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May 8, 2018 |

Why You Need a Professional for Your Technical Translations

Technical translations are vital to all industries, as they allow businesses and organizations to go global and reach large audiences worldwide. As more companies work with international business partners, translation is essential for collaboration and for developing and implementing new technologies and processes.

Translating technical documentation requires accuracy and in-depth knowledge of a specific language and its terminology. Any error can lead to imprudent operations and even industrial accidents. These unpleasant situations add up costs and increase turnaround, generating a loss and creating confusion among users.

From user manuals for medical pieces of equipment to instructions for a domestic appliance, all technical translations should be accurate and easy to follow.

Working with professionals for your technical translations can help you reduce errors and misunderstandings. You can be sure to communicate effectively with your clients and provide them with excellent user experiences, too.

The Technical Content Guides Difficult Processes

Technical translations cover a wide range of topics and types of documents, such as instructions, operating manuals, building and construction details, software, patents, data sheets, electronic manuals, engineering specifications, and other technical documentation. In all cases, terms are exact and any missed word can change the meaning of the entire document.

Think of the instructions that come with your new dishwasher. What if you had to deal with a weak translation? You wouldn’t know how to install it correctly, how to program it, or when to perform maintenance cleaning. Furthermore, a bad translation could cause accidents due to improper usage of your appliance. You could waste time and money looking to replace your product with a new one.

The dimensions of translation translation errors grow when we talk about industrial equipment, chemical substances, or medical procedures. Warning labels, indicators of dangerous materials, or storage instructions can make the difference between profit and loss, or in some cases, between life and death.

Companies can waste thousands of dollars by storing expensive substances in abnormal conditions. Even worse, some of these materials can explode and cause massive incidents, when people don’t follow exact instructions for operations and maintenance.

Technical documents are meant to give instructions, to improve workflows and increase productivity. If you fail to translate such materials, you risk ending up with human errors, processes that don’t respect the quality standards, and improper final products. You put your employees’ lives at risk, together with the integrity of your company.

Technical Translations Need A Subject Matter Expert

Literature teachers can’t translate chemical formulas and laboratory findings, no matter how high their language skills. You need experts who have previous experience in the industry to deliver accurate content, someone with in-depth knowledge on the topic.

Subject matter experts (SMEs) have particular skills that allow them to understand the terminology in the field they translate in. They’re familiar with terms and specific vocabulary in both the original and the target language.

SMEs have a degree in their area of expertise, besides being certified translators. Thanks to their extensive knowledge on the subject, they understand the context and can come up with a precise translation. This way, they don’t leave any room for ambiguities or misunderstandings in their content, and you make sure all your documentation is easy to follow for your audience.

Better yet, professional translators know how to adapt the text they translate to the target public. In most cases, technical documents are meant to help experts in the industry, people with a solid professional background, who expect excellence and precision from you. If you give them poor documents due to bad translations, you risk losing your reputation among authorities in your niche.

Professional Translators Help You Comply With Industry Regulations

Almost all industries have rigid regulations when it comes to user manuals and labeling. Whether you’re delivering industrial equipment, medicine, or cosmetics, you need to comply with a series of local rules that vary with the country you sell to.

From storage recommendations to ingredients or instructions for use, you must deliver clear information. This way, you provide your clients with excellent experiences and protect yourself from any complaints and legal actions.

Professional translators are familiar with the local requirements because it’s part of their job to deliver compliant translations. They know about any updates, changes, and new amendments that can keep you from entering the market and can help you stay updated about the new difficulties.  

Working with subject matter experts pays off, as you’re less likely to withdraw your products from the market due to wrong instructions or labels. Even more, you won’t have your brand’s name involved in scandals or incidents caused by communication errors or lousy maintenance due to incomplete documentation.

You Get High-Quality Technical Translations Faster

Professional translators have quick turnarounds and deliver high-quality content in the target language. They know what questions to ask right from the start, so you won’t have to deal with daily emails asking for more details about the project.

They keep things to the point, respecting your style guide and your instructions. They can handle various types of files, are familiar with practical CAT tools, and stay in line with your deadlines.

Subject matter experts have worked on similar projects in the past. They don’t need you to hold their hands or approve their working routine. Most probably, they will guide you through the long process of translating technical documentation and not the other way round.

Even better, they can build you a substantial glossary of terms that will help you with your future translations. This way, with every new document you translate, costs will get lower, while keeping the same high-quality standards.

Professional translators do more than simply translate your content. They adapt it to your target audience, giving you localized versions of your content. This way, everything they write is easy to understand by your clients or users, increasing customer satisfaction and improving your reputation.

When you invest in high-quality content for all your audiences, regardless of the languages they speak, you show respect to all people that interact with your products and services. And, you also get to comply with all regulations in the industry, allowing you to compete in both local and global markets.