Our Professional Technical Manual Translation Services
If you’re looking to translate a technical manual you’ll want a quick quote for a comprehensive, professional translation service.
You may have a technical manual you need to translate to English, or perhaps you have an English manual and drawings that need to accompany a piece of machinery abroad, to be translated into German, Italian or Dutch for example.
Whatever your requirements, MTT have spent over 30 years helping companies across the world with technical, scientific and engineering translation services.
As a technical translation company, we’re well placed to offer advice on the best ways to approach technical document translation and its particular challenges.
Points to consider when translating a technical manual
Technical understanding – who does the translation:
Our native-speaker linguists are selected based on their language pair, their experience and qualifications relevant to the specific technical document for translation. They will only translate into their mother tongue and we ensure that we only use professionally qualified linguists who meet the standards required by our internal approvals process.
Any good technical translation company will have a register of linguists with a variety of specialisms – our advantage as a specialist provider of technical document translation services is in really knowing the particular technical strengths of these linguists. We understand what each is good at when it comes to technical instructions, manuals, leaflets or datasheets.
Many of our technical translators have had hands-on experience on the shop floor, working with a wide range of equipment and tooling or have spent many years working exclusively with technical documentation. They understand what project engineers are looking for, where any problems might arise and how to work effectively to produce an accurate, professionally translated manual.
Good technical translators need to take into account the purpose of the document: who will read it, what level of education do they have, what will your manual, information leaflet or instructions be used for.
A clear understanding of the reason behind the request for translation of your documents will help our linguists provide the best possible translation. Do you need a technical manual in German to accompany a machine you have sold, is your Italian to English translation needed just for internal use or perhaps you need a manual translated into French to help troubleshoot a problem with a French-speaking engineer? Whatever your situation, a little background information will help us to provide the best service possible.
If there is a piece of software associated with the equipment, it may make sense to translate the software too, then screenshots can be localised and any command instructions in the manual can be translated consistently with what will appear on the display. Talk to us about the best way to achieve this solution if you have software strings to consider.
If you are translating your technical manual from English into a different language, check you know exactly what variant you need. For example, you might think you need to translate English to Spanish, but Spanish is spoken in many countries, each with their own particular vocabulary, style and expressions. So, do you need translation into Mexican Spanish, Spanish for Argentina or Chile, or European Spanish perhaps?
Style and clarity:
A good professional translator will understand how to phrase a technical manual translation so that it reads clearly and prevents ambiguity, especially where potentially hazardous operations are involved. Any areas of doubt will be highlighted and clarification sought to prevent misunderstandings. Clients often find their texts benefit from the close examination needed during the translation process, to help find typos and inconsistencies they had missed.
We are able to handle most document formats, including MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel and InDesign. We can usually convert a pdf manual so we can edit it and we also have strategies to handle diagrams, drawings, software strings and flowcharts. Over the years we have worked with a wide variety of files and we still cater for some older formats such as Quark.
Working with modern CAT tools we are also able to handle technical documents in html format and other types of xml.
Document layout and localisation:
Bear in mind that the layout of a manual or technical instruction leaflet may need to be adjusted to take into account the additional length of the translated text, which in some cases can be as much as 20% longer. Text boxes may also need to be resized to ensure the translated text displays properly.
Numbers in tables will also need to be localised, with imperial measurements and prices converted to suit the target audience.
If you are at the stage of writing a technical document with translation in mind, it’s worth leaving blank spaces which the longer, translated text can flow into so that pagination is not affected.
Any diagrams with text labels may also be more easily handled if key numbers are used. This allows the translation to be easily inserted into the key table underneath, rather than the original image having to be altered or text boxes having to be inserted over the top of the original image label.
At MTT we’re proud of our reputation as a specialist technical translation agency – we’ve over 30 years’ experience in handling the translation of technical manuals and documentation for a wide range of clients both in the UK and abroad.
Our project managers have engineering and language qualifications and our client list includes some of the best known names in the engineering and technical world. Take a look at our Testimonials to find out who trusts us with their technical translations.
If you have a technical manual, datasheet or instruction leaflet for translation, get in touch now on email@example.com and we’d be pleased to offer our advice on how to get the ball rolling. If you’d like a chat to discuss any aspect of our technical manual translation services, call us now on 0844 856 1086 and we’ll see how we can help.