Basing on the tight competition in today’s global market, international businesses need to have their business technical documents translated. Technical translation services are very important to a business operating across borders and will cover various technical documents such as technical user manuals, product user manuals, and data sheets etc, that need to be reproduced in most foreign languages for easy communication. Technical translation is the most challenging in the business world, but I just need to discuss some strategies on how to put it right.
Key practices on technical translation services
These key practices will help you to get a right solution on how to run your business successfully across borders without communication barriers;
Mind so much about the length of the original text; the length of the text in the source language may not be the same after translating it to the target language, for example, when translating technical documents from English to German or Italian languages, expect the translated text in German and Italian to be longer than that of English. But again the Chinese scripts will generally be shorter.
This, therefore, calls for additional pages to cater for such longer texts like in the German and Italian language that expand and reduce space for the Chinese texts that contacts. This is the work of your language translation company to ensure that the translation is done according to the different target language rules and requirements.
The technical content sent for translation should be written clearly and accurately in the source language. This is because the style and the structure of the source content normally affects the quality of the translated content. When writing the texts, keep the sentences shorter, clear, and straight to the point, use the technical language understood by the technical linguists and avoids idioms. And also, allow your language service providers access to your company’s style guides and official vocabularies used
Use of a translation memory (TM) can assist to improve on the project. This can work better if you are intending to translate the same or a similar technical document for many times, a translation memory database saved some time back can be used to automate most of the work easily.
The other thing that is important when using the translation memory is that the same terminology principles do apply, you ought to keep your grammar and vocabulary as simple as possible and not forgetting to avoid the use of independent clauses as well as idioms that the translation system can’t understand.
Prepare and organize your files properly; make sure that your translation agency should receive the files that are clearly written and in their original formats ready for translation.
There are some few things that you need to do here before the work is sent for translation;
- Keep your document structure organized, clearly labeled and it should be easy to navigate. This will help translators to be able to find and replace files. Disorganized files can waste much of the translator’s time as well as yours and there is a possibility of cost increment of the translation exercise.
- Make sure the source content is well edited, proofread and all the irrelevant information is deleted before the document is sent to the translation company, and only prepare the information related to localization
Lastly, try a sample of technical translations before buying; doing a sample of technical translation with the a translation company and have it reviewed by the in-country staff speaking the target language helps both the client and language service provider to identify and correct the major errors before the real translation is done.