BlogBosses BlogHow do I get a technical drawing or diagram translated?

How do I get a technical drawing or diagram translated?

How do I get a technical drawing or diagram translated?

Technical drawings or diagrams often form part of a technical manual and can occasionally be problematic to translate.

You may only have a pdf of the original drawing or even just a hardcopy in some cases. The quality may not be great – some parts may be illegible or so small they are difficult to make out.

So how can a translation agency help provide a good quality technical drawing translation?

First of all we need to consider the file format we have and whether we can work with it.

  1. You have a CAD software file

Translators generally don’t have access to CAD software, however your program can often export the terms from the diagram so we can translate them, before you reinsert the translation back into the drawing. This solution is ideal as it captures everything to translate and presents the text in an easy to handle format for our linguists.

For certain projects we are also able to work with suppliers who have CAD software to provide a fully formatted translation service.

  1. You have a pdf

If you just have a pdf of the technical drawing, we can convert it to Word and insert text boxes or key numbers over the text for translation, providing you with a fully translated or keyed document to use.

  1. You have a hardcopy

Don’t despair – we can scan the hardcopy to create a digital file which can then be processed as per point 2.


Once we have an editable document, we need to consider who will actually do the translation. This is the key part of the process to get right.

The linguists in our technical translation teams have many years’ experience in handling these kinds of documents. They will understand what many of the acronyms and abbreviations on technical drawings mean and how the diagrams should be interpreted.  Familiarity with technical drawing documents means that you’ll receive a translation which makes sense from an engineering point of view as well as linguistically.

Our in-house project management team also have engineering experience so will be able to help with queries and a final check of the translated documents. Formatting will be checked to ensure that everything displays correctly and is clear to read.

We’ve over 30 years’ experience in handling technical translations; get in touch with MTT now to see how we can help you. Email or call 0844 856 1086 to speak to one of our friendly team.



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