Thursday, 02 February 2023 16:39

Technical translations – why does your business need them?

technical translations technical translations

Technical translations are necessary for businesses, no doubt about it. It's not only about communicating complex information.

Thanks to technical translations we can be sure that everyone uses exactly the same technical terminology, irrespective of the country and language used. What should we know about technical translations and for what specific reasons do businesses need them?

What are technical translations?

Generally speaking, technical translation covers the translation of materials that deal with technical and scientific subject domains (and medicine in some cases). However, it's not only translating technical documentation produced by technical writers from one language to another one by simply swapping out words. It's worth emphasising that technical translation requires subject-matter expertise and a firm understanding of various technical concepts and the complexities of a given jargon.

This kind of translation requires linguistic knowledge and strict quality assurance processes, which in practice means that it can be performed only by professional technical translators who understand the subject and specialised terms in both the source language and the target language. It can be concluded that technical translation is one of the most challenging types of translation, since the content is itself technical in nature.

What does the translation process look like?

The translation process consists of four stages – analysis, comprehension, translation, and revision. It means that at the beginning of the process, the translator reads the document in order to determine the context, tone, and register. The person responsible for translation sometimes has to do additional research to make sure the content is understandable.

When the time for performing the proper translation comes, the translator can use translation memories which are able to recognise passages of text that are repeated. Thanks to such translation memories, the work is easier and faster. And finally, after translating everything, it is necessary to carry out careful revision, just to be sure that no mistakes were made.

What are the features of technical translation?

What distinguishes technical translation from the other types of translation is not only the specialist nature of the work but also the need for accuracy. The truth is that technical translators cannot make any translation errors. Even the smallest and "seemingly innocent" mistake can have huge consequences. It often takes a lot of time and effort to translate technical documents adequately.

The second thing is that using synonyms is acceptable and fine in a "simple" translation. However, when it comes to technical translations, it's better to avoid using synonyms. Sometimes replacing one word with a similar one changes the meaning of the entire sentence. That simply cannot be allowed to happen.

It's also worth remembering that different languages have different grammatical structures. Knowing some vocabulary is not enough to perform the translation if we don't know the right word order in a certain language. Compound words and idiomatic expressions can be tricky, too. To be fair, technical translations are really difficult to perform, and business owners should definitely hire professionals to translate important documents for them.

technical documentation

technical documentation

Which types of documents require technical translation?

Actually, there are many types of material that require technical translation. Many people think that this type of translation is all about translating technical documents, reports, and manuals. Let's take a closer look at the most frequently translated technical content.

User research

If you're a business owner, and you're conducting user research (surveys or interviews), you will need to translate your results, otherwise, your team won't be able to analyse them. This applies particularly to the surveys and interviews with international users, taking into account that cultural differences may influence the way people answer questions. Having a great understanding of each aspect of the cultural context is essential to accurately interpret your research results. Use technical translation services and contact technical documentation translation specialists!

User manuals

Let us turn to the next type of material requiring technical translation - technical manuals. If you're going to launch a new physical product, most likely you will have to provide a user manual, too. If you operate globally, one user manual in one language obviously won't be enough. For you this means that you have to translate the user manual into multiple languages - if you won't do this, your potential international users won't be able to make use of your product.

A truly reasonable piece of advice is to create the simplest possible user manual, without complex vocabulary that may be difficult to understand for the users. The second guideline is to use technical translation services – it is professional translators that can provide the highest quality technical translations, ones that perfectly corresponds with the source texts and are packed with both accurate and country-specific technical equivalents. 

There are many translation companies that stay active in the translation market, however, one of the most professional translation agencies worth recommending is TEXTOLOGY. Professionals from this company can handle each technical translation project!

It's worth the time investment – after all, user manuals can be a significant marketing tool. It's a chance for you to show off the spirit of your company and create strong relationships with your customers. With the right technical document translation services it will be more than easy to create something unique!

Marketing materials

Taking care of the company's marketing is something you shouldn't miss as a company representative. By marketing we mean, for example, website content, product packaging, advertising copy, social media posts and so on. You should be aware of what your target market is and focus on the right local languages. As you can see, marketing materials are also considered technical materials that often need to be translated.

Different technical documents

We cannot fail to mention a few more documents that require technical translation. These include specialised reports, safety data sheets, CAD documents, e-learning materials, training materials, and electronic product catalogues.

technical translator

technical translator

Why are technical translations so important for businesses?

Technical translations are always supposed to be reliable and accurate. With this kind of translation, it becomes possible for R&D (research and development) teams to collaborate effectively. Team members can share their findings with a wider audience.

Thanks to the accurate technical translations, your customers trust you

What's more, accurate translations are essential, especially in manufacturing and engineering businesses. Technical translations are critical because they let all the team members and all consumers use the same terminology, which translates into no misunderstandings and the confidence that everyone's working towards exactly the same goal. Not only that, thanks to accurate translations you, as a business owner, can improve your relations with your customers – they can rely on you because they know they can get all the details right.

You can save time and money

Another reason for taking advantage of technical translations is that you can save money and time in the long run. Imagine that you want to perform technical translation on your own, without the right knowledge. That would be a waste of time and the risk of errors and mistranslations would be huge, especially in the case of using some less reliable software… Respect your time!

You can reach a broader audience

Unfortunately, you have to realise that if you decide not to use technical translation services, you won't reach a broader audience with your newest innovations and products. As a result, you won't overcome language barriers and bringing your products to market could eventually result in failure. Nowadays, every self-respecting company cooperates with a trusted translation firm. Don't lag behind your competitors! You can really help your business grow in the global marketplace if you decide to cooperate with an agency that provides professional technical translation services.