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Translation of Technical Data and Source Texts
by Terralíngua      Posted in  June 5, 2013

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.

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