Recommendations on the various steps of the translation process can be found in the document Guidelines for Management of Translation of SNOMED CT (see reference in Section 1.1). This section summarises the main steps.
There should always be at least two persons involved in the initial translation – a translator and a proof-reader (to verify the initial translation). It is crucial that translators have high level linguistic skills as well as a good insight in health care. The role of the translators is to:
Apart from proof-reading, proper review should be carried out by health and social care professionals. They act as quality assessors and their tasks are to:
The Editorial Board should consist of an interdisciplinary team made up of professionals with pedagogical and empirical backgrounds in medicine and nursing, linguistics and terminology, information science or technology, paramedical disciplines with sound knowledge and understanding of the English language.
The tasks of the Editorial Board are to:
A project manager and/or coordinator should be appointed to carry out a continuous assessment of the progress of the translation, general project administration and surveillance. The monitoring and follow-up roles are described in the document Guidelines for Management of Translation of SNOMED CT (see reference in Section 1.1).
The clinical validation of the translated descriptions plays an important role in the translation of the SNOMED CT terminology into the target language. Some descriptions reflect very complicated or rarely used concepts, and there is a risk that both translator and reviewer, despite all efforts, may have misunderstood the concept in the source terminology. There is also a risk that a particular description, however correct it may be, may be psychologically unacceptable to clinicians if they are used to employing a particular description or phrase for a particular concept. Validation should therefore be carried out by health and social care providers to ensure that the translation is useful in clinical, cultural and social settings.
In addition to the validation of the translated descriptions, a policy for the maintenance of the target language terminology and feedback to SNOMED international is required. If a concept added in a national extension is to be included in the SNOMED CT International Release it must have a FSN in English.