Technical translation for specialised documents

Published on 17/11/2021

Technical translation of specialised documents consists in translating technical documents. That is, documents dealing with science, engineering, industry and technology.

Thus, one could say that technical translation is part of scientific translation, which encompasses all sciences and therefore also includes technical translation.

This is why it is sometimes also known as scientific-technical translation.


1. Characteristics of specialised documents

As I said at the beginning of this article, specialised (technical) documents are those related to science, engineering, industry and technology.

Some of its specific features are:

  1. These texts are aimed at a specialised audience
  2. They always deal with a scientific or technical discipline
  3. They have a formal, concrete tone, with clear, direct and unambiguous language
  4. They have a high volume of specialised terminology, specific to each discipline

Examples include translation of patents technical manuals, technical manuals, user guides, instructions, specialised articles, science books, monographs, technical catalogues, academic papers and articles, among others.

2. What translation process for technical translation of specialized documents?

It is essential to use the services of a translation company or a specialised professional translator with the necessary experience to carry out this type of translation.

One must keep in mind that a poor translation could have disastrous consequences. Incorrect translation due to misunderstanding of the original text in, for example, an instruction manual, can lead to injuries for operators.

At AbroadLink we are well aware of the importance to ensure the accuracy and quality of a scientific-technical translation.

For this reason, and to help you to get a better understanding of the technical translation process of specialised documents, I have created the following highly efficient method of specialised technical translation, which consists of the following steps:

2.1 Choice of translation provider

The first step is to choose a specialised translator (or specialised company) to take on the project. Due to the high level of training required for this work, it is always easier to contact a specialised company, which will have the perfect professionals to take on your project.

2.2 Analysis of the order

The translator should carry out a pre-translation reading to identify the needs of the project and establish a starting point.

2.3 Documentation

It is not necessary for the translator to be an expert in the respective subject, although some basic knowledge of the subject is always welcome.

The translator in charge of a technical translation of specialised documents must, however, have a high level of documentation skills: knowing what to look for and where to look for it can be decisive in ensuring the quality of a translation.

This is of vital importance as science and technology are constantly evolving.

2.4 Identify specialised terminology

Each discipline uses specific terminology that guarantees the absence of subjectivity in the texts, and the technical translator must identify it in order to avoid terminological errors.

For example, in the automotive field, "dead engine" should not be literally translated as dead". If the translator does not have the necessary specialised knowledge, he or she may mistranslate this term word by word.

Therefore, it is not enough to have bilingual skills, but it is essential to have the experience and specialised knowledge necessary to provide a reliable and high quality translation.

2.5 Translating neologisms and foreignisms

Another characteristic feature of this type of text is the frequent use of neologisms. In general, technical documents do not translate neologisms if they are widely used and better understood in the original language than in translation.

This situation is quite frequent in the field of computer science, for example, a field in constant evolution and creation of neologisms, the use of which becomes widespread in the original language.

On the other hand, we always recommend our specialised translators to take acronyms and abbreviationsinto account. This is essential as a poorly translated acronym could cause confusion.

2.6 Consult terminology resources

During the technical translation process, specialised translators should use terminology resources and tools such as glossaries, specialised dictionaries, acronym dictionaries and translation memories to facilitate the process.

In addition, other parallel documents such as manuals, research articles and other publications related to the translation topic can also be used.

2.7 Consistency of terminology

At all times the translation must be terminologically consistent. That is, the terms must have the same translation and not 2 or more different translations.

This is very important as technical texts are characterised by being repetitive and very precise.

2.8 Editing and Proofreading

Once the translation is done, the professional should review the translated content to make sure that everything is correct, and that the translation sounds natural in the target language.

We also always recommend to have a second revision carried out by another translator. Four eyes always see more than two.

2.9 Post-editing

Finally, the document is checked again to ensure that it is complete, in the desired format and free of errors and can finally be delivered to the client.

Request your quote for technical translation for specialised documents

Once the process is clear, don't hesitate to ask for a quote. At AbroadLink we have an big team of translators specialised in different scientific and technical fields and in different language combinations.

Contact us obligation-free.

Add new comment