ClickHelp Software Documentation Glossary

What Is Technical Translation?

Technical translation is a specific type of translation connected with scientific and technical materials. Technical translation demands possession of a specific vocabulary, and the translator should be prepared by having an acquaintance with the subject.

There are many cases when the translator has not got the experience of working with the sphere needed, so they are accompanied by special dictionaries or consultants, who help them with the specific vocabulary.

The technical translation may also be supported by translation management systems (translation management software) that helps to structure and localize the completed text.

Purpose of Technical Translation

As it was said in the definition, technical translation is aimed at the text of a particular scientific or technical subject, so its main purpose is to translate and localize such texts for a particular area or market.

There is hardly any business, especially connected with technology, that doesn’t have technical translators or other people responsible for technical translation in their staff.

Key Areas of Technical Translations

Except for businesses that provide technology of any kind and services connected, technical translations have many other spheres of usage.

First of all, education. Schools and especially universities demand implementation of such translation to provide information for international students or print books and other material for particular subjects. The widest usage of that occurs in the linguistic universities or technical universities where the studying can’t be properly performed without localization.

One more sphere is connected with the business but from the user's point of view. Technical translation is used for creating instructions and tutorials that help the end-user to master the product, so proper interpretation and localization are vital.

Types of Technical Translations

Translation of the patents. A type that requires a certain level of artistry and creativity is used with writing, translating, and localizing the texts for new applications by not narrowing or specifying the description.

Translation of user manuals. This type requires specific knowledge and skills to translate and localize the material properly. Manuals are to be used by the people who have not faced the product yet, so everything should be clear.

Software strings. Very important sphere of technical translation as it works with a user interface. It is based on the prediction of people’s expectations on the terminology and the proper localization of all the parts of the interface.

Translation of scientific articles. It is probably the most complicated type of technical translation, as it works with a great amount of scientific terminology and demands a high level of accuracy. It can’t be performed without consulting with special dictionaries or people engaged in the sphere.

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