Technical translations is a type of specialized translation involving the translation of documents produced by technical writers (owner’s manuals, user guides, etc.), or more specifically, texts which relate to technological subject areas or texts which deal with the practical application of scientific and technological…
Broadly speaking, technical translation is the translation of materials dealing with scientific and technical subjects and using the specialized terminology of the scientific or technical field involved. Or, to put it another way, technical translation is translation that requires the use of a technical translator—one with a good understanding of the subject matter and knowledge of the specialized terms of that field both in the source and in the target languages.
The types of material that might qualify as needing technical translation are varied. At one extreme are articles from scientific, medical, engineering, and technical journals. These generally require people with graduate training in the field involved as well as good translation skills. At the other end are things like a product spec sheet for a computer, which may not need a high level of knowledge of the science of information technology, but does require a good working knowledge of the general terminology used in the field.
The important thing to understand from the translation client’s point of view is that technical translation will cost more than general business translation and may take longer. The extra cost and time will vary according to the level of scientific or technical knowledge needed for the project, the number of specialized translators available in the required language, and the demand for those translators. For example, Anan Translation has recently had several calls for translation of medical articles from Japanese into English. The relatively high demand for technical translations in this language pair, coupled with the relatively small number of qualified translators, makes this a relatively expensive proposition.
A couple of other sub-specialties are worth mentioning here.
As well as their familiarity with any specialist language, terminology and challenges from your sector, our technical translators have the kind of intelligence and backgrounds that enable them to quickly grasp complex or highly technical concepts and products. Not only that, they’re highly qualified linguists who translate only into their native language and whose professional competency is rigorously tested – your guarantee of superbly written finished documents.
For true consistency throughout all your written materials we also use state-of-the-art translation memory software, which has the added benefit of reducing lead times and lowering costs. It also enables us to compile style guides and a detailed glossary of preferred terminology specifically for your company or organisation.
Thanks to our in-house DTP team, we’re also able to process graphics, drawings and create technical illustrations to help enhance your manuals and other finished materials.
And finally, we have the resources to provide technical translations in formats including Microsoft Office suite, Quark X press, XML, HTML, Adobe PDF, Adobe Frame Maker, Adobe In Design, Adobe Illustrator and Page Maker. Clients tell us that’s the kind of flexibility that makes working with us easy, not just highly rewarding.