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The difficulties that come with translating technical manuals

Technical manuals are very important when purchasing technological tools and equipment, but there are lots of other types of manual that also fall under the umbrella of ‘technical manuals,’ such as software manuals, new hire guidelines and instructions on how to perform specific tasks.

Translating manuals is one of the many branches of professional translation and comes with a unique set of difficulties. But what are they and why is it important to manage them correctly?

Translating technical manuals professionally and using the correct terminology

Technical translations

Using correct terminology in technical translations is of vital importance. Translated manuals rely on vocabulary that corresponds perfectly with the original text in order to remain as effective as the original document. Fortunately, when it comes to the technical and scientific fields, terms in the target language tend to correspond to specific terms in the source language, thereby reducing the risk of confusion.

That being said, it’s worth mentioning that if such an error were to occur, it would be extremely damaging because it could lead to incorrect information being supplied to a large number of people, who rely on technical manuals as reliable sources of information.

In order to assist professionals in with technical translations, we use software to create terminology databases (glossaries) that ensure translated terms remain consistent throughout very long texts translated by a single translator, or texts entrusted to several professionals working simultaneously on different sections in order to streamline delivery times.

The importance of a quality technical manual translation

Technical manuals essentially act as business cards for products. An instruction manual that is translated correctly and fluently will improve the perception of a company and its products abroad, since customers will feel they have received careful instructions on how to use software, equipment or technology, and will associate the manufacturer or brand with a key attribute: reliability.

If the majority of customers are able to use a company’s products without encountering difficulties thanks to well-structured technical document translations, that same company will most likely improve its standing on the international market.

It’s also been shown that customers are more likely to purchase products from websites that provide technical specs, product descriptions and terms of sale in their own language. Buyers will certainly feel more encouraged to make a purchase knowing that they can count on clear technical manuals that explain how the product actually works in the language they speak every day.

Professional technical translation services are therefore an important investment for companies and manufacturers looking to provide customers with high-quality manuals.

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