What is Technical Translation?

May 17, 2022

What is Technical Translation?

Technical translation is specialized translation involving the translation of documents (owner's manuals, user guides, etc.), which relate to various technological fields. The texts typically consist of scientific and technological information. Technical translation requires a high level of subject knowledge and mastery of the relevant terminology and writing conventions. Having knowledge of both the linguistic features and aesthetic features of translation applies directly to the field of technical translation. Though technical translation is only one subset of the different types of professional translation, it is the largest subset as far as output is concerned. Currently, more than 90% of all professionally translated work is done by technical translators. This highlights the importance and significance of the field.

Terminology & Meaning

Technical documents often contain terminology with specific meanings. It’s essential that the correct terminology is used consistently throughout. The terminology required for technical translation is complex. Effective technical translation takes more than knowing the correct meaning of the terms in the target language. A technical translator must understand cultural nuances in the target language to communicate the information in the right tone, as well as being accurate. This is extremely important. For example, what may be the right way to give instructions in one language may come across rude in another. Sometimes accuracy means more than simply communicating the idea correctly. A simple error in terminology like this could result in a company’s failure to acquire a new target market. To prevent these errors a technical translator must understand the nuances of the market while being an expert in the required industry.

From Globalization to Specific Cultures

Technical translation involves understanding how globalization has influenced different cultures across the world. As technology advanced it created easier and faster means of communication where the world became a global community. The need to communicate with people from multiple language backgrounds have grown and continue to. The technical translator must be culturally diverse with varying languages, influences, and media preferences to be professionals in the field of technical communication. As technology makes intercultural and international communication easier, the technical translator must understand intercultural relations as it relates to ethics. A professional must avoid stereotyping and ethnocentrism in technical communication and translation. Ambiguous language not only shows problems with a universal writing style for technical translation, but also reiterates how culture plays an important role in proper technical translation. Technical translators must avoid assumptions about a culture and allow their own knowledge base to consider more diverse populations creating more effective cross-cultural communication not only when working with risky environments, but in general communication as well.

Why is Technical Translation Important?

As every marketing professional knows, the way your customers see your brand is everything. By making the effort to have technical documents accurately translated, it shows a level of respect and care for your customers that will only be reciprocated. Brands have spent time and effort cultivating themselves in their home country. They want to be certain that their brand image is translated properly. A professional technical translator ensures this happens, guaranteeing that the brand image is communicated meaningfully with careful accuracy. We at idioma® have been technical translation experts for 40+ years. We will continue to be a bridge for better communication across international borders.

Need an expert technical translator? Contact us at info@idioma.com