How to Prepare for Technical Language Translation

  |  January 3, 2018

3 ways to ensure success for your technical language translation project.

As you look to market your product or service globally, accurate technical language translation is imperative to ensure your message is easily understood by your target audience. As part of this process, it’s wise to consider your need for technical language translation from the very beginning, rather than leaving it as an afterthought.

Leaving your translation project for the last minute can result in unforeseen costs, missed deadlines, or an inability to partner with a top-quality translation services company that can accurately complete your technical translation.

Here are three ways to ensure your technical translation project is done quickly, efficiently, and with the utmost accuracy.

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Ensure There’s a Budget for Your Technical Language Translation

Before executing your overseas launch, you probably have already spent substantial time and resources on research, planning, and development. But did you account for translation costs? Not incorporating costs for your technical language translation early in the planning process can cause problems with your overall budget down the line.

You should consider how much will need to be budgeted for your technical language translation and who will be paying for it. Will it be your customer? Will the budget be allocated to your sales or project management team, or to another department? It’s important to ensure these details are ironed out early to avoid unnecessary delays.

Establish a Realistic Timeline for Your Technical Language Translation

You run the risk of error-prone projects and added costs with rushed translations. That’s because not accounting for details such as formatting, word count, and regional and cultural nuances beforehand can result in additional time spent later translating or retranslating to correct inaccuracies—adding to your timeline and your budget.

Top-quality technical translation takes time. This is particularly true for projects that include industry-specific terminology, unique character sets, improperly formatted source documents, and lengthy documents, such as manuals and user guides. Expecting a quick turnaround time for this type of project is unrealistic, though there are translation companies who’ll promise to meet your rushed timeline, regardless of the project requirements.

It’s important to understand that these companies won’t provide the quality translations you’re looking for—you can expect corners to be cut, a lack of quality control, and a technical translation full of omissions and inaccuracies.

Whether your translation company uses machine translation or actual translators for your project, rushing the translation process may ultimately lengthen the amount of time it takes to complete the project properly. The result will be a less-than-accurate translation that’ll require time and money for correction or retranslation efforts by a certified, top-quality translation services company.

Select the Right Partner for Your Technical Language Translation

A key factor in the overall success of your technical translation project is to choose the right translation partner to ensure you get the results you need, when you need them. When choosing your technical translation partner, make sure to ask them the following questions:

  1. What’s your quality control process?
  2. Are your translators both native speakers AND subject matter experts?
  3. Does your company assign a designated project manager to facilitate the translation process from beginning to end?
  4. What is your area of expertise, and what are your certifications?
  5. Can you provide technical translations in the languages I need?

Finally, it is vitally important to prepare all materials needing translation. This includes gathering your source documents, creating a glossary of key technical terms, and making any necessary final revisions before submitting files to your translation company.

Taking these steps can put you on the path to success with your technical language translation project—and ultimately, with your move into global markets.