Accuracy in Technical Document Translation

A technical document translation should be accurate, efficient, and it should reflect a company’s brand. The first step in doing this is to assess the abilities of a language service provider.

Technical translation covers a broad spectrum of lingual services.  For the client who doesn’t have time for an abundance of details but must find trustworthiness in a language translation service, there exists a simple set of criteria to consider. Obtaining accuracy is built upon the experience of a linguist in a native language, technical terminology, and culturally nuanced slang.

Lingual Experience

Several factors must be considered in understanding the experience of a linguist.

  • Machine interpretation in technical document translation does not always consider a cluster of words, only the words as individual entities.
  • The benefit of human cognition stems from understanding words in the context of a complete thought or idea rather than a systematic mathematical equation.
  • An effective translation combines experience with a multi-step process of translation, technical editing, and final approval by at least three individuals skilled in native language translation.

Technical Terminology

It’s a safe bet to assume that, in order to achieve accuracy, a technical translation should be completed by a technically trained linguist. Why would you trust anything less?

  • Employing experienced, certified, and skilled linguists should be the number one priority in technical translation.
  • Quality technical translators will consult with outside technicians to ensure accuracy.
  • Adding consulting to the three-step process further increases the assurance of accuracy.

Culture, Slang, and Nuance

The nuances of any language, even prior to translation, can easily lead to misunderstanding, miscommunication, and misinterpretation; “mis-sing” the point entirely!

  • A suitable and relatable translation considers slang and nuance from a cultural standpoint. This is especially beneficial when there are no direct translations for certain words, terms, and phrases.
  • Technical document translation focuses on the correlation of details and technical terminology.

These considerations will cause slight delays in turnaround time, though an inaccurate translation will most likely lead to a do over. This adds significant time, money, and hassles that a smooth running business can ill afford.

The smallest glitch in technical document translation raises questions of a company’s competence. Take a look at the bigger picture.  Cutting corners on time and money is no way to choose a language service provider. It may lead to short term gain, though in the end is really worth the long term pain?


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