The challenges of translating technical documents

Translating technical documents can be a difficult challenge for many organisations. When done correctly, they can help you to better communicate with your non-English speaking customers and provide a more personal service.


 A language barrier can often mean that important information can, quite literally, get lost in translation! This is why we make it our mission to reduce those barriers and ensure nothing gets lost along the way. 


Translation of technical documents can be particularly difficult as it requires an in-depth knowledge of the specific technical terms used along with an understanding of the context in which they are used. For these reasons, it is important to choose a translator who is experienced and knowledgeable in translating technical documents. 


Technical Terminology and Jargon


When translating technical documents, a major challenge and, probably the most prominent one, is accurately interpreting the meaning of specialised technical terms and jargon. Every area of expertise has its own set of terminology that can be difficult for those unfamiliar with it to understand. Many sectors that require technical document translation often heavily involve industry specific terminology that needs to be translated accurately to avoid misinterpretation that could have serious consequences. 


The healthcare sector, for example, is particularly based on industry specific terminology, and the accuracy of translation is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of the individuals in question. Interpreters are vital assets for medical appointments, social services visits, ambulance call-outs and more. Inaccurate translations within the healthcare sector can result in missed appointments, misdiagnosis, ineffective treatment and even life threatening consequences. In these cases, it is essential to take extra care to ensure that the translator is experienced in the specific terminology being used and can accurately interpret its meaning in another language. 


Did you know that DA Languages have helped countless NHS trusts across the UK communicate effectively with their non-English speaking patients? Read more about our healthcare translation services here.


Another that requires accurate translation of technical information is the financial sector. Translating technical documents, especially those relating to finance, requires a thorough understanding of the technical jargon used to ensure a correct translation. Without that specific understanding, vital information can be misinterpreted or missed out. The translator should also be aware of any regional differences that may apply when it comes to financial matters. 


Our linguists can provide high quality translations and interpretations for a number of service providers within the financial sector such as mortgage lenders, insurance companies and banking. Find out more here.


Cultural and linguistic differences


Terminology and jargon aside, when it comes to translating technical documents, context is key. As we all know, one language does not fit all in terms of cultural and linguistic differences. Many of the same words and phrases used tend to have a variety of different meanings depending on cultural differences and the context in which they are used in. Different countries or cultures have different ways of interpreting information, which means that what is easily understood in one place may not be in another.


Even when a translator has expertise in a field, they must also be familiar with the cultural implications of certain words and expressions to ensure that their translations are accurate and appropriate. One wrong word or phrase could mean an entirely different meaning in the context of technical documents, so a translator must be aware of this when translating. Without an understanding of the context and usage of the words and phrases in the document, a translation may not be as accurate as it should be.


At DA Languages, we provide extra training and support to all of our translators to ensure that the final translation meets all of the needs required. We have specialist translators in all fields, from financial to educational, that offer a seamless translation service. 


Understanding the target audience


Translating technical documents can be a difficult task, especially when you need to take into account the needs of the target audience. To translate accurately, translators need to have an understanding of the audience the translation is intended for,  as well as the terminology used. 


The nature of technical translations makes no room for error, meaning it is essential that translators interpret the documents properly so that their target audience can understand the message clearly and correctly. Additionally, it is helpful to consider the background and education level of the target audience when translating technical documents. If the document is intended for someone with a specific type of expertise, then it might be necessary to use more technical language than would be used for a general audience. On the other hand, if the target audience has no prior knowledge of the subject area, then the translator should take extra care to explain any concepts that may be unfamiliar to them. 


Understanding the target audience is key to successfully translating technical documents. By taking into account the culture, language, education level, and background of the target audience, translators can ensure that their translations are accurate and easy to understand. We work closely with linguists that have a deep understanding of the language and phrasing used in all fields and can successfully specify their target audience without a struggle. 


Helping you with technical document translation


No matter which field your business operates in or how technical your documents are, DA Languages can provide you with an accurate and precise translation. With a team of qualified translators and interpreters, along with industry-leading translation technology, we guarantee seamless translation for all of our technical documents every single time! Need our help? Contact us today.

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