BlogGeneral ArticlesWhat’s it take to be a good technical translator?

What’s it take to be a good technical translator?

What’s it take to be a good technical translator?

Just because you have ten fingers, it doesn’t make you a concert pianist. Similarly, just because you speak a language it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll be a good technical translator.

These days, it’s relatively easy to find people offering translation services on the internet for as little as £5 per thousand words. Although not many people would trust the technical manual for their safety-critical high-tech piece of equipment to such a translator, knowing where to draw the line in terms of price and who to trust in terms of experience and skill can be tricky.

So how do you find out whether the person you’re looking at entrusting with your translations is properly qualified and experienced? And what kind of skills should they have?

What you might want to see:

Degree level qualifications:

  • indicates a critical thinker, able to do any necessary research and with a high level of either engineering or specialist technical translation education

Hands-on experience working with similar equipment:

  • we do have quite a few engineers on our books who have made the transition to translation, however this kind of experience is not always possible in every language combination

Track record of providing high quality translations in the field:

  • plenty of experience translating similar materials so aware of pitfalls and industry expectations

Mother tongue speaker:

  • writes well in their native language to produce a free-flowing technical document translation in an appropriate style for the end user

What MTT can offer you:

As a specialist technical translation service, run by project managers with engineering qualifications and experience, we’re ideally placed to assist with your technical translation requirements.

Most of the project we handle are for technical, engineering or manufacturing companies with the remainder being marketing materials for technical companies and legal documentation.

If you would like to talk direct to the person we’ll assign to do your translation work, this can usually be arranged. This gives you the opportunity to find out more about their experience and qualifications and why they’re a good match for your project. Ideally, for large scale and long term projects, it can make sense for us to visit your facilities to let the translator team take a look at the equipment and pose questions first hand.

If you’re looking for a team to handle the translation of technical documents such as user manuals, technical guides, datasheets, instructions or similar texts, make sure your supplier can tell you more about who will do the translation.

If you’d like to find out more about what MTT can offer you, get in touch now on 0844 856 1086 or email

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