Accurate, top-quality technical translation that correctly conveys your company’s message takes time. Effectively translating a document is a process that includes multiple layers of translation and quality assurance.

This kind of quality control process in your translation will ensure your message remains true to the original tone and nuance. Only a top-quality language services company can ensure that this system of professional translation and review is delivered on time, every time.

Let’s look at how professional technical translation companies ensure accurate translation while meeting critical deadlines.

Proper Standards and Controls Ensure Quality and Time Efficiency in Technical Translation

Quality translation begins with a translation services company’s project management processes. How long your translation project will take starts with knowing how your project is managed and by whom. Is your technical translation done by native language speakers? How many translators will work on your project—one or several?

Will the translations services company have an editor review each translation, referencing the source document to ensure the translation correctly conveys your message? The answer to these questions can affect the time it takes for your project to be completed. Having a dedicated project manager assigned to work with you on your project will streamline the process and improve the quality and consistency of your technical translations over the long run.

Without the proper standards and controls in place, however, quality can suffer, resulting in time wasted and a need for retranslation of the document.

A Quick Turnaround Time for Your Technical Translation May Cost You in the Long Run

A quality technical translation takes time to complete. This is especially true if the project contains industry-specific terms where subject matter expertise will be required. In these cases, expecting a condensed turnaround time is unrealistic. Although you may find translation firms who’ll commit to rushed timelines, this almost always guarantees that corners are being cut, with the potential result of an inaccurately translated technical document.

Whether this translation company is using machine translation or a team of translators, trying to rush through work may ultimately lengthen the amount of time it takes to ultimately complete the project. Beyond having to spend more time and money on retranslation efforts, the consequences of aiming for a hasty turnaround for your technical translation can be dire.

Not only will your brand image be at stake, but mistranslation in technical documents can lead to serious legal repercussions, as end users may not fully understand what they’re reading.

A Short Turnaround Time for Technical Translation Doesn’t Guarantee Full Service and Convenience

Companies who seek an insufficient turnaround time for their technical translation are also often attracted by a low price tag. But this combination certainly doesn’t guarantee you’ll be provided the services required for an error-free outcome. Did the low quote and short turnaround time include document formatting in addition to the translation?

While your original file may be done in InDesign, your low-cost translation company may return it back in MS Word. If this occurs, how will you get the translation back into InDesign? How long will it take, and who will guarantee it’ll be error-free? Your low-cost translation vendor may also use multiple translators in different time zones, making it more difficult to manage your technical translation effectively, particularly for a critical deadline.

The last thing you want is a situation where decisions need to be made at an odd hour, such as at 3 a.m. in your time zone, to accommodate a translation services company located on the other side of the world.

Hiring Internally to Save Time Can Result in Glaring Inaccuracies in Your Technical Translation

Perhaps you’d like to cut time in your translation project by using an in-house employee who speaks the language needing technical translation. It only seems logical: Your company needs to translate a technical document into Spanish, so why not use a Spanish-speaking employee of your company to do the translating?

This presents two major problems. First, because Spanish is spoken differently depending on the country and even region, words that mean one thing in one country can mean something entirely different in another. This inaccuracy can cause confusion for your intended audience.

Second, you won’t be able to control the timeline for getting this project turned around. You must keep in mind this individual already has a full-time job and other responsibilities—which may mean a delay in your translation project.

If your document is a 400-page manual, for example, turnaround by your in-house resource may take months, which means you may not get it back in time for training or product installation. Worse, the document may come back full of inaccuracies and/or omissions, as the employee may not have subject matter expertise and not fully understand the terminology.

To ensure the highest level of accuracy in your technical translation, it’s always better to hire a translation services company that staffs a full-time dedicated, professional team on your project that’ll guarantee the highest level of quality and realistic turnaround times.


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.