The Guide to Make a Successful Technical Translation

With the fast development of information technology, companies are getting more opportunities to trade and cooperate with overseas businesses. But a problem is that the language barrier is still a communication issue. And a technical translation is the most challenging part of it.

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Today it’s not that hard to write a short email to a foreign business partner using online translation tools. But it’s almost impossible to translate technical terms correctly without outside professional help. If you want to know how to make a successful technical translation, check the following tips.

Make a plan

Every technical translation project should start by making a plan. First of all, you should make a list of all the documents you should translate. What does your company need to present to foreign partners/buyers: product catalog, translate machine tool manuals, technical specifications, software guides, etc?

Try to evaluate the amount of time and recourses required and set the deadlines of the project. Set up the milestones and start preparing all materials, which can be helpful for your current project. You can use existing glossaries, descriptions of your company’s products/software/equipment as well as previous technical translations, if there are any.

Analyze skills of your team

Now you need to find out whether you or your team members have enough skills to complete the project. If you studied Spanish at school and know enough words to discuss the weather, it doesn’t mean that you will be able to make a technical language translation by yourself. If you have no experience in this field, it’s unlikely that you can handle this task.

Sometimes even one small error could cost you a lot of money. Can you imagine the damage caused by one misinterpreted technical term in construction machine manuals? It could result in huge problems with your business partners, and even worse, it could spoil your reputation.

Find the right translation services

If you don’t want to risk the success of your project, you should look through technical manual translation services available online. To make the right choice, you should analyze testimonials, compare prices, and check for accreditation from the translation industry’s standard professional bodies (ATC, EUATC, and others).

But the most important thing is to select a technical translator who is a specialist in your specific niche. Preferably, he/she should be a native speaker. So, if you need to translate a document, which contains information about motorcycle engine parts into French, you should find a specialist from France, who worked in the machinery industry before.

Cooperate with a chosen technical translator

A technical translator will be responsible for the project, and you will be obliged to provide him/her with all the necessary information. Firstly, you should explain who will read translated documents. Try to describe your target audience as precisely as possible.

Secondly, if a technical translator has additional questions, you must immediately provide the answers. If you are not able to stay in touch 24/7, one of your team members should be responsible for this job. Obviously, you should choose a person, who know the technical terms and will be able to guide a translator.

Check translated text

If you utilize the translation services provided by a reliable company, you can be sure that your documents are translated correctly. As a rule, a few different experts double check the same paper to make sure that there are no mistakes.

But if you get assistance from a freelance technical translator, then it’s better to proofread text one more time. You can do it on your own, delegate this task to one of your team members, or utilize professional proofreading services.

Bottom line

In today’s world, the importance of technical translation is hard to overestimate. If you want to run your business smoothly and avoid any conflicts with your international partners, you should get assistance from a professional technical translator. This is the best way to ensure that one little mistake will not spoil your reputation.

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