The Process of Translating Technical Documents

Technical Documents are typically information sensitive; words cannot get lost in translation without repercussions. In some instances, it could mean serious loss to businesses. Have you evaluated how your message is being perceived? We do not live in an English-Speaking only world anymore and there is a high demand for quality in translated documents. Regional translation is imperative no matter what language it is.

Having an efficient system for translating documents puts your business in a prime position to grow into a global mindset–being able to identify and appreciate cultural differences. An article from Forbes identifies that having a global mindset is one that needs to be pursued; it is not inherent. This mindset can bridge the interfaces between multiple cultures. If you do not have accurate translated technical documents, your business, products and/or services will be inaccessible to many. Here are some important questions to keep in mind when translating them.

How is the document written?

It can be very tempting to want to publish a document as soon as the last word is typed. However, reviewing the document for errors and inaccuracies is a good way of ensuring the correct message. In writing technical documents, using short sentences that deliver the message effectively is a good strategy. Sentences with metaphors or regional references are often mistranslated or do not apply in other regions. If someone were to read a document intended for his/her target language, he/she can easily be confused and discouraged by such errors. Taking the time to read over the text in partnership with a professional translator or editor can greatly impact the impression to the intended audience.

How are you translating your documents?

There are many options out there however, most are not suitable for business needs especially documents that contain industry specific or technical terminology. Tools such as Google Translate and other similar programs or software will not fulfill your needs. These programs were developed to translate the most basic words and phrases, not the complexities behind many terms or phrases. The end result is usually something not even close to the original meaning. Conducting translation services in-house is a practice that is potentially costly. A common misconception with translation is that anyone that is bilingual can translate documents. This statement is false, especially with technical documents. Translation is more than a simple exchange of words and requires a person with knowledge in the subject matter.

[Professional] Translators translate ideas not words.

It can be more expensive to fix what a bilingual person translated than what a professional translating service would have charged in the beginning. When handling technical documents, you want the right message to be conveyed. This can only be ensured by a professional translator that is trained, educated, and certified. Another benefit to utilizing a professional translating service is that they will build a Translation Memory (TM) for you consisting of all of your translated documents separated by language. A TM will help you maintain consistency throughout all of your documents and communication.

What are the next steps for your business?

Clients take notice to businesses that offer easily accessible and understandable resources. One small encounter can make or break a business/client relationship. Businesses that are well-versed in the client’s language are more likely to be used than other businesses that are not. This is the benefit of most professional translation services–a better, consistent relationship with clients. A professional translation service will help you accurately provide resources for your business so that you can focus on other important aspects such as customer satisfaction.

Does your business need the help of a professional translation service? Do you have clients that are in need of accurate and timely documents in their native languages? Call us today for a free consultation. We can help you provide the right tools that are essential to building relationships with all of your clients, regardless of their language barriers. We can also help you work towards achieving a global mindset that will set you apart from all your competitors in the market and show your clients how much you care about being accessible to them.

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