Some Misconceptions about Technical Translations

Technical translations are often regarded as the less attractive or non glamorous type of translations. Especially in academic circles.
There are some misconceptions about technical translations. One of the most widespread being the inclusion of many different areas such as economics, law and business within a classification of technical translations.

Why is that?

Why do people put so many industries under the one category of ‘technical’? Apparently, the main reason is because we tend to mix two different subject areas. Specialised translations and technical translations are often mixed. That’s a mistake! Just because a field or subject area uses specialised terminology it doesn’t necessarily make it technical. Each area has its own unique characteristics and conventions. For instance, technical translation is in reality a translation of technological texts, such as technical manuals, instructions, guides, etc.

Technical translators do not have the same linguistic and writing skills as other types of translator. For example, a literary translator or a linguist who works with advertising material has a completely different approach to their work, in addition to a distinct writing style, which is alien to the technical translator. This is because the conventions of technical writing are much stricter. Technical terms almost always have a standardised equivalent in the target language, whereas literary works offer a much more free and creative approach.

Although some translators do work in varied subject areas, Lingua Translations choose to work with linguists with expert knowledge of a small number of subject areas. This means that all of our technical translators have a vast amount of experience working with the type of work that our clients need.

Are you a technical translator? Are you one of the many translators who prefer more arts-based work? What are your favourite areas to work in? Please share your experiences with us!

For more information about how Lingua Translations can provide you with translating technical manuals and other material, please visit our technical translations page.