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Technical Translations


Depending on how you want to look at it, almost any kind of translation can be called technical translation these days. However, we want to distinguish it from the other broad fields of translation, as it can never hurt to have a precise focus. Although we do not distinguish between various types of translation areas pricewise, it is still important for everyone involved in the process to be on the "same page".
 

What are technical translations and how are they different from other types of translation?


While precise terminology, consistency and easy readability of the translated text are always important in translation, they are paramount in technical translations. We create project-specific translation memories and termbases for all technical translations to ensure consistency even when there are many translators working on the same file simultaneously. CAT-tools and well-managed translation memories are indispensable here, but of course they are useless without a good technical translator and a knowledgeable editor who is able to check not only the linguistic side, but also the contents of the text. With more complex projects, we also involve technical editors whose task it is to ensure that the contents of the text is conveyed accurately.

Terminological accuracy and consistency presented in a clear and concise manner is what the end-user of a technical translation expects rather than fancy style or memorable expressions. This also applies to GUI-s, help files and other software elements. While software localization is in many ways different from "regular" translation, everything said above about technical translatsions also applies to localization. 

 

Here's a few examples of texts that qualify as technical translations:


  • User guides and manuals

  • Product sheets and presentation materials

  • Architectural or industrial production designs and blueprints with accompanying explanation letters

  • Patents and related documentation

  • All kinds of other technical documentation

  • Organization charts, diagrams and tables

  • Software UI and help files, applications and system diagrams


Other translation areas


While a professional background is always a plus for any translator, it is especially true about medical translations. A degree in medicine is a must for most medical translation projects, for translators as well as editors.

The first thing about legal translations is that the target text has to convey every detail and nuance of the source exactly. This may seem obvious, but can be quite a challenge, especially in the case of contracts or court proceedings where the stakes can be high.

Marketing translations are the most creative part of our everyday translation work, often bordering on transcreation. Ideally, a marketing translation comes with a brief explaining the aim, the target audience and the intended results of the translated text.