For many companies looking to expand into foreign markets, cutting costs and staying within budget for a new product launch is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, sometimes technical translation is treated as an expense to be minimized rather than a critical component of the launch process. The results of this type of thinking can be disastrous.

Whether you use a bilingual employee, resort to machine translation, or hire a low-cost translation company to provide your document translation, chances are you’ll end up with a low-quality translation that’ll need retranslation by a certified translation services company.

This costs money, extends timelines, and can potentially damage your brand image, leading to loss of clients and distrust in your company—certainly things you’d like to avoid in the first place.

However, if you’re already dealing with an inferior translation, it’s important that your next step be a solid one. While it may be possible to salvage and correct a bad translation, it might be quicker and more effective to simply scrap the project and begin again.

The next step is ensuring the translation services company you’re choosing to fix the problem has the abilities to complete your translation in a timely and appropriate manner.

Let’s look at key ways to make certain your translation partner is up to the task.

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Determine Whether the Technical Translation Company Has Subject Matter Expertise

Being a professional translator isn’t enough to ensure appropriate technical translation. While many companies will happily tout the language skills of their translators, technical translation goes beyond language, requiring subject matter expertise to ensure complete accuracy.

A translator lacking subject matter expertise will not understand the technical terms and specialized language for your industry. This can lead to serious consequences, especially in fields like mining and manufacturing where heavy and potentially dangerous equipment is used.

An incorrect term or omission of important technical information can result in equipment misuse, risking serious harm for the end user. This can damage your reputation and put a heavy dent in your bottom line.

It only makes sense that a translator with vast experience in the medical equipment field translate a technical document about a laser machine or other medical-related machinery. Without subject matter expertise, a translator won’t know with certainty if his or her technical translation will be easily and accurately understood by its intended audience.

Ask Your Technical Translation Vendor About Quality Control Processes

In any setting, clear, concise communication is vital. This is especially true when it comes to conveying your message to your target audience.

Ensuring accuracy and consistency across different languages requires a thorough process of quality control that includes translation, editing, and in-house review.

Part of this quality control includes providing formatting and design consistent with your source document. This means languages that use complex character sets or require more words to communicate your message are properly formatted, while retaining the tone and style of the source document, regardless of language.

This quality check also accounts for cultural and regional sensitivities, ensuring that your message is clear and easy to understand by your target market.

At ILS, our quality process includes a three-step approach that includes two professional translators and a final in-house review by a project manager. The first translation is done by a native-speaking subject matter expert, while a second translator compares the translation to the source document to verify accuracy, clarity, and tone.

The project manager looks for possible errors in page numbering, image captions, graphics alignment, and other inconsistencies. Based on his or her expertise, the project manager can also make recommendations regarding best practices for your translation.

Make Sure Your Technical Translation Is Done by Native Speakers

Accurate translation goes beyond having a grasp on grammar and vocabulary—a translator must understand context, tone, and the cultural nuances of the intended audience. Only a native speaker can fully understand the context and culture to ensure that your translated message resonates with your target market.

A non-native translator, even while proficient in grammar and vocabulary, may not be aware of regional connotations and cultural nuances that a native speaker understands. Hence, a translation done by a non-native speaker may be confusing or inaccurate, causing miscommunication or offense to your target audience.

At ILS, we can deliver a high-quality technical translation that’s free of errors and accurately conveys your message as intended. Our thorough ISO 9001:2015-certified quality process ensures your translation is done right the first time around and fits within your budget and timeline.

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The Manufacturers Guide to Technical Translation

Learn all you need to know about technical document translation, key questions to ask, and critical pitfalls to avoid.

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