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What is Technical Translation?

Posted on: May 22, 2023 by admin

Technical document translation is an essential process that involves the translation of technical materials or content from one language to another. It is a specialised field that requires a deep understanding of both the source and target languages, as well as the technical subject matter at hand. Technical translation services are commonly used in scientific, engineering, and technological fields to facilitate effective communication between experts scattered worldwide. This correspondence will explore the basics of technical translation, the importance of technical document translation, and the challenges that scientific technical translation presents to translators.


Why is technical translation important?


The field of technical translation is an essential aspect of international communication in today’s globalised world. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that critical information, such as technical specifications, scientific research, and engineering designs, are accurately and comprehensively communicated across language barriers.


What is the importance of technical translation? It exists within the specialisation of the subject matter that is being translated. Documents detailing complex scientific or mechanical processes simply cannot be translated through a computer program due to the amount of field-specific terminology in use. This is like trying to give a lecture about a document on aeronautical engineering as someone with no experience in the industry.


Technical document translation must be performed to a very high standard by someone with a large breadth of understanding – not only of both languages but of the field being explored in the document. Sometimes technical terms do not have equivalents in another language so the translator will have to adapt terminology while still retaining meaning. This can be especially difficult when the scientific technical translation must adhere to a certain tone of voice. Technical document translation while maintaining a simple and direct tone, such as in a user manual, can be quite challenging. If this isn’t communicated properly across languages, the manual would be either unreadable or plain unsafe. This exemplifies why it is necessary to have specialised technical translators that understand both the nuances of language and the internals of a specific field.


How is a technical translation performed?


  1. The translator must make a comprehensive analysis of the source text before the translation can begin. It needs to be fully understood to be accurately transcribed across languages. This includes the technical terms, jargon, and specific vocabulary – some must be researched, as not even experts are across everything when it comes to these hyper-specific fields.
  2. The translator must understand the tone and register that the document is written in and whether this must be replicated in the other language.
  3. The actual translation then commences. The translator combines their terminology research with their existing industry knowledge to cross-reference terms, and find equivalents in other languages while adhering to the tone of the technical document.
  4. The document is then formatted to match the original document’s layout and style. The translator may also provide a glossary of translated technical terms and any additional notes or comments, including diagrams for where the translated content may not work.


Medical Translation


A high-quality medical translator is essential to ensure positive health outcomes. At Speak Your Language, we can service a range of specific medical translation duties. Some of the most pertinent include clinical protocol translation, regulatory documents, informed consent forms, and product labels. All our translators have proven medical backgrounds to ensure you get the best quality service for your scientific technical translation.


For a full list of medical translation solutions, check our website.


Financial Translation


Financial translations can either be technical or non-technical: we offer both, but to translate financial statements and documents for investor relations requires a thorough understanding of financial practices and jargon. At Speak Your Language, we ensure confidentiality and discretion when it comes to your sensitive financial documents.


Software Translation


Software translation involves translating software or computer programs from one language to another. It involves the translation of the user interface (UI), menus, dialogue boxes, error messages, and other text within the software application, as well as paying special regard to cultural differences in currency and time/date notation. What is the benefit of technical translation of software? When done correctly, this can broaden the software’s global reach and also improve compliance with domestic regulations.


Ultimately, technical document translation is a much-misunderstood but increasingly vital component of our rapidly globalising world. Some of the most important industries for human wellbeing – healthcare, finance, and technology – must rely on well-translated dossiers, labels, reports, and code to spread their correspondence across cultures. Contact Speak Your Language today to be put in touch with one of our exceptional technical translators.