The challenges of translating technical manuals
The translation of technical manuals is often a delicate practice that involves facing several challenges simultaneously. Companies have a lot at stake with the translation of these documents, so it must be accurate and of high quality. Here are the various challenges that professional translators face when translating technical manuals.
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The quality of the translation of technical manuals has a direct impact on the marketing of a company's products and, more generally, on the international development of that company. In fact, the image of the company in the eyes of the customers is at stake.
When we think of promoting our company's image abroad we do not automatically think of technical manuals, however, they play a fundamental role. Therefore, the translation of these technical manuals must be impeccable.
In the technical manuals we find elements that must be translated with great precision such as the technical characteristics of the product, safety regulations, instructions for use, installation instructions or the general and specific operation of the product.
Technical manuals often contain repetitions and partial matches. This is the case, for example, with translations of technical manuals for similar products belonging to the same range.
To make the work easier for translators and to increase quality, it is important to create a glossary containing all the terms that appear recurrently in technical manuals. The translator will then be able to translate the glossary first and use the translated terms wisely, avoiding unnecessary repetition.
The translator(s) who will translate the technical manuals must have extensive knowledge of your company's sector of activity. In technical translation in general and in the translation of technical manuals in particular, the use of specific technical language must be systematic.
Using a translator who specialises in the translation of technical manuals for household appliances to translate a technical manual for a computer is obviously a bad idea.
The translator you choose or the translation agency you have hired will have to be perfectly familiar with the language specific to your company's sector of activity and the products you wish to market on the international market.
It is not often that a company needs the translation of a single technical manual to open itself to the international market. Companies usually require all technical manuals for the products or services they offer to be translated. Therefore,another great challenge of the translation of technical manuals is the management in the translation of large projects.
This large-scale management requires the use of professional translation tools such as computer-assisted translation tools, the possibility of managing numerous document formats, the possibility of sending translations of technical manuals to different translators who will work collaboratively, etc.
It is usually better to use a translation agency in these cases, as they have the right resources, as well as a large team of qualified and carefully chosen professional translators. They also have a greater capacity to carry out important and voluminous translations in relatively short time frames.
At AbroadLink Translations we offer our clients a translation service for technical manuals. For more information, please visit our page on manual translation and do not hesitate to contact us for a quick and personalised quote.
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Josh Gambin holds a 5-year degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (Spain) and a 4-year degree in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Granada (Spain). He has worked as a freelance translator, in-house translator, desktop publisher and project manager. From 2002, he is a founding member of AbroadLlink and currently works as Marketing and Sales Manager.