As companies expand their sales and service networks into new international markets, product managers are being pressed to add a wider range of multilingual technical translations for product-related documentation. Accelerating the translation process while ensuring accuracy and controlling costs are crucial to success.

The best approach lies in partnering with a proven technical translations expert with the expertise, technology and project resources to act as an extension to your team.

YBD Translations has the expertise and resources you need.

A proven technical translations provider with years of experience in languages

YBD Translations provides comprehensive technical Chinese ranslation services for leading companies all over the world. We routinely translate materials for:

Software applications

• Product manuals

• Technical specifications

• Hardware components

• Training materials

Patent documents

• User manuals

• eLearning materials

• Enterprise systems

Product specifications

• Installation manuals

• Support systems

• Graphics and CAD

• Troubleshooting guides

Websites

We understand the precision, adherence to deadlines and risk management requirements of technical translation. We also have the robust resources and global support network necessary to ensure that your translations are delivered on time and within budget.

Robust ISO standards for quality systems and risk management

YBD Translations is committed to quality and risk management. We are certified to ISO 9001:2008, ISO/IEC 27001:2005, ISO 13485:2003; and compliant to EN 15038:2006, as well as to ISO 14971:2007.  Together, these standards provide assurance that the most stringent process and quality standards for technical translations are followed.

Choose an industry leader in technical translation services

When you need an expert in technical translations, choose the market leader – YBD Translations.

Translation of a technical manual or a catalog is a necessity for many organizations. Like business translation, technical translation is expensive and not without risk. Does the translator understand the concepts well? And how do I ensure consistency in the terminologies used? In my role at YBD Translations I see many companies do not know how technical translations can be done well. In this blog I’ll give you 5 tips to help you ensure the quality and price of technical translations.

Ensuring quality technical translations with these 5 steps? [Checklist]

1. Work with a glossary and keep it up to date

The correct translation of technical terms is one of the biggest challenges when translating a technical document. A glossary can remove many concerns. In this list you lay in advance how technical terms must be translated. This way you are assured of accurate translations.

Pay attention. A glossary is a living document. Often terminology lists are, once completed, no longer updated with new translations. Provide consistent translations of technical concepts and terminology list will come in handy.

In a Chinese translation agency like YBD, project managers manage the terminology list. Result is you spend less time tuning the right terms with a translator.

2. Turn to a technical specialist

Not every good translator is automatically a strong technical translator. A translator who translates marketing texts handsomely, will often do less well in the literal translation of a machine manual.

What is the difference between a “non-technical translator” and a technical translator? A technical translator has experience in translating technical terms and therefore has a greater technical vocabulary. Nevertheless, a good technical translator sometimes also needs to look up a word. Only with the right knowledge and experience, can the translator use just the right resources in translating technical words. In addition, a technical translator is often more familiar with the translation of a machine manual or catalog.

Selecting technical translators takes a lot of work. They are scarce and comparatively expensive. A translation company takes care of this selection and often have a pool of technical translators.

3. Remove repetitions in the text

One of the fastest ways to cut costs in the translation of technical texts is to process repeats in the text. With the latest-CAT software, it is possible to recognize repeats. Texts of a product catalog, for example, are often significantly repeated. It is a sin for these texts to be translated multiple times. The CAT software avoids duplication and saves costs.

Translation software is relatively expensive for a freelancer or business. A translation agency usually have this software, enabling them to work more efficiently and effectively than, for example, a freelancer.

4. Always have the correct text

Translation is a people business and people make mistakes. A good technical translator sometimes makes a mistake or interprets a text wrong. Always check the translation before you continue to work with translation company.

Translation companies often work with ‘translation pairs’ consisting of a translator and a proofreader. This makes the quality guaranteed and you know for sure that your text is translated correctly.

5. Change the linguists as little as possible

The exchange of technical translators is expensive. A linguist must first learn about the products info supplied by the company and examine the technical terms. When you change a translator, you risk a loss of knowledge. This knowledge must be built up by the new translator before he/she can do the translation from scratch. Do you work with freelancers? Then chances are that your freelancer sometimes do not have time for your translation jobs.

It may happen that a translation provider also has capacity problems.  If the translator is not available, the reviewer can step in and perform the translation, so the quality remains consistent. Indeed, the reader is already familiar with your business, your products and previously translated texts.

Save costs and guarantee the quality of technical translation

Guarantee the quality and price of technical translations and make sure you work with a specialist who has experience in translating technical manuals or catalogs. Create a glossary and update the list with each new translation job. Working with a staff translator and get a second Chinese translator who corrects texts that can help out in case the regular translator is unavailable. No time to manage translations? Start talking to a company and ask how they ensure quality and price, so you can focus on your core business.

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WHO IS BETTER: AN ENGINEER WITH TRANSLATION SKILLS OR A TECHNICAL TRANSLATOR?

Maybe you’ve been told something like that before. Many people think that anyone with a minimum level of English and a career in technical (engineering, architecture, computer science, etc.) or scientific (medicine, pharmacy, nursing, etc.) fields can perform a quality technical or scientific translation. The reality is that society values technical or scientific training for the translation of documents more than language training. In today’s article, we’ll explain why it pays to hire a professional with language and specialized training.

 

Engineers vs. translators

Before we get down to business, let’s look at what a translator can bring us and what an engineer can bring us:

Engineer Translator
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Specific training Non-linguistic training Linguistic training Non-technical training
Terminological knowledge Difficulty to identify two realities (culture of origin and destination culture) Absolute knowledge of the two realities (culture of origin and destination culture) Disregard of part of the terminology
Minor documentation process Excessive trust in the documentation process Quality guarantee (the two texts will say the same thing) The documentation process is slower
Customer trust Unawareness of the anatomy of texts Extensive knowledge of the technical specialty Less confidence on the part of the client

A mechanical engineer has more knowledge of technical subjects than a translator. In addition, he knows the terminology well because he uses it every day in his work. Therefore, if the text is highly technical, a specialist is best suited to interpret it. However, you may not be used to translating or skilled at reproducing the contents in your own words. Anyone who has ever dared to translate knows it: it is not as easy as it seems and it takes practice. Therefore, it is necessary that the specific knowledge of an engineer be complemented with an excellent linguistic level and a lot of practice: he must have a perfect knowledge of his native language, the language into which he translates, the phraseology of technical texts, etc.

Chinese technical translation

It is also possible for a translator to be a specialist in a technical subject. If you have a lot of experience and technical training, you would also be the ideal professional to carry out a technical translation.

Do translators have to pursue several careers?

This point should be clarified, as it tends to cause confusion. If translators want to specialize in a specific area, it is always a good idea to increase their studies. In fact, at YBD we establish and assess levels of subject-specific knowledge when selecting translators for our technical translation projects. This knowledge can be acquired through other careers, courses, seminars, etc. It is true that when a translator specializes in technical translation or scientific translation, he or she is completely dedicated to this sector. This dedication and years of practice make you a true expert. However, translators are characterized by their curiosity and thirst for knowledge, so it is not uncommon to find translators who have studied engineering because they wanted to become better professionals.

technical document translation service

Due to the lack of knowledge of the translator’s profession and the little importance given to the knowledge of languages, society tends to forget that in order to translate it is vital to have a very broad linguistic knowledge. Subject specific knowledge and language skills must always be at the same level.

Why does it compensate? Wouldn’t it be quicker to hire a specialist even if you don’t know languages?

 

Just as it is not worth hiring a carpenter to fix a pipe, hiring someone who has no language skills to translate a technical manual could be a double-edged sword. Why? Because a specialist would have to be hired to review the document and correct it (or translate it again). This would prevent the translation from being ready by the deadline that was set, which could affect company issues. In addition to all this, the final price of the translation would increase. You’d have to pay for the botched job and the new translation.

So who should I order a technical translation from?

 

Choose the professional who has the same level of technical and linguistic knowledge, because that is what you will be able to demand quality from. If you hire someone who does not meet this requirement, you will not be able to demand anything from them. Your text does not deserve to be tarnished.

The peculiarities of technical translation

In the translation profession, technical translation is often considered the opposite of literary translation in a somewhat arbitrary but not completely wrong way. But what is actually encompassed by the term “technical translation”? The term “technical” generally applies to all areas where certain terminology is used.

The peculiarities of technical translation

First, it should be noted that technical translation is divided into several subcategories, including legal translation, the medical translation , the financial translation or the translation of patents, aerospace translation, etc.

All these areas are considered “technical” because they require from the translator a certain level of knowledge in the sector.

Indeed, imagine how to translate a legal text without knowing what a contract is, what are the terms and issues behind it? For medical, it is similar. A good knowledge in biology, including the human body and its functioning is essential.

The terminology in technical translation: a key component.

Vocabulary is usually sharp and very precise. We cannot afford approximation because it may cause missense or ambiguous interpretations, which is not acceptable in a field such as medical, for example, or even legal. Any mistake can have serious consequences. Whether the instructions of a medical imaging device or a contract between two large companies, the disastrous effects of poor translation are easily imaginable …

In legal translation, complexity also comes from the fact that there are differences between Chinese law and English law, German law, Spanish law, etc. This is why it is important to be familiar with these differences and know how to adapt relevant parts to fit with the system of the target country.

However, it is not necessary to have 10 years of experience in law or medicine to translate well in these areas. Contrary to what one might think, it is not effective to have a doctor or a lawyer translate the medical or legal texts because translation is a profession that requires advanced language skills.

Today, thanks to the Internet, many websites and glossaries are available to translators.

In all cases, technical translation must be performed by a professional Chinese translator who has a specialization in the field. This is the key to a quality technical translation.

Categories: Translation

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