Ensure accurate technical translations

Published 21st December 2011
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Ensure accurate technical translations

A few blogs ago, Elfie discussed how to define technical translations. Today I’d like to continue this by pointing out some of the main features of this kind of text. For which it is vital that a skilled, specialised translator is used.

Nowadays, technical texts constitute a major source of translation work. They can range from the most diverse subjects and areas of expertise. Such as engineering, biology, IT, architecture, chemistry, medicine, aeronautics, etc.

Contact us for more information about technical translationsAs with financial and legal translations, technical translations require an extremely high degree of accuracy and fidelity to the original text. For a technical translator, a command of the languages involved and translation techniques isn’t enough. This might suffice for a general translator. But it’s vital for technical translators to have a deep understanding, knowledge, and qualifications in the relevant technical field.

Trying to read a scientific or technical specialist text without being a specialist in the relevant field is almost the same as trying to read a literary text in an unknown language. Only experts can distinguish between complex terms and the precise features of a particular science. A great deal of complex terminology and phrases in technical translations require an ability to use the corresponding technical reference books. Specialist dictionaries and other research tools to confirm the correct translation are also needed. Aside from the terminology, technical texts also have certain stylistic and syntactic features which are typical of such texts and may vary from one language to another. For example, English technical texts contain plenty of personal forms, like “you can” or “you would”. In Russian, impersonal forms of address are a fundamental principle.

Translation software needed

Another important feature of technical translations is the use of proper translation software. This is an incredibly useful tool when performing professional technical translations. Among other benefits, they provide the most direct, quick and inexpensive way to manage a lot of information quickly, and offer a translation memory. This makes the translator’s job much easier, especially in this kind of texts, which very often tend to be several thousand pages long, with a high percentage of repetitions.  Working with the appropriate software, glossaries and terminology databases is essential in ensuring consistency of terminology and style in technical translations.

Only a professional provider of technical translation services will make use of these translation tools. Non-specialists trying to interpret the meaning of technical terms in a specialised field are likely to fall into utter confusion. They will more than likely poorly translate the document, which will not only damage the image of your product but may even have legal consequences. With technical translations you need more than just a translator. You need a translator with experience and qualifications in that field as well.

So what’s your opinion? Is there anything you’d like to add for the readers of this blog? Please tell us!

Lingua Translations’ team of professional technical translators have proven experience in the field and have extensive expertise. This assures the best quality in your technical translations. Find out more in our technical translations ‘ page.


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