Technical translation can be… well, technical. With that, you need a precise document to begin with and a precise translated document at the finish. Not all translators are cut out for this work. But those that follow these tips just might make them part of a translation agency worth hiring.
Gain technical translating experience
Technical translation requires practice. If you want to complete technical translation, focus on gaining the experience you need to become an expert. Translation is about much more than just a word for word translation. You need to understand the technical part of the document. You also need to understand the technical terminology in the target language as well. Other countries may use different terms than the source language. Not understanding the different terminology can really confuse the end reader.
Provide feedback to the client when necessary
Your client will be knowledgeable, but they are expecting the technical translator to tell them what’s best. Here are some common insights you’ll need to share with your client:
The English language tends to be shorter than most other languages. In other words, the translated document will most likely be much longer than the English language version.Local sayings, slang, and cultural references must be avoided. They don’t always translate and could confuse or alienate the reader.Keep paragraphs and sentences short. When it comes to technical translation, you need to keep your ideas focused and not cram too many facts into one sentence or paragraph.Clearly define any words that may have multiple meanings in the source language.If a particular word or phrase should NOT be translated, this is important to know.
Learn how to provide localization services
As a technical translator you must be a perfectionist. But you must also have business savvy and be able to see the bigger picture in order to help your client. This is done by offering a more thorough translation service. The more you have to offer to the client, the more you increase the chances of doing repeat business. You also increase the option of receiving referrals from existing clients because they know the high quality you can provide.
Is the client launching a new product in a new market? Help with localization. Is the client opening a branch in a new country? Make suggestions on how to modify existing documents to fit the local culture and on what documents they should create in addition. If you are a business looking for a technical translation agency, ask if their translators provide localization.