Technical instructions are not the same – as a layman will quickly realize if he thinks he can handle a technical translation on the fly. Just because someone can read and understand an instruction manual doesn’t mean he can also handle a technical translation. Technical instructions are much more complex than simple user instructions- which is the reason that engineers are often hired for technical translations. The translation of instruction manuals falls within the areas of technical translations but here, too, there are big differences depending on the kind of equipment the instructions are written for. Is it an operating manual for a washing machine, a toaster or maybe for a machine that assembles a car for a certain car manufacturer? At this point at the latest the knowledge of a layman is exhausted and expert knowledge called for.
Expert Knowledge for a Technical Translation
Only a native language speaker or interpreter with expertise in the relevant area can perform a really accurate technical translation. Further, there are various types of documents within individual areas such as user manuals, operating- and service manuals, circuit diagrams, technical documentation and at times a technical translation from the medical field. Capacity is quickly reached with only a bit of specific knowledge. But a technical translation is instrumental for the proper functioning of an instrument. Just one wrong word in a circuit diagram or a wrong sentence in a user manual can have disastrous effects.
The Right Contact for a Technical Translation
Even though it is important to any company to keep costs down, it should not be the first priority for technical translations. More important is to rely on someone who can truly deliver professional and accurate work. A translator agency that works with native language speakers is a very good place to start. Here, typically translations are handled by not only one but by two translators. One of them does the translation and the other double checks for mistakes. As mentioned before, even the smallest mistake in a technical translation can be a huge problem that to fix can incur more costs than the translation itself. In the area of technical translation the credo is: quality before quantity.