Bhasha Bharati Blog – Translation Services

Knowledge Center About Language Translation

All about Technical Translation

Basic language skills fall short in technical translation because it requires translating complex documentation in varied domains of finance, science, software, healthcare, and engineering.  

A technical translator also needs to be well-versed with the right set of terminology in both the target language and the source language so as to deliver the exact meaning of the documentation/communication as described or iterated by the respective organization. But in most cases, it is seen that technical terms have a common meaning between languages, which makes the job easier when taken professionally. 

Key challenges of technical language translation

There are certain challenges in technical language translation and most of the language service providers try to address those challenges from the forefront. 

The first one would be in terms of domain knowledge. Professional technical translation services in India incorporate a domain expert in their team, wherein the concerned personnel would translate the exact subjective meaning of the source language that needs to be translated into a secondary language. Secondly, the translation team also needs to understand the entire document that they are working on, otherwise, the resulting document would fail to match the meaning of the source. 

In technical translation, word-to-word basis translation doesn’t happen. This is because each language has its bandwidth to describe a certain word, and that word may be a noun, preposition, adjective, etc. For example, if we look at any English-Chinese technical translation work by a professional translation service in India or the USA, we would see that it has taken less space to explain the same words that have been described in English. This is because Chinese has fewer syllables than English language. On the other hand, if we compare the same documentation but English-Japanese technical translation, then we would see that it has taken more space than the Mandarin-Chinese document. This is because the Japanese language has more syllables than Mandarin. 

It also becomes a tough job when translating a sensitive domain technical document as the translator needs to interpret the information, curated to the target audience in terms of medical prescriptions/papers or safety instruction manuals. Think about an English-Korean technical translation job, where the translator needs to interpret an English instruction manual for a native Korean speaker. Here, the real challenge lies in the pronunciation of the Korean language because overcoming the language translation part is easy. 

Types of Technical Language Translation

Given below are some of the generally utilized types of technical language translation-

  • User manual translation

This requires some specialized skills and knowledge of the domain. Technical translation services in India normally cover this service because, as we all know that user manual is a very form of selling a product. With the rise of Made-in-India products, manufacturing companies in India seek this service where they would find a domain expert relative to their product lineup. 

This goes without saying that user manual translation incorporates the utilization of plain text, rendering it a good translation material of automated translation tools wherein an accuracy check is stationed right after post-editing by a human translator. 

  • Translation of Patents

This is another area of technical translation where one needs to have a thorough understanding of structuring and filing patents as well as subjective expertise. This is because any patent document has both legal and practical aspects to it. For example, a Japanese company that has a patent filed in Japan needs to furnish the document in English; hence a stakeholder of the company would seek the best English-Japanese technical translation service so as to secure their innovation in non-native Japanese-speaking countries. 

Subsequently, the translation team should have a certain level of artistry parallel with the right scientific and technical knowledge to prove them an effective patent translator. 

  • CAD/CAM drawing translation

This also falls under the jurisdiction of technical translation services, because CAD/CAM drawings are full of technical notions such as dimensions, labels, visual elements, etc. In some cases, this translation resembles the translation of software strings. 

  • Translation of Software strings- This is another hardcore technical domain where the translation services have to be offered by a domain expert of the particular software itself. While the user interface may seem effortless and easy to comprehend, the translation experts working on the project should be well-versed with software strings to pull this off. They should also know the expectations for both the source and destination languages in the region.