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Legal and technical translations Jutta Kreienbaum
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Particular Features of Technical Translation Services

Technical Translation Services and Their Pitfalls

In connection with Technical Translations some particular features are to be observed. They often present a new challenge even to the technical translator. Technical documentations, such as plant descriptions frequently contain special terms which either do not (yet) exist in the target language or have to be researched painstakingly or which cannot be transferred without problem to the target language. The  technical language also presents fundamental differences from the general informal language. There are too many examples to list them here! The technical translator often faces the problem to find an equivalent for a brand-new product or device, because no designation is yet established in the target language. In addition, the technical translator has to ensure consistent use of terminology in voluminous documentations, in order to avoid confusion and misinterpretations. Furthermore the technical translator has to make sure that the target group of the translation is adequately taken into account. If it is made up of end-users, it will be most important to work out the technical translation so that content and statement of the text are made clear and cannot be mistaken, without requiring additional support on the part of the user. If the target group consists of experts in the relevant line of industry/craft, however, it is vital that the technical translator considers the conventions of the technical language and the relevant standards. In addition, the structures of sentences and the style have to be uniform in order to avoid unnecessary confusion.

The Translation of Technical Documentations

The translation of technical documentations requires much more than a mere word-for-word rendition! Even my long-standing customers are aware that it is not sufficient to consult some standard dictionaries and to search in relevant dictionaries or online sources, in order to produce optimum results in the target language. The precise rendition of content and facts in the technical translation requires a high degree of qualification and skill, as well as comprehensive expert know-how that only technical translators with many years of experience in the relevant disciplines possess. It is none the less important that a technical translator can only meet these high quality requirements, if he/she is committed to the principle of lifelong learning, i.e. if he/she is not satisfied with the knowledge acquired during studies but constantly updates his/her knowledge by further education, for not only the language as such undergoes changes but new developments, processes, technologies and products are launched at intervals getting shorter and shorter, which insiders and technical documentation experts have to consider and tackle, if he/she wants to come up with excellent results also in the future.

The profound knowledge acquired in the course of my studies and the subsequent practical work as a translator is permanently updated and completed by regular attendance at further training courses offered by our professional association and other competent institutions. The professional competence particularly gained in the field of engineering and law enables experienced professionals like myself to transform even source material drawn up in great haste into texts well adapted to the target group.  

This is why the result is so much different from that found in the frequently used "quick and chep" translations made as a raw version without proofreading and revision that can have a lasting detrimental effect on the corporate image. Most regrettably, it is in most cases realised too late that a cheap product or service can turn out to be an expensive flop so that the initial savings by the decision to accept the lowest bid are often outweighed by costly rework. Despite all cost-reduction attempts, nobody should seriously expect to get premium products and services at discount prices. Even the Europäischen Kommission is aware of this, which is confirmed by the final quality rating certificate issued to me upon expiry of the co-operation based on a skeleton agreement. The co-operation with the European Commission has been continued ever since on the basis of a negotiated procedure.

Make a test to find out that the co-operation with a professional partner for your technical documentation can be of value and beneficial to your corporate image. Just ask me for a free-of-charge quotation, by transmitting your source text file to me by e-mail. It goes without saying that your data and your documents are treated as strictly confidential!
Contact: jk@uebersetzungen-kreienbaum.de               LLegal Notice
(c) Copyright 2024: Jutta Kreienbaum - All rights reserved.
The BDÜ is the German professional association of interpreters and translators
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