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Mistakes to Avoid In Technical Translations
by Terralíngua      Posted in  July 18, 2013
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Mistakes to Avoid In Technical TranslationsMost companies when dealing with overseas business will do everything right, but when it comes to technical translations, they will consider it as the most dispensable task. This is possibly because they think English is a nearly universal language, spoken and understood all over the world. It is important, however, that they offer safe operating guidelines in several languages.

Translating only to English

It is wrong to presume that English alone will serve the purpose. This fallacious assumption stems from the fact that many international managers are well versed in English. They can read, write and understand English. However, only because the top managers speak and understand English does not mean that every customer understands the language.

In fact most nations, including members of EU, have clear guidelines stating that user manuals, including safety documents, must come with technical translation into the first language of the country in which the product will be sold. Companies should consider this exercise as leading to customer satisfaction that would, in turn, lead to the acceptance of their products.

Cost Effective Is Not the Best Option

The companies that don’t value the importance of language in the product manual meant for consumers usually go ahead with free online translation program or hire a cheap translator. It is important to understand that technical translation is a value addition to your business that makes your company sustainable in the long run. So, the best companies do not go with the cheapest deal.

Companies should ideally give time and attention to the task of translation because it brings them value. They can begin by interviewing translation professionals or companies and then enquiring from them about their process and how they maintain quality and standardization.

Asking the Dealer to Translate It

It is ridiculous that some companies leave the task of translation on the hands of their country specific dealers. There is a huge difference in the quality of work that dealers will perform and the ones performed by the professional translators. It is quite possible that the dealers speak English, but the point is that they may not be as proficient in the language as a qualified translator.

It is important to keep in mind that technical translation is quite a challenging task involving the translation of user manual, sales sheets and safety instructions. If at all, a company has to take the assistance of the dealers – they should be consulted for the useful material in their locality.

Take Metric System into Account

Manuals and documents that use gallons, miles, feet and yards tend to confuse international consumers. The metric system is used nearly in every nation except in North America. North American companies that prepare technical documents or use manuals for international consumers usually overlook this aspect. This could be a minor lapse with huge implications.

An important lesson that companies can learn from this lapse is to take metric system into account in pretty much all overseas technical translation and in the creation of new source documents.

Plan Ahead

Companies consign huge resources to advance planning. They have teams exclusively devoted to this task and nearly every aspect of their business moves like a clockwork in a planned planner. However, translation, which is a critical aspect of nearly every multinational business, remains neglected. This short sightedness on the part of companies is strange and inexplicable.

How can products be sold without anyone giving a thought to the need for technical translation? The documents and user manuals will finally go in the hands of the end users. However, when the translation is rushed through the last moment the results are pretty much predictable. Therefore, the translation requires the same degree of pre-planning as the other aspects of the business.

Technical translation is one of the most important concerns that must be factored into doing overseas business by the companies. There are several important things to take note of when considering translation of documents and manuals. Right and appropriate translation adds to the value of the business and leads to consumer satisfaction.

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