When you think of technical translations, we bet you’re thinking of manuals and other such things. Technical translations sound a lot easier than marketing as the texts are often full of repetitions, and very suitable for machine translation. However, there’s more to them than meets the eye!
Technical translations are actually in a class of their own. Technical writing is now studied as a separate subject at university, as technical translators often take on the role of technical writers. These translators have to be highly skilled in terminology, and in a highly technical subject. So, getting the right help and introducing the right processes are just so necessary.
The tone of technical texts varies a little, depending if you’re translating a highly scientific document or something that needs to be understood by the general public. Before you start thinking about translations, though, you should really think about your source documents. In order to have good quality translations, you need to have good quality source texts that are easy to understand.
When sending your files for translation, make sure you send plenty of reference materials. Translating documentation for a machine or product that you don’t know is extremely difficult, so it really helps to see how it works. The more context you can provide the better!
We also highly recommend providing a glossary. In technical documentation, many terms have lots of synonyms. So letting the translators know which one you want helps to ensure consistency. Also, make sure you use a CAT tool! As we mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of repeated text in technical documentation, so why pay full price for sentences to be translated more than once? ? Not only does it save money, though, it also helps once again with consistency throughout the text.