as opposed to being packed with lots of medical terms only a professional would comprehend.  


All procedures, proposed treatments etc will have to be detailed in such easy to understand terms, as will the legal implications of the document itself and the statement of consent. It is, by the way, also vital for this final statement to be written in the first person terms of 'I', 'me' and 'myself', as opposed to using 'you', 'your' or 'yourself'.  


Naturally, translating such a document into another language, such as Hindi, for instance, will have to ensure that these requirements will still be met after translation. 


Translating an informed consent document into Hindi is not as easy as it may sound, because this is one of the many very complex Indian languages.  


Hindi, or to be more precise, Modern Standard Hindi, is the official language of India. The Standard Hindi is used in public contexts, such as news reports, public addresses, etc, while the types of Hindi actually spoken in different areas can vary tremendously. 


Different areas also use a range of words 'borrowed' from other languages, including older versions of Sanskrit, English, Persian, Arabic and Portuguese languages. This includes 'borrowings' from at least five different types of Sanskrit origins. 


The so-called 'pure' Hindi, from which many words of different origins have been removed and replaced with so-called 'tatsam' words is supported by many, but may cause serious problems with native speakers if these tatsam words are used in excess. 


This obviously creates somewhat of a difficulty for translators of medical documents. Translating informed consent forms into Hindi has to be done so any speaker of Hindi - in any region - will be able to understand the terms used without any kind of confusion resulting from reading the text. 


We have the right kind of experts to deal with this kind of problem. The highly trained professionals in out team are specialized in translating medical texts into Hindi and will use an array of specialist tools to do the job right. 


In addition, all such translations will be tested through repeated back translations. This means once they have been translated from English into Hindi, they will be translated back into English by another translator.  


This back translation will then be compared against the source text to ensure that no errors have been made which could lose or change the meaning of the original document. 


Once no differences between source and back translation exist, the text is then checked by a native Hindi speaker, to ensure it is indeed as understandable as it is meant to be. 


These measures are vital to ensure that a patient has no cause to feel that he was not correctly informed when signing the document, thus safely avoiding potentially costly legal repercussions. 


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