This type of translation requires the translator to have strong techincal expertise and a precise understanding of the meaning of the text. Very often, instructions, specifications and other technical documents are badly translated, and are frequently the output of an automated translation program. They do not preserve the exact meaning of the words used in the original text. These translations, most notably user manuals for domestic appliances, are often full of spelling and grammatical errors. Even the manufacturers of expensive devices often sell them with barely legible instructions. This is unacceptable, because it is a blow to the manufacturer's reputation and causes the purchasers to use the products incorrectly.
Our translators have a rich experience of technical translations, notably:
- translating operating instructions, diagrams, manuals for domestic appliances and equipment;
- translation of technical specifications and descriptions;
- translation of certificates and technical descriptions;
- translation of technical literature and articles;
- translation of patents, technical drawings and descriptions, and patent filings;
- translation in various technical fields: mechanical engineering, appliances, computing and electronics, telecommunication, automotive engineering, and construction.
Our technical translators use a rich and constantly improving term base, full of examples of translations in various fields. This helps us to maintain and constantly improve the quality of our technical translations.
Being a technical translator is a specialist profession that requires extensive knowledge of translation in the relevant sector, a unique mindset and a deep understanding of techincal processes.
Examples of technical translation:
A. Translation in the automotive sector
Automobile construction is one of the fastest-developing sectors in Russia, and the proliferation of parnerships between Russian producers and foreigners has caused a significant demand for high quality translations in the industry. Joint ventures, plant constructions, delivery of spare parts, modernization of production - all these trends require professional translations, which take into account the specifics of the sector and the ongoing innovations that characterize it. For several years now, Idea Translate has been part of these partnerships between Russian and foreign automotive companies.
Our automotive translators frequently see another type of request too. These come from private individuals, who need translations of the user guide that came with their imported vehicle. This shows how poorly prepared the automotive importers are, to put these vehicles on the market with such poor documentation.
B. Translation of software
Translation and localization of software is one of our agency's specialities. One of the main challenges when translating computer programs is not so much translating the meaning of the concepts, but adapting them to how the concepts are used and understood in each country. Most software is based more on visual communication than verbal. This greatly increases the responsibility and demands placed upon the translator. A deep understanding of the behavior of software users in the target market is core to software translation. We have expertise in examining the competing software products in the market, as these provide the context and local terminology, and set the user expectation for how these will be used in the new product. This background knowledge is essential when translating software; without it, the resulting product is low quality and incomprehensible for users.
It's still rare for software to be translated and adapted using a high quality of local context. This means the customers or potential users have to waste a lot of time to get comfortable with the program, and the manufacturer wastes a lot of resources on after sales service for these confused customers. Good quality software translation and adaptation allows the users to perform basic tasks easily and quickly figure out how to use the software properly.
Large international companies have the same problem with corporate software. The creation of a single information resource for all employees, regardless of country, requires a high-quality translation of the software into each language, with careful consideration of the needs of the users in each geography.
Idea Translate has solid experience in translating multilingual programs on a large scale.
A good example of strange translations in this area is the ATM and payment terminal interfaces which disrupt the user experience by displaying "click" instead of "accept", "cancel" instead of "edit" etc.
C. Translation of manuals for appliances
People reading manuals are regularly confronted with messy translations of the user-guides for a robot, a blender or a coffee machine.
In the 1990's, appliances imported into Russia were never sold with instructions in Russian. Even since then, the instructions that have been provided haven't made things any easier for customers. Translation requests for unintelligible instructions is one of our most popular requests from private individuals.
It is surprising that even the biggest manufacturers with the best known brands allow their products to be sold with mistranslated instructions. Customers get disappointed, and they may even damage the equipment or components by trying to follow instructions that don't make any sense.
A typical example is a coffee machine with instructions on how to choose the "flavor", where the correct translation would be "strength". The confused customer selects the wrong strenth, then blames the coffee machine for making bad coffee. Similarly, prompting the users for how "long" the coffee should be is a mystifying translation for the choice between an espresso and an Americano. As the experts say, "reading the user guide in a foreign language is better than relying on the exporter's approximate translation".
IdeaTranslate has a dedicated team handling the translation of manuals and technical instructions. This guarantees both user satisfaction and the manufacturers' reputations.