Technical Translation

Technical translation covers construction, technological, automotive, or agricultural translation. The most popular materials for technical translation include machinery manuals, information brochures, product sheets, catalogs or technical specifications.

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Technical translation: an engineer or a translator?

Depending on the type of text, the project manager selects a translator with appropriate knowledge and experience. Technical translation is often provided by people with engineering education and proven language skills.

However, the key factor is practice. In the case of technical translation, the translator has to keep up to date with the industry in which they specialize and regularly improve their technical translation skills. They must also have excellent knowledge of industry-specific terminology. However, the translation of operating manuals for farming machinery is very different from technical specifications or information brochures. This is why it is so important that each project is assigned to a suitable contractor. When placing an order, you may emphasize that you require a translation by an expert in a given technical field. Moreover, you may also request a substantive quality assessment carried out by a person working in the industry.

Is image more important than text?

A characteristic feature of technical translation is the inclusion of various graphic elements. The translation of a manual would hardly be possible without the translation of graphics and illustrations. Moreover, documents requiring technical translation are often saved in non-editable formats or created using specialized software such as AutoCad. When choosing a language service provider, it is worth checking whether they offer additional services such as DTP.

A professional translation agency should employ graphic designers and DTP specialists. This way, technical documents can be delivered to translators in an editable form. The DTP department will also ensure that the format of the document remains the same or, if required by the target language, that it is adapted to the requirements of the target country. A manufacturer who needs to have their manual translated cannot afford to make mistakes regarding the graphics.

New technology is also important in this respect. A translation agency should use computer-assisted translation software. Such software allows several people (e.g. translators and the DTP specialist) to work on a project, while ensuring its consistency and high quality.

When ordering a technical translation, you should look at the format of the document and ask the agency for a quote regarding the editing of such material, as it often happens that such texts require additional editing. Summa Linguae Technologies offers not only translation and localization of technical documents, but also their graphic processing.

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Contact us now to get started with technical translation at Summa Linguae Technologies.

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