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An Area of Expertise for Each Context: Technical Language

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We use language every single day—literally—to communicate and, either in spoken or written form, our register varies depending on the context. Without realizing it, we switch from a natural language to a colloquial one, from the colloquial to a technical, or literary style, etc., all in order to adapt to different environments.

Colloquial language, also called “vernacular” or “common speech”, is spontaneous and reflects our background and customs. Natural language is similar to colloquial, although it’s used more in particularly formal environments. However, although these two registers are the most common, they are not always the most appropriate. For example, technical or technical-scientific language is preferable when dealing with academic subjects. It resembles natural language, but it has a higher prestige and employs a specific lexicon, whose terms acquire their own meaning depending on the context in which they are being used. It differs from the rest in that it is objective, it’s not used to express opinions, and it has an informative purpose. It can be said that technical language originated from the use of natural language by specific groups of professionals in different fields. For example, the word “mass” does not have the same meaning when we talk about physics as when we talk about religion.

Technical terms

Technical language is everywhere (textbooks, academic papers, conversations, etc.) and in all the areas you can imagine (music, sport, technology, economics, among many others). Its specific vocabulary is used in the form of jargon and slang. Terms used within jargon are called “technical terms”.

For a translator or interpreter, the use of one language type or another in a text or speech makes a big difference. And so, interpreting a general, relaxed conversation may not be so difficult at all, but interpreting for one of the best cardiologists in the world during a presentation is a whole other story. The same goes for translation; there is a big difference between translating the manual of operations and procedures of a nuclear power plant and an article about a celebrity in a gossip magazine. They are two completely different things, almost as much in terms of register as the terminology to be used in each case.

Ordering a technical translation

At some point in our lives—although this is happening more and more often due to growing international relations—there comes a time when we may need to translate important documents, for business or even on a more personal level. In these cases, it’s not enough to get any translator to do it, but rather what is needed is a professional translation completed by someone who specializes in the field and possesses the expertise required by the text. Your choice of the best candidate to hire for technical translation or interpreting is therefore fundamental.

At blarlo, we have an extensive network of technical translators, who specialize in different fields. Let us take care of the technical terms, after all, it’s what we do best. 😉 Don’t hesitate to ask us for a quote with no obligation!

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