When it comes to businesses operating in technical industries, like life sciences and manufacturing, preparing technical content for multilingual audiences can be a real stumbling block.
Translating technical content requires near-perfect accuracy. And with the complexities associated with this type of specialized translation, it can be quite difficult for individual translators to produce error-free or consistent translations.
Hiring a dedicated technical translation company, on the other hand, ensures that a multidisciplinary team manages your technical content translation with efficiency, ease, and confidence.
But we understand it takes more than just to inform your decision-making.
Keep reading to find out some of the challenges that make technical translation a job best suited for professional companies and the benefits your business can get from working with technical translation professionals.
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Common Technical Translation Challenges
From the subtleties of the language pairs requested, the intricacies of the subject matter, domain-specific jargon, and the many other challenges associated with the technical language, your translation project can be quite complex.
Besides your technical translation project isn’t just about a simple language conversion.
Scroll down to find out.
The complexity of technical content demands a level of precision that leaves no room for error.
Each technical document, whether it’s software manuals or medical research papers, contains critical information that directly impacts product accessibility and user safety in foreign markets.
Technical documents often deal with complex concepts and ideas and are characterized by specialized terminology, acronyms, and abbreviations that are unique to the field or industry.
For example, one of the most common challenges of technical documentation translation is finding accurate equivalence of technical terms in the target language (TL).
Technical language often contains highly specialized technical terminology and concepts that may not have direct equivalents in some target languages.
In this case, finding the most appropriate way to convey the meaning of technical terms in the target language might require some degree of creativity and adaptation from the translators’ side.
Let us give you an example.
In the field of computer science and software development, the term “debugging” does not have a direct equivalent in Arabic. There is no single word in Arabic that conveys the specific technical meaning of “debugging.”
Hence, the translator might opt for using a descriptive phrase like “تصحيح الأخطاء البرمجية” (tasheeh al-akhata’ wa al-akhata’ al-barmajiyya) to accurately convey the technical meaning of the term to Arabic-speaking audiences.
Unless the technical translator possesses a deep understanding of the subject matter, coupled with expertise in dealing with technical terminology and a native command of the target language, the result won’t be as accurate as the source material.
But most of all, this necessarily requires a collaborative team approach, where a well-coordinated team of translators, editors, and proofreaders must work in unison, dedicating their collective expertise to your translation.
What is also so challenging about technical document translation is often related to adhering to specific industry standards and regulations.
This can include the following:
● Regulatory Requirements
Technical translation needs to meet specific regulatory requirements to be compliant with the industry standards.
An example of these requirements can be quality control requirements that mandate that technical translation must be accurate, clear, and consistent with the original text to avoid incompliance.
According to EU requirements for translating technical documents like user manuals, brochures, and user guides, some of the key quality aspects that technical translation has to meet are
- Accurate Information
- Terminological consistency
Failure to meet these requirements can lead to legal and regulatory non-compliance, which not only hinders your cross-border communications or collaborations but can lead to several financial and legal complications.
● Style & Format
The technical translation challenges intensify further in cross-cultural contexts, with concepts that may exist in one language but not the other.
This includes adapting measurements, cultural references, and even design elements while preserving functionality is a tightrope walk that requires finesse.
Additionally, most technical content has particular style and formatting requirements, depending on the industry, type of document, and intended audience. And being familiar with these requirements is crucial to ensure that the translated content meets the same standards as the source text.
The U.S. Army Corps for example has specific requirements for writing style and formatting when it comes to engineering document translation, specifically, technical manuals.
In its issued guideline, it specifies that the use of “will” should indicate mandatory requirements, while “can” and “may” are used to permit a choice or express a guideline. It also requires that personal pronouns like “I,” “you,” and “we” should be avoided.
● Specific Language Usage
Also translating technical content might require specific language usage compared to the language used in generic types of content.
Technical language, for instance, requires strict objectivity and a high degree of precision in order to maintain the technical nature of the text after translation.
Subjectivity is typically avoided in favor of clear, precise, and unambiguous language to convey the intended meaning of the text in the most neutral and unbiased manner.
And this is something that might be unique to technical content and may not be familiar to translators who are not subject-matter experts in that area.
Compliance with all industry-specific standards in terms of quality, style and formatting, and language usage is a critical aspect of technical translation. But what if the translation is incompliant?
Actually, failure to comply with these standards and regulations can have serious financial and legal consequences on your business leading to issues like legal liability, product recalls, as well as serious damage to your brand’s reputation.
Why Your Business Needs A Professional Technical Translation Company
As a business in need of technical translation, one of your primary concerns is whether you can rely on your bilingual staff, outsource your translation to a freelance translator, or collaborate with a professional technical translation company.
If your company has a one-time, small project, a freelance translator might be a feasible solution. But the more specialized your technical documents, the higher the volume of the content, and the more language pairs you need, the more feasible the collaboration with a technical translation company.
Besides, if you can’t compromise on the quality of your multilingual technical content to ensure your product’s accessibility, functionality, and compliance as well as user safety, then partnering with a translation agency is the ultimate answer.
Now, let us find out why hiring a technical translation company can be beneficial for your industry-specific translation needs.
Fortunately enough, working with a professional technical translation company gives you access to a large team of professional translators who have in-depth subject-matter expertise of your industry and its specialized terminology, regulations, standards, and best practices.
And what can really be a sort of relief from your concerns is that professional technical translation companies always have stringent hiring processes in place, which means that they hire translators with
- The necessary specialized certifications relevant to the industry or sector in which they work including educational degrees, industry-specific training programs, or professional certifications from recognized organizations.
- Relevant experience working with clients in the specific industry and have completed several successful translation projects in the field.
- Native command of the target language which means a greater understanding of the language and familiarity with industry-specific terminology and concepts in their native language.
And while they make sure their translators have the required qualifications and experience, they also invest in continuous training for them to ensure that they stay up-to-date with the latest developments in industry terminology and regulations.
Most importantly, a technical translation company implements a cohesive team approach and team collaboration between translators, editors, and proofreaders. They perform rigorous review and proofreading rounds and engage in open communication to identify and address translation inaccuracies or inconsistencies.
This concerted collaboration guarantees that the translated content meets the highest standards of precision, clarity, and cultural appropriateness.
Professional technical translation companies have the capacity to handle large volumes of translation work.
But how does this translate to their knowledge of the industry?
While individual technical translators may have worked on tens of technical documents, professional technical translation companies have likely worked on a significantly larger volume covering almost all types of technical translation.
And this provides them with exposure to a wide variety of technical content, terminology, and industry-specific language.
Such extensive experience allows them to better understand the nuances and complexities of technical translation, as well as the specific needs of different technical sectors.
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One of the greatest perks of working with a professional technical translation company is that they have established quality assurance processes in place to ensure that translations are accurate, consistent, and meet industry standards.
Professional technical translation companies are oftentimes ISO certified.
On the one hand, this offers you the advantage of getting certified technical translations. And on the other, it guarantees that these companies follow a consistent and effective process for managing quality across all aspects of their business.
Two of the most important QA processes technical translation companies implement are the three-step review process, Translating, Editing, and, Proofreading (TEP), and the linguistic validation process, which is specific to the life sciences sector.
All of This means that by hiring a professional technical translation company, you ensure:
- Compliance with the industry-specific quality standards that require technical translation to be clear, accurate, and consistent in terminology usage.
- Avoidance of any financial and legal complications that inaccurate technical documents might lead to.
Unlike individual translators, professional technical translation companies invest in specialized and highly advanced technology and tools that can help streamline the translation process and improve the quality and accuracy of translations.
This includes computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools and translation memory software, terminology management systems, and quality assurance software.
While the use of these tools is significantly important for ensuring consistent and high-quality technical translations, they can also contribute to faster turnaround times and potentially lower costs.
This way, working with a professional technical translation company not only provides you with peace of mind knowing that your technical translations are being handled by experts but also helps you to strike a balance between quality, cost, and time.
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bayantech, Your Professional Technical Translation Partner
Now you know by heart how working with a professional technical translation company can provide a wealth of benefits for businesses operating in technical fields. But maybe you are wondering how to find the right agency that can meet your specific requirements.
At bayantech, we are ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 certified. And we are strictly committed to providing high-quality translation services for technical documents across different sectors, from professional technical translation services for manufacturing to engineering translation and aviation translation services.
Thanks to working with a team of experienced native translators and utilizing the latest translation technology and tools, we take pride in our ability to deliver accurate and effective translations that are compliant with the technical industry standards.
Contact us today to know more about our expert technical translation services offered on time and within your budget.
Leave it all to bayantech, your professional language service provider