Technical translation

What exactly is technical translation?

There are many types of language services and those dealing with technologies are a sort of a world of their own. Most often technical translation covers instruction manuals, handbooks or specs for specific devices. This type of work requires a high level of expertise from the translator and knowledge of particular technical terms. And even sometimes that is not enough.

A reliable technical translator has to know the actual purpose of a solution or appliance they are dealing with. In fact, it is not only about the linguistic skills but also about being familiar with the proper application of a particular device or process.

In 1960, technical translation was officially recognised as a separate type of work. Since then, it has been named the most popular category in the translation industry. About 90% of translation projects are strongly associated with technical translation. Being a really specific type of work, it takes a special type of experts to provide it. The knowledge of languages is not enough.

Technical translator – who can become one?

People who want to start working as technical translators have to acquire some specific skills and knowledge. Of course, the linguistic background is of value. But most importantly, the understanding of a particular type of technology is needed. Cognitive psychology can also be a very useful tool to perform such a task. And last but not least, let’s not forget about the technical translator’s little helper, a CAT tool, which can make their work smoother and more efficient.

Precision and… even more precision!

The translation may be complete, but the project isn’t ready yet. Before finalising, the text has to be double-checked. Each letter, each number and each punctuation mark. It is very important. One mistranslated unit can cause a defect or even an accident. That is why, technical translation doesn’t have to be beautiful; literature esthetics don’t apply to it. Precision is much more important here.

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