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Translating scientific and technical articles plays a critical role in sharing knowledge within and beyond the scientific community. It also facilitates access to groundbreaking research conducted in other parts of the world, promoting cross-border collaboration among researchers.
Like other types of specialised translation, translating scientific texts involves a unique set of skills that you must take into account if you want to produce effective translations.

The difficulties of translating scientific papers

Translating scientific articles might appear simple at first as they are technical and thus don’t seem to leave much room for interpretation. Scientific texts comprise precise data, technical terms, and simple, short and linear sentences.
However, for translations to be effective, translators need to possess specific scientific skills. This is the only way to guarantee that professionals know how to coherently and appropriately use extremely specialised language.

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In addition to technical concepts, translators often encounter difficulties related to tone of voice. In this respect, the latter must remain consistent with the subject matter.
One of the difficulties involved in scientific translation is ensuring that the target text is faithful to the source material while being clear and easy to read. For example, skipping the final proofreading step can result in a fragmented text comprising of short sentences that are placed side-by-side without clear, logical connections. That is why Eurotrad always pairs editing services with proofreading services.

Requirements for translating scientific papers

As mentioned, good quality technical translations require knowledge of the subject area. This makes it easier to navigate texts and avoid glaring errors that could compromise the translation’s credibility.
You also need precise, up-to-date glossaries that have ideally been approved by the client. By relying on a glossary, you can ensure consistency in long texts. This is because using the same exact translation for words that appear repeatedly throughout the text is guaranteed.

The stages of translating scientific papers

  • When approaching the translation of a scientific text, you need to read the text to be translated in its entirety before getting started with the translation. This makes it possible identify recurring terms and compile a glossary to assist translation;
  • in the second phase, the paper is translated, incorporating all the information gathered during the preliminary research phase. If applicable, specialised software may also be utilised during this process;
  • only at this point should the text be revised to eliminate misunderstandings, translation errors, and distorted concepts.

Trusted providers of scientific paper translations

Companies often employ online machine translators to perform scientific translations they need. However, it is important to remember that although machine translators are free and fast tools, that are rarely helpful in scientific sectors as they often commit syntactical and conceptual errors.
Suppose you decide to rely exclusively on these tools to translate your technical and scientific texts. In that case, we highly recommend arranging a text proofreading service.
For professional scientific paper translations, our advice is to rely on professional translators, ideally native speakers with knowledge in the scientific field. The professional translators who work with Eurotrad possess these skills.

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