Technical translation is simply the translation of the technical documents from one language to another. It is a part of translation services which translation companies offer to people. What sets technical translation services apart from the rest of the language translation services is the use of the specialized vocabulary and information for translating the technical documents.
Only the skilled linguists can ensure the accuracy and perfectness in the technical documents. The translators for technical translation services should be with an Industry- specific background. They should know the industry, source language, and the target language.
Most common technical documents that we come across on a daily basis include user guides, manuals, scientific texts, journals, proposals, data sheets, system descriptions, specifications, scientific papers, CAD drawings, medical documentation, software, business correspondence, and more.
Each Technical translation services require a different level of expertise and service. For example, if you are translating pharmaceutical data from English to the Russian Language, the translator should know about the various drugs and medicines available in the market. You can’t afford to take help of a machine translation to translate the technical documents.
Technical Translation Services Requirements
1. Functional Words and Lexemes: As we discussed above, the language of technical documents should be industry-specific, not generic. There are operative words and lexemes associated with every industry. If you miss a particular lexeme or word, your document can lead to confusion. A small confusion in the laboratory can cause an experiment to fail or lead to medical negligence in the hospital. Hence it is crucial for the language translators to describe the intended concept in the target language.
2. Jargons and Phrases: There are certain words in the technical documents that you will not find in any other writing piece in the world. These are called jargons that are popular within the industry. In addition to the phrases, there are some abbreviations that are also specific to the industry. Those abbreviations are not present in the standard dictionaries. A technical translator should know industry-specific jargons and acronym, only then will he/she be able to ensure accuracy and precision in the technical translation services.
3. Symbology: Certain signs and symbols are used to describe specific functions, units and procedures etc. Some signs and symbols translate directly while others don’t. So it is imperative for every translator to understand the underlying meaning of the signs and symbols associated with the industry. The translators will have to know how they can use them the target language. For example, we use sign < in mathematics for encasing figures, but in a programming manual, it has an entirely different meaning.
4. Formatting: There are strict rules of format for the technical documents depending on the type of industry and the products and services. Suppose you are translating a technical text mentioning the specifications of a phone. You will need to follow the format that suits your product requirements. The format should be such that it should not render text and graphics unreadable. The technical translators should be able to accommodate these issues.
5. Cultural Nuisance: Even if your document as well but it seems culturally irrelevant, inappropriate or offensive, it can be deemed perfect. The use of gender terms can cause issues in a translation.
6. Translation in Multiple Languages: The technical documents always need to be translated into numerous languages whether they accompany a service or a product. In the age of globalization, it is essential to increase the reach of your services and products. And when you translate your documents in multiple languages, the range of your services expands automatically.
7. Concise And Accurate Language: A technical translator should be able to keep technical translation services concise and precise with to the point and specific language. If the translator is feeling any difficulty, he or she can make use of reference materials, so that they have a bright idea of the businesses of their clients. The files should be in their original format and organized. Their translation memory should be fast to leverage their translation work. The use of relevant terminology maintains consistency in the translated documents.
8. The Finishing Touch: And once the technical translator finishes the job, the senior members of the team should conduct linguistic quality assurance to ensure the accuracy of the translation. Professional translation company should make it mandatory for their translators to undergo training on the products.
The translator should have experience, expertise and knowledge to translate the documents. The aim should still be to translate the text without any pain and provide the client best possible result.