5 Considerations For Technical Document Translations

Technical content is notoriously difficult to translate.

It takes a deep understanding of the content itself, for one - not to mention impeccable levels of accuracy and expertise in the content’s industry itself. So how can you guarantee that your vital, technical content is placed in the right translator’s hands?

We’ve listed our five essential considerations when looking to secure a B2B translation agency to work on your technical documents - all positives of which are offered to our clients, here at Alexika. Read on...

1. Be as informative as you possibly can.

Repeat after us: the more information you provide, the better your results will be. Spare no details in sharing the purpose, direction and ethos of your company, and the desired outcome of the to-be-translated content, when passing over your documents for translation. This is the most guaranteeable way you can ensure your translated copy will sound exactly like your business, and fall in line with your carefully constructed tone of voice. Also, it’sthe most guaranteeable way that you’ll get the results from it that you want.

It’s further worth noting that by being ultra-specific with your needs, you’ll help your chosen translation company pick the most appropriate translator for the task: one that’s fluent in your industry’s lingo as well as your desired language. Everybody’s happy!

2. Go for a translator that knows your industry’s technical terminology.

Arguably the most crucial aspect of translating technical documentation is ensuring your industry’s specific terminology is translated as fluidly and clearly as possible - after all, 99.9% of the time, your field’s terminology is incredibly focal to the content being translated. As a result, you need a translator that’s knowledgeable about the language into which they’re translating and your industry - a personal touch only professional B2B translators can provide.

However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that some industry “buzzwords” may not translate as effectively into one language as it may another - no matter how skilled your translator. It’s worth pitching, then, for a glossary to be created in tandem with your newly translated technical documents, so that the end-user is able to identify what a word is specifically meant to mean, even if it cannot be translated directly from one word into another. This glossary can include corporate or industry terms, or abbreviations. Your technical translator will be able to update this for you whenever necessary, so nothing’s ever lost in translation.

3. Seek a translator who translates into their mother tongue.

Accuracy, reliability and fluency - these are the linguistic positives that everybody seeks from quality translation, and one that’s further ensurable when choosing a professional translating into their mother tongue. It’s an even more crucial triad for technical documents, you could argue - tricky-to-understand and highly specific pieces - in which expert fluency in your chosen language is imperative.

There’s more. In going for a translator translating into their mother tongue, you can also rest assured that they’ll have knowledge of the culture behind the language they’re translating into, and are thus able to inject their work with a little familiarity - communicating even more effectively with the end-user.

4. Pick a company with their finger on the pulse.

Most industries and technical fields are subject to updates (both spontaneous and routine). Therefore, it’s important you liaise with a translator that stays in touch with your industry’s changes, who is further able to change your content as and when it’s necessary - and that’s the bare minimum.

A specialist industry translator (such as our Alexika colleagues) should also provide advice as per your best long term technical translation solution: helping you iron out the most cost-effective way to update your content in line with fluctuations in your industry. This’ll save you money later down the line and help you keep on top of everything, to boot - a solution that sorts everything.

5. Don’t get attached to your existing layout.

There are also stylistic considerations to prepare for when sending your content over for translation. During the translating process, it’s very likely the text being translated from will become longer - potentially skewing your graphics, links and graphs. Prepare for this before you send over your technical content, so you have a plan in place to address layout changes once the translation is complete.

Need your technical content translating? Contact us today.