It can be hard getting a business to run smoothly. There are so many factors to consider. To make it more difficult, the world is expanding for most people as we are all becoming better-connected and have more contact with people from other countries for the sake of business and technical projects. The language barrier that this causes can be a staggering issue for people to overcome. Luckily, technical translation services are there to help your business move past this problem so you can get on with the important technical aspects.
It might seem strange to rely on someone outside your industry to translate such sensitive and technical documents. Lots of people worry that the person they hire may not understand the complex language of their documents, but the truth is that professional linguists are highly trained to deal with specialist terminology, and they have a range of skills that can be vital for helping you get your documents properly translated.
Technical translation is just what it sounds like – it is the skill of translating technical documents from one language, known as the source language, to another language, known as the target language. While translation is very common – there are, after all, over 6000 languages in the world, and communication is vitally important – technical translation is a specialist skill.
Technical translation skills are needed for items that use technical or specialist language. This can include technical instruction manuals, datasheets, software user guides, and patents. All of these are highly technical and generally, they use a lot of technical terminologies unique to your industry.
This is why it is vitally important to get a qualified and trained technical translator who can properly understand and translate the difficult and complex words used in your documents.
Just as engineers have to college to learn their skills and the associated terminology, technical translators have to learn what all these terms means in order to properly translate them.
For those unfamiliar with it, machine translation is when you use an advanced computer program to translate a document instead of a human.
This can have some upsides, for example, it is often cheaper and quicker – in fact, Google Translate is so popular because it is free and instant. However, if you have ever translated something using Google Translate or other translation software, you will no doubt have seen the limitations of this kind of software. Computers translate text using algorithms, which are complex sets of rules for it to follow. A computer will translate individual words or short sentences this way without actually reading or understanding the content of the document. This means that the translation may be correct, but it will likely be stilted, clunky, and difficult for native-language speakers to understand. This can severely impact the trust and reliability that people have in your product or manual. This is an even bigger problem with technical terminology as the computer may fail to recognize it at all, or may mistranslate it. This is why it is better to go with a human translation expert.
If you have any doubts about the dangers of using machine translation for technical documents, there are too many shocking examples of technical manuals and product instructions where the translations are almost unintelligible once they have been translated into English!
From “the smoke is the normal operation” to “Recover the triggle and then can do it” (Both real examples of text from instruction manuals!), it can be hard for people to trust your products, manuals, or technical know-how if your technical documents get mistranslated. Language is important, and studies have shown that people are cautious of badly-translated items.
Many people worry about privacy when getting items translated. This however is a completely unfounded concern. Human translators are highly trained professionals who do not reveal the nature of any documents they translate. Professional linguists understand that privacy is important, and they respect this. It is absolutely safe to get items translated without fear, while making sure that you get the best translation you can for your technical documents.
Technical translation, as discussed, is a very complex subject. Whatever the nuance and technical details of your product, manuals, datasheets, or other text, professional linguists will understand that there is a wealth of knowledge you and your company put into making it. They understand this and know how to best interpret your documents. While machine translation may seem like an attractive alternative, the programs are not advanced enough to guarantee accuracy. That is why it is always best to go with a fully trained technical translation service for your documents.