Everything You Need To Know About Technical Translation

January 18, 2023 Off By Deanna Coleman

The translation of documents created by technical writers, more specifically, works that deal with the practical application of scientific and technological knowledge or literature that pertains to specialized topic areas.

Offering technical translation services necessitates a technical translator with in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. Additionally, since technical translations call for the translation of technical terms to create highly specialized terminology, the best human translation service must be familiar with those terms in both the source and target languages to do so efficiently.

What are some Common Technical Document Translation Materials?

  • Articles (scientific, medical, engineering, or technical periodicals)
  • Specs of computer products
  • Patents
  • User guides/online assistance

Many different kinds of content require technical translation. On the one hand, linguists with graduate training in the pertinent discipline and professional translation abilities are needed to translate scientific, medical, engineering, and technical journal articles. On the other hand, writing product spec sheets for electronic devices may require something different than a computer science degree. Still, it does call for some familiarity with the terminology used in the industry.

Technical translation may take longer and cost more than standard business translation. The additional expense and turnaround time will change depending on the project’s complexity, the availability of professional translators in the appropriate language pair, and the demand for those translators. For instance, translations between English and Japanese are more expensive since there is a greater need for technical translations in this language pair than there are trained translators available.

The following other technical translation subfields are noteworthy:

Translation Of A Patent

The art of writing patents, constrained by statutory and practical limitations, is a skill that patent translators boast about in addition to their competence in the subject area. These texts must be translated, which requires artistic skill and the necessary scientific and technical understanding.

Translation For User Manuals

User manual translation calls for specific knowledge and abilities, but they differ significantly from other kinds of technical translation in a few key aspects. Many people consider technical translation to be under this category, which also covers things like online assistance. This is possible because the individuals we refer to as “technical writers” specialize in producing these documents.

Technical texts aim to convey information in a completely objective manner to assist the reader in carrying out a predefined task, according to an article in the ATA Chronicle, the official journal of the American Translators Association, which claims that technical manuals should have an objective tone without “any sign of the author or trace of subjectivity.” The language used in user manuals, which is straightforward, dry, and frequently simplified, is typical of this kind of publication.

User manuals are excellent candidates for automated translation and post-editing because they are written in straightforward English. This technology can benefit businesses that produce and update various guides for manufacturers and technology companies. Maintaining a translation memory (TM) should, at the very least, lower the cost and boost the effectiveness of developing and maintaining multilingual technical manuals.

CAD Drawing Translation

The project specifications for CAD drawings are similar to those for software strings. Technical designs demand experienced translators and project managers that are tech-savvy and familiar with the various file types. Additional steps include integrating localized measurements, labeling, and graphic components and addressing text expansion.

Software String Localization And Translation

Additionally, special consideration must be given to the translation and localization of software strings for user interfaces. Although the user interface may appear to be written in straightforward English, the translator must know how to handle the strings that the software interprets. Additionally, they must know the terminology expectations of the target market or geographic area’s users. Some terms might be shortened since specific target languages expand when translated. Finally, localization engineering is necessary for software, apps, and e-learning programs to guarantee that the non-linguistic parts of the information are protected during translation.

Does The Translator Need To Have Experience In The Subject Matter?

The best option would be to use a translator specializing in the paper’s subject matter. It will be crucial for the translation process to comprehend the text and interpret the context. Having a technical reviewer would be beneficial if this cannot be done. You don’t need to be a linguist. A specialist in the field would read the technical translation and determine whether the terminology was translated accurately to convey the original notion.

The work of the translator is not lessened by using a technical reviewer. In any event, this work involves conducting an in-depth study of the terminology of a particular field and having access to trustworthy reference materials. Our best effort must always be made. Anyhow, translators need to understand how important they are. Ideally, they shouldn’t agree to complete a technical translation for a subject area in which they don’t feel comfortable. For instance, mistakes in legal contracts or aircraft instructions might have disastrous repercussions and impact many people’s lives.

Can We Make Use Of An Automatic Translation System And A Glossary?

Since multiple terms within the same field can refer to the same subject, a glossary is usually appreciated. The glossary becomes crucial to preserve consistency in the technical translation, mainly if the text is lengthy and divided among numerous linguists. However, it’s best to use caution while using machine translation. The tools were there to assist us, but producing a final fluid text free of literal translations requires a lot of proofreading. It is a process between languages and civilizations rather than between texts.

A person with intellectual intelligence and the capacity to understand the context and the meaning behind the words will always be superior to software. But there is no denying that CAT tools save us time and aid in quality assurance.

What Makes A Technical Translator Useful?

Technical translation is more challenging to understand and requires complex multitasking on numerous levels of translating, in addition to calling for a qualified and experienced translator for a specific language pair.

When translating large amounts of technical text, hiring the best human translation services is the only choice. Translators who offer technical translation services understand the language and abbreviations necessary for an accurate translation of technical materials. In addition to outstanding translation abilities, the translator must possess an in-depth understanding of the relevant profession, whether software engineering, mechanics, or one of many scientific disciplines.

If the translation task requires specific jargon, you can trust a technical translator to do it correctly. A technical translator will accurately translate the extensive glossary of words and offer more value to the finished product.

How To Selec­T The Best Human Translation Service?

The secret to getting technical translations with the highest precision and accuracy is choosing committed, customer-focused human translation services. When selecting a professional translation service, features include experience, client support, quality assurance procedures, and content localization skills.

It takes language and subject-matter competence to translate technical documents. Additionally, it needs rigorous quality control procedures. To guarantee that the accuracy of your multilingual material reaches the highest industry standard, use a language service partner that has received ISO 17100 certification.