The role technical translation has played in the success of global businesses should not be underestimated. The product or service itself will typically undergo very slight tweaks, or even no changes at all, as it is released in foreign markets. It is the translation of your brand message and identity, as well as the accompanying technical documents, which makes the product relevant to the new regions.
Whatever industry you work in, there will always be specialised language that details how particular products work, the service agreements that are in place, and safety and compliance information. For obvious reasons, these documents need to be produced in the native language and communicated as concisely as possible. While this technical information might not be the sexiest side of your business, it is vital to your operation.
What is technical translation?
Technical translation is a specialised form of translation involving documents typically produced by technical writers, such as owner’s manuals and user guides. The documents convey complex information and require a high level of subject knowledge and mastery of the relevant terminology to be translated correctly.
Why is technical translation important?
A high level of technical translation significantly reduces the likelihood of a misunderstanding and the subsequent risk involved. The accuracy of a translation is paramount to the health and safety of the reader, whether it’s a customer, a client or a member of your workforce. Online translation tools are not capable of producing the level of accuracy you need. Only human translators can convey such specialised information without the risk of an error or mistranslation.
What should you look for in a technical translator?
1. Industry experience
Given the importance of accuracy and a comprehensive understanding of the terminology, it probably goes without saying that you need a technical translator with industry experience. If the provider is an established translation agency with a few strong testimonials from companies in your industry, they should be a pretty good choice.
It’s a good idea to pay attention to any accreditations the translation team may have. ISO9001 is a standard that applies to all businesses and shows there are sufficient quality control mechanisms in place. You also look out for translation-specific quality standards such as EN15038 or ISO17100.
Translation is one industry where you’d be wise to not necessarily go with the cheapest provider. Price and quality are closely linked, so you must always be mindful that a significantly lower price is likely to mean a lower quality service. Finding a translation agency that delivers quality work without breaking the bank might require a little research, but it will be time well spent.
4. A sample translation
The only way to really gauge the quality of a translation agency is to ask to see a sample of their work. An agency that has no problem delivering on the promises they make will be happy to provide a small sample for you to review. This also gives you the chance to see whether they have the necessary knowledge of your industry, products and practices.
So there you have it, four simple tips to help you find your perfect technical translation partner. The truth is that there’s no shortcut to finding a technical translator, but you will be rewarded for taking the time you need.
How can we help?
At Linguistica International, we are committed to delivering the highest standard of technical translations, as is evidenced by our ISO 9001:2008 accreditation. We are also fully compliant with the translation-specific EN15038.
To discuss your technical translation project, please call 02392 987 765 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org today.