BlogBosses BlogHow do I get a technical document translated – where should I start?

How do I get a technical document translated – where should I start?

How do I get a technical document translated – where should I start?

Technical translations need to be clearly understood and they must be accurate. The potential for accidents, injury or damage if technical documents are not translated correctly is enormous.

Knowing what’s important when you come to get a quotation for a technical document translation can help you make the best choice from a range of potential suppliers.

So, what do you need to do first?

1 – If possible, ensure you have the latest version of the document you want to be translated – changing things at the last minute or half way through a project can be confusing, time consuming and lead to errors. It’s much better to have the final, proofread version which you know will be exactly what you need in another language.

Of course, we do have to update projects occasionally as documents get updated during translation, in response to translator queries or if your situation changes. If this can be avoided though it’s much easier all round.

2 – Ensure the document is in an editable format if possible. A Word document is ideal, although other formats can also be edited. If your manual needs typesetting a pdf and an InDesign idml file will be needed, for example. If all you have is a pdf, we can still help, although we will have to convert the document and there is a risk we may lose some formatting along the way.

3 – Make sure you know what language you need – if you’re translating into English do you need US or British English. For translating into Spanish is it for Europe, Mexico or Argentina for instance.

4 – Let us have a copy of your document by email and tell us when and what you need it for (meeting, publication etc). If there’s a deadline we need to meet, we need to know what it is!

Knowing how you intend to use the document will help us get the correct style and also arrange proofreading if needed.

5 – Let us have some feedback on our quotation – if we’re not the cheapest let us know and we’ll see if we can be flexible – it’s not always possible but we may be able to help. If we’re not the quickest let us know and we’ll give you an honest answer on when the translation can realistically be done for, while ensuring quality and accuracy. Bear in mind that a professional translator normally completes about 2000 words a day and may be booked up for a few days before they can slot your project in.

6 – If you have evaluated your selection of quotes and decide you would like to work with us, please confirm your details on our account form and sign our confirmation. This ensures we have all the correct details for reaching you if we have a query, ensuring your data is correctly handled under GDPR and for providing you with a correct invoice after the work is complete.

7 – Let us know if you have any background materials or terminology which has been approved. For a very large project, we like to bring the client and the translator together to improve the end product, hosting days where our technical translators can be trained on equipment to get a full understanding before embarking on the translation of a series of manuals for example.

8 – During the translation process, be responsive to any queries from translators, particularly if the technical document is being translated into several languages. We will pass the query and your responses on to all translators to ensure everyone has the correct version. Unlike many agencies, we’re not afraid of the putting the client in touch with the translator to clarify any issues. In fact it is not uncommon for translators to point out errors in the original technical documentation!

MTT (UK) Ltd have specialised in technical translations over the last 35 years, building a team of tried and tested professionals with a wide range of technical translation skills in all the commercial languages used across the world.

Areas we have worked in over the last 6 months include:

• Automotive workshop manuals

• Technical recall documentation

• ECU programming manuals

• Chemical safety data sheets

• Storage tanks

• Technical press releases for automotive parts suppliers

• Technical translations of software for controlling machinery

• Tooling technical manuals

• Websites for industrial lighting  equipment

• Exhibition materials for nanotechnology

• Welding research papers

So, if you need a technical manual or other technical document translating, get in touch with us on 0844 856 1086 or email now. We’d be delighted to help.

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