Language is a communication medium which is subject to constant change due to many different factors. These include: technology, digitalization, culture, and people. Translation and interpretation are effective means by which this communication can be established without any hassle. However, some disciplines require greater accuracy than others when it comes to the translation. Technical content is one such discipline that is critically important, but tough to translate.
Due to changes in the tech industry, businesses search for translation agencies that can handle tough technical translations with accuracy and professionalism. The technical text that requires translation includes a wide variety of documents that can be divided into four groups; documents for educational purposes, reports, patents, and operation manuals. Translation of such content is highly important, but there are certain challenges that translators face when providing technical translation services.
What Makes Technical Translation very Challenging?
So, do you know what makes technical translation so much difficult? Here are six major factors that make tech translation difficult.
- Finding subject-matter expert
Like every other type of translation, technical translation demands high accuracy. However, the main difference between technical translation and other types of translation is that a translator can infuse some creativity and emotion into translations. But with technical translation, sticking to the original terminology and style is of paramount importance. A technical translation requires extreme care and accuracy, as the terminology is tough and there is little room for errors.
Much like legal translation services, a translator providing technical translation needs to be qualified and well-versed in handling difficult-to-understand terminology. Additionally, he should preferably have a qualification or degree in technical translation to be fully capable of translating tough technical terms. He must also be capable of understanding the context of technical content to be able to perform an appropriate translation of technical text.
- The absence of translation
The tech field is advancing super fast. Ever noticed how new technologies and innovations are emerging every other day? And this, in turn, may increase the translation problem. As translation for the latest technologies may not exist in the target language. Another very important concern that tech companies usually face when getting translations of their content is deciding whether to translate the new words, leave them in their original form, or introduce a completely new word in their place hat carries the very same meaning. In such cases, technical translators and company content editors need to correspond with each other to decide the fate of the new technical words.
- Issue of technical comprehension
Another major problem with translating technical content is that translators must stick to the Original meaning as much as they can. This is because technical knowledge is highly sensitive, and any deviation from the original meaning can have detrimental consequences. Take the example of instructions on a drill machine’s user manual. Slight variation in the translated meaning can affect the use instructions of the drill considerably. This can cause issues for the user, as he may face problems starting the machine. Due to this, an expert translation company should present the translated text in plain language that is easy to understand.
- Translation of units
Technical documents and files often contain complex numbers and units. Layman may take these units as bunch of numbers. But in the technical field, they are very significant. You see, just adding or dropping a zero can have disastrous consequences for the client company and the users alike. For example, any mistranslation of measurement units, such as inches to centimeters, can cause problems in the use of a machine or item. This is why translators need to be skilled at translating Technical descriptions and numerical data accurately. Additionally, they should preferably have experience in the scientific fields for which they are translating.
The technical field, being a highly complex one, contains files and documents that often need quick translations. Any delay in translating the complicated Technical instructions may have unfavorable consequences for the companies and users. These technical documents may also be subject to time constraints and tight deadlines that are related to the release of a new product or machine. In situations like these, it is of prime importance to communicate the technical information to the users ASAP. A professional translation agency can provide accurate translations of technical content at quick turnaround times without compromising on quality or accuracy.
- Tough technical terminology
Terminology is important in every discipline. But it is of critical importance specially in the technical field. A translation that does not contain the correct terms can spell disaster for a product’s success. Likewise, there are some standard words for every type of industry that the translators must know how to use in both the source and target languages. For instance, an inaccurate translation of a pharmaceutical product’s chemical composition can cause irreparable damage to human life. Moreover, it can cause legal penalties too.
In order to overcome this very challenge, a glossary of technical terms is the key resource in the translation of tech documents. A glossary provides a set of unique terms that can help i ensure consistency. All translators can use it as reference while translating complex technical documents. Not only that, glossaries help reduce errors and shorten the project completion time.
The technical industry presents a unique challenge for translation companies. As you know, technological advancements occur in all fields. Thus, it is, without any doubt, very important to get flawless translation of technical content. However, there are particular challenges that tech translators face. And it is very important to overcome to deliver error-free translations.