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Understanding the Difference between Translation and Interpretation

Understanding the Difference between Translation and InterpretationWith the expansion of the Internet, it is increasingly important for a company to effectively communicate with a larger audience to help grow its brand. Technical translation and industry specific interpretation services are in high demand as the bar is raised to convey the advantages of that firm’s product or services to a global market.

What is interpretation?

While interpretation is specifically defined as the action of explaining the meaning of something, in a business model, interpretation actually has a much deeper meaning. The term interpretation, itself, will be interpreted differently from individual to individual, depending on his or her previous experiences, education and cultural background. As a result, interpretation cannot simply be a translated presentation of the information, but considers the receivers’ cultural and social heritage; often involving the use of visual aids and objects that would be more familiar to the target audience. Interpretation essentially requires the presenter to have a keen understanding of the audience and the content’s cultural conversion.

What is translation?

Translation is crafting the written message in the target audience’s language. While interpretation orally conveys the content considering the audience’s cultural thought patterns, translation does not have the flexibility of impromptu social considerations. Technical translation follows a structured protocol to fluently and grammatically impart information in a language different than content’s source language. This is where the art of translation is demonstrated as the mark of an excellent translator is the inability of the reader to know it is a translation.

The process of translation

Though one may think that technical translation is a cold, impersonal one to one correlation, it most definitely is not. Often in technical translation, the translator is a technical writer who has the training to not only repackage the information effectively but has the perception to choose the most appropriate, current terms to connect with the audience.
While there are some machine-assisted translation options, these automated processes do not generally have an audience ready output especially when grammar and cultural sensitivity of the information is important. They will, more often than not, come across sounding like an awkward translation – which may marginalize the message. As a result, human interaction throughout the technical translation process will be seen as essential.

Differences between translation and interpretation

Interpretation is performed face to face or in a real time setting as opposed to technical translation which is edited, scrutinized and reviewed over a period of time. The translator is also able to make use of tools such as reference material, specialized glossaries and translation memories. Therefore the expectations of an interpretation are less rigid than translation, which is expected to be absolutely accurate and correct.

Another key difference between the two is the fact that an interpreter needs to be extremely fluent in both, the source language as well as the targeted language, to effectively interpret the information. Most agencies require a translator to translate text from a source language into his or her native tongue and work with an editor who is also fluent in both languages. The two will work together to craft the text while the interpreter works alone.

All in all, understanding the difference between the services of an interpreter and a translator is an essential part of being able to properly identify your business communication needs.

How to Translate Technical Manuals into Different Languages

How to Translate Technical Manuals into Different Languages

How to Translate Technical Manuals into Different Languages In earlier times, many businesses and companies would restrict themselves to their local region, and develop a customer base only in that area. In today’s competitive world, businesses no longer rely upon a local market of loyal customers to secure their profits. Most companies look to expand beyond their known community, and many choose to sell their services, or goods in foreign countries.

This necessitates providing user guides and other supporting literature in local languages, so that customers can make sense of the products they buy, and may also encourage others to buy the same. This leads to the need for technical translation of manuals into several international languages.

English forms the source text from which manuals are translated into various languages. Having technical user guides in local languages enables international users to troubleshoot any problems they encounter when using a particular product, before they seek help from the company.

What clients opting for manual translation need to do

If your company chooses to use a vendor for technical translation of its manuals, there are several important things you must keep in mind to make the process as smooth and productive as possible.

You need to be clear about the purpose of your manual in the hands of your target audience. When approaching a vendor you must know what kind of turnaround time you are expecting for the translated manual. If you need the translation done very quickly, you need to be prepared to pay additional fees.

Also, you need to clearly point out to the vendor if the complete source or only certain parts need to be translated. Clarity on your side will help the vendor give an accurate estimate. Decide if you want drawings and images to be handled by the vendor or only the text. Formatting of drawings will push the price up, so if you can handle this yourself, you will be saving on the cost.

Request for company specific words to be left as is in the translated manual. Words on switches or screen or equipment should match with the words in the manual, so users can co-relate the two when using the product and the user guide. Request the vendor not to translate those words.

Ensure that the vendor creates a glossary of translated terms in the manual. This glossary can serve as a reference for other documents developed later, and help to ensure consistency in terminologies. A key point to remember is, once you find a technical translation agency that has done a good job with your manuals, don’t change your agency. You can ensure consistency that way, which is crucial in technical documentation.

Tips for translating manuals

When translating, following a few rules like the ones below can be very helpful in increasing the readability of your document.
• Language used in technical translation should be straight-forward and uncomplicated, and free from fancy words.
• Use the present instead of the future tense, wherever possible. For example. You must write, ‘When you click on the link, a new page opens’ and not ‘When you will click on the link, a new page will open’.
• Use active voice rather than the passive voice. In other words, emphasize the verb and not the noun. For example, Use ‘Roll the mouse over the image’, instead of ‘The mouse needs to be rolled over the image’.
• Prefer verbs with one word over verbs with more number of words. This not only simplifies the language, but also makes the meaning less ambiguous, especially for an international audience.
• Directly address the user with ‘You’ .i.e. the second person pronoun, instead of the third person. For example, use ‘You can choose from any of the 3 options’, rather than, ‘The user can choose from any of the 3 options’.
• Avoid deadwood phrases, jargon of any kind. Keep language simple, sentences concise, and terminologies precise.

Technical Translation – An Insight into a Specialized Industry

Technical Translation – An Insight into a Specialized IndustryWith much advancement in technology, many businesses have associate branches across the globe. While dealing with different places and different cultures, the need for translation is bound to come into the picture. People would believe that programmed translation tools can probably do the job adequately and that professional human translation is over. However, it must be kept in mind, that only human translators can offer the best understanding of any particular discourse.

Translation experts work within a fixed number of fields like, mythical translation, political reading, and the translation of religious records. These fields are almost as ancient as language itself. There are very few sectors that may not gain anything from the process of technical translation. Medical, legal, and therapeutic fields are in great need of professional translators with proficiency and great knowledge of languages. The demand for experienced translators is on a massive rise in the global marketplace.

Translation for technical industries

Trade translation services specially require an unambiguous degree of correctness. Any sort of misunderstanding of texts, especially while dealing with agreements can lead to harsh damage to the company. Not only that, but inaccuracies can also lead to impending liabilities.

Skilled translators in such industrial setups, not only have to be capable and knowledgeable, but their language skills need to be constantly updated so that they may be used within the field. Even local speakers of a language may not hold such expertise over a language as it is used in a technical setup. So, it is critical that translators should be exposed to the business setup so that they may sharpen their translating skills accordingly.

Experts in technical translation services have a tricky task at hand. They often work with tense deadlines and are continuously aware of the unlimited need for precision. They work on a broad range of compound credentials, including Operating Manuals, Patents, Bill of supplies, CAD illustration, Safety Manuals, RFP Responses, setting up Manuals and Hardware UI, Technical Proposals, software’s, MSDS and Data Sheets. They need to be careful in their understanding and translations as any small error may lead to big issues for their clients.

Look for the vocabulary

The source language of the content in certain fields requires a high level of expertise. When it comes to technical translations, it is crucial to opt for a professional translation company who is well versed in such translations. In this way, you are able to ensure the accuracy of vital information, and make the process more comprehensive and efficient.

Translating technical papers isn’t quite that same as translating other textual material. There are no artistic cues or vast literary techniques to guide a person on how the translation should be done. What needs to be preserved is the technical content of the document. Different techniques like inscription style, selection of words, and document formatting are important for a good framework. Technical industries involve such multifarious vocabulary and much precision is required from the translator to make sure the information in documents remains unchanged. Translation services from one language to another, requires the translator to be well versed in both languages. He also must be thorough with the grammatical rules of both the languages so that the translation may be done in the best manner possible.

Translation of Technical Data and Source Texts

Translation of Technical Data and Source TextsMany companies hire professional services for translation and/or localization of their websites, technical documents, and marketing materials without previously checking the competency of these services. This can lead to unintelligible or unprofessional translations, which can in turn affect the brand image of your company. When it comes to technical documents, errors can lead to potential liability issues for a company. Therefore, it becomes important to get the translation right the first time.

Companies are often not aware of the low-quality of translations until a native speaker points it out to them. In such cases, companies are left with just one option: scrap the document and redo the translation, which turns out to be an additional cost, as leaving it in its current state is just not an option.

Any type of technical translation, such as certificates, industry papers, websites, and so on has to be accurately done by professionals. The key here is to have professionals working on the translation who preferably have advanced degree in the source language or in translation itself. Also, they should have substantial experience in industry-specific translation, as putting the translation of licenses and patent documents in inexperienced hands can be harmful.

Another important consideration is to look for professionals who are experts in their field. For instance, professional medical translators should typically have advanced degree in the source language and also a medical degree or comprehensive knowledge about the subject from years of working in the medical field. Technical field expertise involves understanding and knowledge of the specific terminology of a particular industry and ensuring that the translation conveys the meaning intended by the author.

Creating Finer Source Documents

There are a number of technical documentation departments that try to cut the costs of source documents to reduce overall costs. This should not be done by compromising the quality of the translation. Thus, you should handle source documents with greater consideration.

A lot of cost optimization has taken place in the translation industry during the last decade. This has included trained translators, sophisticated software, quick communication routes, and better planned process management, which reduce costs. What we are missing here is the potential for further optimizing the costs by giving more consideration to the preparation of the source text. The reason for this is that source texts are key documents that help to optimize the costs and quality of translations.

Source documents that are well designed for proper translation generate added value and provide cost reduction. When you optimize source documents, the target document translation costs are optimized as a consequence. Also, this reduces processing time, as well as a lot of preliminary and post-processing work for the technical translators and writers.

Consistent source documents, whether it is technical documentation, or marketing and press texts, can also help consolidate the brand image of any organization, as they give a comprehensive impression which makes the company’s public image a memorable one. That is true in every case, and it is the reason why, in an ideal scenario, a standard language should be used in every type of text.

The key benefit of neat source texts, though, is this: better and more intelligible content leads to fewer misunderstandings. This provides, therefore, a clear benefit in the present times when products have a larger spectrum with most of the similar product features. These aspects argue in favor of more intelligible and, consequently, consumer-friendly products. To get finer source documents, you can follow the tips below:

– identify error sources
– introduce and implement review process
– document processes and rules
– provide tool support

Technical content can be very tricky to translate into foreign languages, as translators need to be well versed in the various nuances in both source and target languages, and also in the technical field of the document.