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Top tips for a successful technical translation

five stars ratingWhen you need a translation of a technical text or manual, what you really are looking for is a specialist expert in this field to do the  job right. A serious translation ensures the accurate and usable rendering of descriptions and instructions into the target language, preventing time-consuming and expensive misunderstandings which could arise later. To achieve this an effective translator needs to understand not just the words on the page, but the technical processes and functioning of a technology or product.

Mastering this technical task calls for specialist understanding and experience, as well as an ability to be clear and unambiguous. And of course a well-written and clear original text is the best starting point, so here we offer a few tips from our long experience to get you going in the right direction. Just as you would not print blurred instructions just to save on ink, you wouldn’t want your meaning to be lost in translation.

The five Es for excellence in translation:

Engage a translator with qualifications and experience in the relevant field. Can you see their portfolio?

Ensure clarity in your original text, to be written or edited by native speakers, and deliver it in a suitable format.

Establish agreed terminology with the translator, for clarity and consistency. You may want to provide a list of your own established terminology, or consult on what industry terms are generally used and understood, or even set up a list of definitions, glossary or index for the document.

Explain who the reader is, to ensure a suitable style and presentation for the expected end-user. Who will read your text and what level of language and skill do they have? A good translator wants to know, to provide the appropriate language.

Employ clear captions with all images, and number them if necessary.

That’s our top five tips takeaway for today, but of course you can always contact us at HE Translations to discuss your translation needs and requirements.