Everything you need to know about translating technical manuals

traducción de manuales técnicos
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The translation of technical manuals requires a series of specific skills to make the job easier. Below, we’ll explain how a professional tackles these types of translations in order to achieve success.

The translation of technical manuals, step by step

When it comes to correctly translating technical manuals, a translator will carry out the following steps.

Read the text before translating it

Instead of getting straight to work, opt to read the text in full and try to grasp its meaning in general terms. Take a few notes that will help you as you move on to the next step.

Establish the target linguistic variation

This type of text is intended for end users who need to correctly understand it in order to use the corresponding product. The many different variations that can be found in languages such as English or Chinese, to give a few examples, can present obstacles that impede their full understanding of the instructions. This is something you’ll need to bear in mind before you start translating.

Create a glossary of words and a translation memory

Consistency is vital in translation. Write out a list of all the technical terms found in the text and used for the same purpose. The resulting glossary can then be used for future texts.

When it comes to the translation memory, this will need to record the parts of the text which repeat the same words and structures. The more technical texts you translate, the more you’ll realize that many of these share the same structure, allowing you to save precious time in your work.

Use specific tools

Machine-translation tools will not be of much use, given the specific characteristics of the text’s more technical vocabulary. It’s better to opt for computer-assisted translation tools which, of course, will allow you to create glossaries and translation memories.

It is the translator who develops the program’s database by adding specific terminology and transforming the CAT tool into the key to translating better and more efficiently. The professional should weigh up the different options available and choose the one that best meets their needs.

Ask the client

Opening up a direct dialogue with the client is essential in order to clear up any doubts the translator may have regarding certain sections of the text. This can be done directly or by consulting the reference documents provided with the project. Remember to bear in mind that any doubts must be resolved before continuing with your translation.

As you have seen, there are a whole host of aspects to bear in mind when it comes to tackling this type of work. Only thoroughness, exhaustive research, order and rigor will help the professional to tackle any translation with the best chances of success, without forgetting to put into practice our tips for translating technical manuals.

Hire a professional agency

Specialist technical translations are far from easy if you don’t have the necessary experience. Putting your trust in translation professionals is always the right choice if you want to obtain the best results possible. We are experts in the translation of technical manuals. Speak to us about it and ensure perfect translations.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) Français (French) Deutsch (German)