Is Technical Translation Like Any Other Kind of Translation?

The answer is yes, it is, in all respects; but technical translation requires greater precision.

The text includes professional terms which have to be accurately translated from the source language into the target language. However, even if the translator accurately translates the terms themselves, he must also understand the general message being conveyed beyond the words themselves and get the whole message across in the target language.

Consequently, the technical translator must be proficient in several skills:

  1. He must be proficient in both languages.
  2. He must be familiar with technical terms, including complicated engineering concepts. When necessary, he must go to an authoritative website, to search for the exact Hebrew translation of a specific professional term. For Hebrew, an example of such a site would be the The Academy of the Hebrew Language.
  3. He must understand the aim and essence of the message and incorporate it into the translation, as well as accurately identify the target audience and translate the text to suit it. For example, a technical text targeted at engineers will be different from a technical text describing instructions for how to operate a household appliance (which is targeted to the layman).
  4. The translator should produce a clear and readable text, with correct professional terms, including explanations accompanying illustrations and photographs in the source language.

Who can benefit from technical translation of articles?

  • Companies advertising an article about a new product with the source text in English. The original article, for instance, may be written in several styles of English, with the first part in a marketing style and the second part in a more technical style with operational instructions.
  • A company distributing a product with a booklet of operational instructions to be translated from English into Hebrew. The translator must ensure that the terms he translates from English, like weights and distance, are actually used by the target audience (e.g.: Israel).

In conclusion, here are a few tips before you choose a translator for a technical translation:

  • Request sample translations from several translators so that you can choose the translator best suited for you.
  • Show a sample of the translation to another person and ask them to tell you the meaning of the text, so that you can verify whether the translator really succeeded in conveying the general message.

In conclusion, technical translation requires skills and experience aimed at getting the message across precisely so that the reader will understand the text easily and quickly.

Good luck!