Technical translation

The difficulty of translating technical manuals for industry

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technical manual translation

Do you need to translate technical manuals, documents or user guides? We know that dealing with translations that require knowledge of specific terminology — especially for companies in the industrial sector — can be an added concern to the already complicated task of document management in just one language. 

In the industrial world, technical manuals are indispensable for precise instructions on machinery and equipment. As companies expand globally, the need arises to translate these documents so that users in other countries can also understand the instructions.

We know it can be a challenging task, so in this article we will reveal the key factors to consider when translating technical manuals.

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The challenges of translating technical manuals: a task requiring accuracy and skill 

Imagine this: you are reading a manual and suddenly you come across words like “subassembly," "heat resistance" or "surface density." For those who are not familiar with these terms, it can be overwhelming. Translating these technical terms specific to each industry sector requires skill, precision and knowledge of the particular field. 

But here’s the most important thing: the correct translation of these terms is essential for end users to understand and follow the instructions correctly. We want to avoid risks and misuse of our products.

Technical manuals are often packed with complex and detailed information. Every diagram, every step and every specification matters. For this reason, accurate and rigorous translation becomes our best ally.

Imagine the dangers posed by an incorrect translation of an aircraft engine manual. This could lead to misinterpretations that could jeopardize the safe and efficient use of the equipment. And that is definitely something we want to avoid at all costs.

Factors to consider when translating technical manuals

When it comes to translating technical manuals, there are several key factors to keep in mind: 

  • Accuracy and veracity: it is essential to convey technical information clearly and unambiguously while ensuring that technical terms are translated correctly.
  • Cultural adaptation: it is important to adapt the translation to the linguistic norms and conventions of the target audience, taking into account regional terminology.
  • Consistent terminology: technical terminology must be kept consistent, not only within the same manual, but also between the different translated components. It is essential to use the same terms and conventions to avoid confusion or misinterpretation.
  • Structure and format: headings, numbered lists, indexes, cross-references, tables and graphics should retain their structure, but adapted as necessary so that everything works the same in the target language.
  • Proofreading and quality control: terminological and technical accuracy and linguistic and idiomatic correctness must be checked before delivering the final manual.
  • Regulatory compliance: in some cases, the content of technical manuals must comply with country-specific regulations and standards. It is crucial that the translator is familiar with these requirements and applies them correctly in the translation.

Considering these factors will help you achieve successful technical manual translation, ensuring that the information is understandable and usable for end users.

But that’s not all: there’s one key factor you shouldn’t overlook:

The importance of having specialist translators

Working with a partner specialized in technical translation is essential in the industrial sector to ensure accuracy when translating technical manuals.

At iDISC, a professional translation agency with over 30 years of experience, we fully understand the challenges involved in translating technical documents. Our team of specialist translators is familiar with the requirements of the industrial sector and knows how to handle the specific terminology of each area.

We know that translation errors in manuals, datasheets or user guides can have serious consequences. That is why we follow certified quality processes to avoid or correct such errors, guiding our clients through the internationalization process and ensuring that their message reaches new markets accurately and effectively.

Successfully impacting all markets

We have a team of more than 2,000 native translators specialized in different industry sectors and with the necessary experience to provide you with impeccable results. If you are looking for a professional translation agency to guide you through the process of translating technical manuals, do not hesitate to contact us.

We hope you found this article useful. You can find more interesting content on our blog.


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