What is Technical Translation?
Technical translation involves translating documents related to science, technology, or any other technically-packed subject. Therefore, it’s not a job that any run-of-the-mill translator can get done, as it’s only reserved for the few that possess this particular skill set.
With the current state of globalization, translators are in high demand, and the need for different types of translation and specific expertise is ever-growing. Be it a simple ingredients translation of a beauty product, a TV remote manual being translated to fit the specifics of a certain country, or a translation of a more complex medical content, translation, and localization services are more than just popular – they’re essential.
However, skilled technical translators are like needles in a haystack. The demand for translators who specialize in very specific topics is ever-growing, which means that skilled technical translators feel no shortage of work currently. That said, acquiring one to get your job done will cost a little bit more than hiring a regular translator. Nevertheless, it’s always best to pay more and hire a professional than to get mediocre results.
Let’s answer the question of what is technical translation, and why a professional technical translator definition is needed for these types of jobs.
What Types of Technical Translations are There?
Some aspects of translating technical content not only require professional translation skills, but also some training and research in the specific field. Let’s take medical content for example. Without a background in medicine, translating related content might end up causing more harm than good. The same goes for instructional materials about heavy machinery, or software and engineering translations that fall under the umbrella of technical translation.
These are some of the types of content that require a technical translator for the most accurate results.
For patent writing and translation, a knowledge of the industry, and especially of the patented product, is a must. Patents must comply with legal and practical requirements. The content usually covers broad claims of a patented product, but at the same time, not a lot of information is disclosed in explaining the ways the product works.
Revealing too much information can limit the scope of the patent. So, it takes a technical translator with experience working with patents to meet the requirements of the business or person applying for the patent. In other words, patent translation is a combination of knowledge, skills, and creativity.
- User Manuals
User manuals are a type of technical writing with the specific purpose of informing readers on how to use a product and perform specific tasks. Depending on how complex the product and its instructions are, translating a user manual can require intricate technical knowledge, so it’s important to use a translator who understands how to use an objective, instructional tone and can translate the instructions into simple, straightforward, technical terminology that will allow anyone to understand the translated manual in the target language.
Accurate translation of user manuals is a must, as even the slightest mistake could not only harm the brand’s reputation but potentially cause safety issues as well, depending on the product. This is why technical translators are the only ones who should be trusted to handle this sensitive type of material.
- Software Strings
Translation of software strings for the user interface is another type of technical translation. At first glance, user interfaces may seem simply worded, but the reality is, a translator still needs to have specific knowledge of the technical terminology.
Abbreviations of terms in target languages can often be used as well, so it’s best to work with a technical translator who understands the software, the language, as well as what abbreviations are universal and may need to remain in English.
- Scientific, Engineering, and Technical Articles
There’s no bigger challenge for translators than delving into the world of scientific, technical, and engineering article translations. For one, proper knowledge of the field and understanding the specific terminology is a prerequisite. Being fluent in both the source and the target language is not enough – a translator needs to also have a solid background in the field as these articles have high standards for publication in journals and news sources.
Why Use a Technical Translator?
Besides requiring a skilled and experienced translator for a specific language pair, technical content is a harder nut to crack and requires complex multitasking on various levels of translating.
Hiring professional technical translation experts is the only option when it comes to translating volumes of technical content. Other than translation skills, a translator must also be knowledgeable in the relevant technical field, whether that be software engineering, mechanics, or various types of scientific fields. Translators who provide technical translation services understand exactly what it takes to ensure accurate translation of technical materials using the required terminology and abbreviations.
If a translating project requires specific jargon, you can trust a technical translator to get the job done to perfection. Not only will a technical translator hit the mark on the specific glossary of terms, but they will also add more value to the outcome.
Getting the Best Technical Translation
Usually, technical translation takes more time and is more expensive. Instead of hunting for available technical translators, choosing a professional translation company that employs certified technical translators is the smartest move. Finding a dedicated and client-oriented translation company is key to attaining the best technical translation services with the most high-quality and accurate results.
BLEND has certified technical translators available in any language pair to complete your next project. Smaller, straightforward, or personal projects can be submitted through BLEND Express, while more complex technical localization needs can be addressed by talking to our sales team.