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Ten Steps to Make Your Technical Translation Project a Success

TechWhirl WebsiteTechWhirl Website United StatesPosts: 396 admin
edited September 2013 via Wordpress in Technical Writing and Communications
imageTen Steps to Make Your Technical Translation Project a Success

Summer Rerun: With an increasing number of companies pursuing a presence for their products in other countries, your management team’s global strategy may involve the need to translate technical and support materials into other languages. This article describes ten effective steps technical writers, publishers, or communications managers can take to ensure that translation projects go smoothly and to everyone’s satisfaction. Guest post from Dorothee Racette, president of the American Translators Association.

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  • trixtrix Posts: 1
    via Wordpress
    The importance of a technical translation being accurate and efficient can indeed not be overstated. Especially in the ever faster moving world of globalized business, successful information and technology transfer within multinational businesses can make the difference between win or lose.
  • LiamLiam Posts: 1
    via Wordpress
    Hi Dorothee

    I've just found this post - really interesting. I don't think I've found a better article which really offers clear guidance on the procurement of technical translations. Whilst all of the points that you make are really important, it is critical to find the right translator with the specialization in technical writing. Each language and culture has different expectation of the register delivered in a technical piece of writing, and the translator must be aware of how to write a technical document in the style acceptable in their native language.
  • David GlenDavid Glen Posts: 1
    via Wordpress
    Dorothee, I'd like to congratulate you on a VERY well written and thought out article. Your 10 step explanation and overview of what can many times be highly complex projects is very clear and to the point.
  • Stephen MorseStephen Morse United StatesPosts: 9
    via Wordpress
    Lots of good tips here. On the authoring side, I would add that writing less will also pay dividends. Organizing your content into short, reusable topics will save a lot of time and money when something changes and needs to be retranslated.

    The article seems to be written for shops that only translate into a few languages. Large global enterprises cannot so easily dismiss the value of machine translation, which is far more advanced than what Google Translate can do for free. Translating content can cost as much as it did to create it in the first place. Automating the translation process with an end-to-end localization workflow - which of course includes an actual human reviewing and approving all output - can save 80-90% of these costs.

    More important, beginning to translate as soon as the content is approved helps ensure that all the languages you need are ready to go at the same time, dramatically improving time to market.

    If you're translating into more than ten languages, it might be time to bite the bullet and move to a structured content strategy for your tech docs. If you are at that point, check out this webinar: http://tinyurl.com/matxc7o - which also answers the question, why is it so hard to translate from English? Fascinating stuff.
  • Jason SmithJason Smith Posts: 1
    via Wordpress
    In this modern competitive world, where there is nearly no room for error and with the increase of globalization, industries are moving their business in some other countries, and moving to some other country means have to deal with different language, this is a point where top translation agencies, their services get significantly important to have a successful business in the recent world.
  • Excellent tips. Ins addition, please let the technical translators know in which country or countries the technical translation will be used. In other words, it is not sufficient to say that you need a "French translation"- please be more specific in terms of saying that you need a French translation for Canada, or a French translation for France. For more tips on multilingual technical translations check out http://www.languagealliance.com/technical-translation/
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