What is special about technical translations? Insights from professionals
Today, no international business can do without translation services. Unique aspects of translating technical texts are essential for international businesses expanding into foreign markets. Technical texts, such as manuals, safety data sheets, and equipment descriptions, require not only a strong grasp of technical terms but also the ability to analyse diagrams, drawings, and tables. To translate technical texts accurately, it is essential to not only have a strong grasp of technical terms, but also possess the ability to analyse diagrams, drawings, and tables. In this article, we will delve deeper into the nuances of technical translation.
How to attain impeccable results
Technical documents in industries such as construction, aviation, engineering, agro-industry, pharmaceuticals, and IT typically require translation services, making specialised terminology one of the most daunting aspects of technical translation. Translating technical documents can be challenging due to the presence of domain-specific terms, abbreviations, and phrases that may not have a direct equivalent in the target language. This necessitates that technical translators possess not only expertise in the relevant field but also the ability to effectively apply their knowledge.
To ensure a seamless translation of technical texts, it is crucial for clients to collaborate closely with translation agencies. Some companies may have their own glossaries containing approved terms, abbreviations, and definitions, which can help streamline the translation process. We recommend that all parties involved in the translation of technical documents maintain a glossary of these terms to facilitate the process.
When clients consistently order translations, the work becomes more efficient as the translation agency's staff and translators gain familiarity with the client's preferences and requirements: having a good understanding of the customer's preferred style and terminology, as well as additional material and translation nuances, can make technical translation easier and enable the translation agency to become an expert in the field alongside the customer.
Translation software options
To ensure consistency, computer-assisted translation (CAT) software is often used. This software allows translators to reuse translations of specific terms, phrases, or even entire paragraphs in other documents. Computer-assisted translation programs can also prevent errors by promptly identifying discrepancies, such as when the original text indicates a measurement of 30 mm but the translation mistakenly indicates 31 mm. As such details can be crucial in technical translations, it is crucial to minimise the possibility of human error.
When it comes to translating technical documents like drawings, schematics, technical catalogues, or instructions, clients typically want a translation that closely resembles the original. Translation software plays a key role in maintaining the layout of the text and transferring drawings and tables. If necessary, an extra layout service can be requested to prepare the final translation for printing.
To provide a high-quality technical translation service, translators should possess not only linguistic skills but also relevant technical expertise, a thorough understanding of technical terms and their proper usage, attention to detail, and the ability to refer to additional sources. Therefore, technical translation is considered a highly specialised field. At AIRV, we have a team of experienced professionals who understand the unique challenges of technical translation and work closely with clients to produce high-quality translations in the language they need.