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What is technical translation?

August 16 , 2021

What is technical translation?

by Target Language Translation Services

- August 16, 2021

 technical translation

In today’s market, scientific companies and technology pioneers must have a global reach. The latest life-saving drug, medical advance, or fuel innovation can lead to clients and business opportunities all across the world. However, international supply chains can’t function without timely and clear communication. Documentation, manuals, formulas, procedures, and diagrams are required in a wide variety of languages in order to facilitate international business. These factors make technical translation services a true necessity in international manufacturing. But even for stakeholders that understand the significance of the technical translation process, detecting when technical translation is due and setting priorities around it can be complicated, especially in technologically complex and multifaceted production processes.

What is technical translation?

Technical translation can be defined as the translation of all documents involved in a production process, which contains subject-matter-specific terminology. These documents should only be left in the hands of professional translation services providers.

When is technical document translation necessary?

In international production processes that span across multicultural regions, different types of technical translation will be necessary to guarantee a consistent information flow.

The application of English or other region-specific lingua francas doesn’t minimize the need for technical translation. Local authorities will probably need relevant documentation to be presented in the local language. And even if upper management conducts meetings in a lingua franca, the best approach to minimize the potential for imprecision in the production process is to speak to every team in their local language.

Even those with a high degree of proficiency in the lingua franca may find it intellectually demanding to use it in stressful environments. And, as the Global Campaign for Education has advocated throughout the years, people learn more with less effort, when taught in their native language. Having manuals and training material in your team’s native language can be a variation between average performance and extraordinary performance. And in this day and age, average performance is not enough.

Which industries need technical translation?

Technical translation generally covers practical applications of scientific and hi-tech information across a wide variety of industries: construction, automotive, agriculture, etc.

Examples of these kinds of texts include but are not limited to:

Installation, operator, maintenance, and user manuals

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS)

Technical drawings

Engineering textbooks

User guides


This type of translation varies from others in that it needs a given word to convey exactly what it should. There can be no room for  wrong interpretation on the part of the reader.

For instance, what would happen if an engineer building or repairing industrial machinery chose the wrong type of material or the wrong tool due to a mistake in translation?

Even a slight error in technical translation can put the health and safety of the user in jeopardy.

Bilingualism isn’t totally enough

Imagine you listen to a presentation on cutting-edge physics in your native language and very often you are at a loss as to what the speaker was communicating. Similarly, in the case of extremely technical translations, merely translating the words in a document isn’t enough. The translator must understand the terminology of that particularly scientific or legal field in order to properly capture and transfer the meaning into the target language.

When it comes to technical translation, precision is especially essential.

The translator must not only know both the source and target languages very well, but must also intimately understand the terminology used in a particular industry as well as the true meaning of the text, which means the translator must be proficient in the verbiage and terminology used in their respective industry.

The translator must correctly decipher these words, terms, and expressions, and interpret them in the target language.

Technical translation services need to meet the following qualifications:

• Command over multiple sectors like industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial manufacturing, software, automobiles, utilities, electronics, informatics, etc.

• Precision of information

• Consistency of information across numerous languages

• A familiarity with any distinct terminology utilized in a specific industry

• An ability of translators to get up to speed with a company or product in aspects of usage details, technical terms, and internal glossary

• Reliability and dependability for a variety of tasks, especially time-sensitive ones

• Ability to master and use technical dictionaries

• Excellent skills in both translation and interpretation

• Expertise in comprehending technical jargons specific to a country, industry and region

• Confidence to navigate any intricate cultural factors that may emerge somewhere

How to select the right technical translator?

There are a few things you need to keep an eye out for when hiring the right technical translation agency, such as whether the technical translation agency has deep industry expertise, has a wide knowledge base and use of CATs.

Target Language Translation Services' technical translation services will help you convey your message effectively and powerfully around the world.

We take care to provide the highest quality, precise technical translation and make sure your translated text expresses your intended message.

Get in touch to deliver your message across the globe.

This article is reprinted from bayantech, Summa Linguae and MultiLing.

If there is a copyright, please inform us in time, we will delete it right the first time.

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