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Accuracy Aand Consistency Are Key To Technical Translations

By Expert Author: Phillip Alexander

Today, a crucial part of conducting business is international communication. Having spent a great deal of time, effort and indeed money on creating quality technical documentation it is imperative that it is conveyed to all of your international customers in a concise and accurate manner. Being able to speak and write in another language does not make a person capable of translating information; this can only be achieved through the use of a highly competent translation service.
Accuracy and consistency are the keys to technical translations. There are many software packages that offer translation services but few if any that can accommodate the terminology required to accurately and consistently convey complex technical information. The use of translators that are subject matter experts ensures that information is conveyed without misinterpretation, allowing the skill of the originating author to be conveyed to the user. Benefits are also gained if the translator's first language is that of the intended recipient.
Having the capability to accept documentation in a variety of formats (MS Office, PDF Web based format) provides versatility. Retaining the original format is also of great benefit to the customer saving time and money on reformatting and style correction. Attention to detail; the translation of material within headers and footers and the updating of Tables of Contents (TOC) is something that is often overlooked.
Something also to remember is the size of words within illustrations. Text boxes can generally be enlarged to accommodate translations but images that are created with imbedded text require forethought during creation. The Illustration should be created with the scope for longer translated words to be inserted thus retaining the size of the illustration on the page.
Meeting customers deadlines is an obvious requirement but one that can often cause concern. This can be overcome by prior planning, stringent project management and flexibility in resources.
Translation services come at a price; but as with everything you generally get what you pay for. There are free on-line applications that suggest they can translate into any language and indeed they can; I'm sure you have read many instructions within products purchased that have made you cringe or in some cases smile as they have obviously been poorly translated. But imagine this within a technical or medical document and the results do not bear thinking about.
Quality matters, and having a team that can provide accurate, fast and correctly formatted documents that have been through a robust and ISO accredited QA system is essential to the provision of quality translated technical material.

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