In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis and the global recession that followed it, it is such a rare thing to be able to say that any industry is a growing one, let alone a fast growing one. However, that is precisely the case with the translation industry. Over the last dozen or so years, the globalization of economy and business, rapid advancements in technology and the rise of the Internet have all led up to the booming demand for translation services worldwide. Apart from the fact that this provides a great opportunity for translators to increase their workload and enrich their knowledge of the foreign language, it also means that there are now more various and perhaps more challenging translation services needed.
Whether you work as a freelancer or for a professional translation agency, sooner or later you will be presented with a technical document that needs to be translated. Nowadays, the majority of documents that are being professionally translated are technical ones. So, what exactly constitutes technical translation? If for the most part the document which is being translated consists of specialized vocabulary that cannot be easily understood and often requires definitions and explanations, then the translation is probably technical. However, specialized vocabulary is just one of the criteria for labeling translation technical. More importantly, it is the subject matter that counts. Technical documents deal with technical subject matters, are written by technical writers and have the purpose to explain the practical use of scientific and technological knowledge. Usually, these are operating and safety manuals, instructions for use, patent documents, engineering specifications, medical and pharmaceutical documents, etc.
One of the most challenging tasks for a translator is to stay faithful to the original. This is especially difficult when it comes to technical translation. First of all, you must be able to fully understand all the technical terms that are used in the original document, or the technical jargon. In order to do that, you should have specialist knowledge of the subject matter in both your native and the target language. General knowledge here simply is not going to be enough. Sure, a translator’s job today is much easier than it used to be. You can always turn to the all – knowing Internet for help, or use computer software for assistance. There is a wide selection of tools at your disposal. However, translation is based on context, and no computer can help you interpret the underlying meaning of a piece of writing. Also, not all texts are written in a clear and concise manner. Sometimes, technical descriptions and manuals tend to use long sentences with connecting clauses which can easily be lost in translation. This is where a technical translator often takes up the role of a technical writer or editor. After all, one of the most important tasks of a technical translator is to make the document comprehensible to a wide range of readers. Finally, there is the “technical” part of technical translation. It goes without saying that a translator nowadays must be computer literate and use all kinds of software and tools in his / her work. But, once in a while a document for translation will come along which will have either complicated formatting or embedded images that cannot be displayed properly. Not to mention the graphics with which the translation must fit. This can be quite challenging at times, especially if there is a short deadline to be met.
However, none of the above-mentioned presents such a challenge as the need for accuracy. In the case of technical translation, one mistake could spell disaster. Just think about medical documents, safety and operating manuals, instructions for use or engineering specifications. Even the tiniest mistake in the translation could lead to system failures, equipment breakdowns or, in the worst case, putting people’s health and lives at risk. It cannot be stressed enough just how important it is that technical translation is done by a professional translator who has an in – depth knowledge of the subject matter and who is more than familiar with the specialized terminology and conventions for writing technical documents.
For the above mentioned reasons, Language Translation Tech uses highly educated, native speaking, professional translators. 100% human translation.