Top 10 Technical Translation Tips

Top 10 Technical Translation Tips

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Technical translation has proved to be an integral part in the successful transition of any business to overseas trading. Most companies will have large amounts of written content covering all aspects of their operations. When entering a foreign market, the majority of this material will need to be translated, including documents such as contracts, user guides, help files and technical drawings.

This material will likely contain industry and company specific terminology. Ensuring that these terms are correctly translated is highly important. Technical translation is a specialised branch of translation which can only be undertaken by a language expert with experience of the relevant industry.

In this article we will look at the process in further detail, as well as discussing best practice in finding the best experts with whom to work, and how to make the entire process run smoothly.

Top 10 Technical Translation Tips

Here are the ten tips we recommend to help you with the technical translation process:

1. Knowing what makes a good technical translator

To be a professional translator of technical material, much more is required than speaking multiple languages. Due to the intricate and highly specific nature of the content, experience of the relevant industry is required. Having a grounding in the sector, and a knowledge of the terms used within it, allows a translator to ensure that all meaning is conveyed correctly. Translating into their native language also helps to achieve this. A good provider will ensure that the most suitable translator for your project is chosen.

2. Being aware of language differences

Knowing into which languages your documents will need to be translated is obviously one of the first steps. There are, however, a number of different regional dialects and unique languages that can be spoken in any one territory. When written, foreign languages will also generally take up more physical space than English. Having knowledge of these points before a project begins is highly beneficial. A good provider of technical translation will be able to inform you of the relevant linguistic differences.

3. Providing a clear brief

Both you and your translation provider should have a clear understanding of the assignment before any translation actually occurs. Near the beginning of the project, you should ensure that you research your markets and work out a timescale for the duration of the assignment. You should also have a solid idea of the target audiences, key messages and overall tone and style for your content. Ensuring that your brief is clear and coherent will make it easier for the translator to quickly feel confident about the project.

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