Technical translations differ from other translations not only due to their nature but, above all, their purpose. Like any text, they need to read smoothly and be, as far as possible, neatly written. In practice, however, it is their content and precision that matters most.
There are no other texts that require a given word to mean exactly what it is meant to mean. What would happen if an engineer building a machine or repairing it chose – due to a mistake in translation – a wrong type of material from which it is to be made? It might turn out that the translator’s mistake has made something that was supposed to be a guarantee of efficient work and safety for users not only useless, but even dangerous.
Sector, area and purpose – who needs technical translations
This is a very specific field of translation that requires extensive knowledge, experience and excellent translation skills. The translator needs to be perfectly familiar with the terminology used in a given industry, understand the content of the text and, what is more, know both languages very well. Although the style of the text is not the most important in this case, the translator dealing with technical translations must also be good at writing texts, in particular marketing ones. Of course, such texts concern a specific field and the style of writing for those interested is different from that used in texts addressed to the general public.
Such translations are ordered by a number of different industries, and usually concern technical or scientific texts. They are classified as specialized translations due to the use of terminology specific to a given field.
Technical translations are required, for example, in industries dealing with:
- energy technology
- rail transport
- automation and robotics
- automotive technology
Extremely difficult technically – how to interpret technical content
When interpreting in this area, the translator may also need to know the jargon used in a given industry. This will be particularly useful in interpreting trade negotiations between specialists from technical industries or, for example, training for factory workers. In both cases, it is very likely that people participating in the conversation will use words and phrases understood only by people dealing with a given industry. The translator must correctly decipher these utterances and interpret them in the target language.
This can be a difficult task even for someone who knows specialist terminology used in a given industry. You need to know the language of the industry and, what is more, use it correctly. It is important to preserve the precision of expression and not to be ridiculed. Only a person who can do all these things can professionally interpret technical utterances.
How to choose the right technical translator or interpreter?
The choice of the translator or interpreter is crucial for translation or interpretation to be successful. A professional and responsible translation agency will strive to select the most competent persons to do a particular job. Not every translator dealing with technical translations must be able to handle content relating to both rail transport and automation. Although there are people who specialize in several areas of a given industry, there is also specialized content that requires more extensive knowledge and experience.
CAT tools, i.e. software facilitating the translation process, are of particular importance in this industry. Glossaries compiled with the use of these tools ensure consistency in translation for a given customer. People using such software can specialize in a given field because it helps them to be precise and consistent in using specialist language. A professional translation agency will take care not only of the translation project management process itself, but also the confidentiality of the translation and the security of your data. Each specialist signs an appropriate confidentiality clause, and the software they use to translate the entire project has relevant certificates. This is very important especially when it comes to translation of specifications of products that have not been put on the market yet.