Technical translations are used in a number of industries including medical, engineering, scientific, and manufacturing. To translate technical terms, one needs to be precise and accurate. The smallest variation in meaning, especially when translated into other languages, could be disastrous. 

But the need to translate technical terms is not restricted to highly technical manuals and documentation for engineers. Many consumer-facing documents also contain technical terminology that must be translated accurately. This is why only the most highly-qualified technical translation services should be trusted to translate technical terms and documentation. 

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Technical Translation—Manuals, User Guides, IFUs

Technical translation involves taking the source documentation created by technical writers and expressing the same meaning clearly in the target languages required. To properly translate technical terms, accuracy is always the goal. If an important technical translation is riddled with incorrect wording or grammatical and spelling errors that cloud the intended message, it will fail to communicate effectively with your audience. This may cause serious repercussions. 

Manuals, user guides, or instructions for use (IFUs) for medical devices or industrial equipment demand that you translate technical terms correctly across the entire spectrum of company documents. Errors can trigger potential liability and safety issues or simply cause confusion and product dissatisfaction. Some documents for technical translation may be consumer-facing. But if they provide information about how to operate a product or take a medication, it’s very important that they are translated accurately. 

Technical Translation—Regulatory Implications

How you translate technical terms can impact whether or not a product complies with applicable regulatory statutes. And, regulatory guidelines will directly impact how you translate technical terms across all of your company documents. Descriptions and wording must be precise in order to pass legal hurdles for customs and the sale and use among a population. 

For example, medical translations have serious implications for health and life. Because of this, the medical device and healthcare industries are highly regulated around the world. These regulations generally dictate how the translation process is carried out. Regulations also affect how documents are maintained, controlled, and transmitted. 

Regulatory considerations may differ from one country to the next, but most nations dictate which types of content must be translated and for what types of products. Consumer-facing documents may carry different regulatory requirements than those designed to educate healthcare practitioners. Even the most advanced machines and AI translation tools cannot attain the level of accuracy needed to translate and meet these strict requirements. 

Technical Translation—Marketing Matters 

If you think the need to translate technical terms is only for complicated user manuals or documentation for engineers, think again. Even though a specific translation may be for a manual, the language used has to be consistent for marketing purposes. It is inescapable that some technical terminology will be used in marketing

Explaining how to use a product, or how it functions, may require you to translate technical terms accurately across many languages. Localization will be an important factor to ensure that your terminology fits the target culture and does not cause confusion or offense. Only a trained, skilled, and educated professional—who operates within a defined quality assurance process—should be chosen to provide your translation services


ILS has the technically trained and experienced translation team you need to translate technical terms and documents accurately. Our quality control processes are ISO certified to guarantee your satisfaction. Contact International Language Services to learn more about how we can help with your next technical translation project.