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Technical Translation

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Technical Translation
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Technical Translation

A technical or scientific text involves the use of specific terminology, thus focusing on denotation rather than connotation. Technical and scientific terminology is not influenced by phenomena related to the natural development of languages but changes only according to progress and new technologies, i.e. it is updated by appropriate regulatory bodies. Technical and scientific translation errors can cause costly mistakes and unnecessary, avoidable downtime. In the medical industry, inaccurate translations can even put people’s lives in danger.

Technical translation is a type of specialized translation involving the translation of documents produced by technical writers (owner’s manuals, user guides, etc.), or more specifically, texts which relate to technological subject areas or texts which deal with the practical application of scientific and technological information. While the presence of specialized terminology is a feature of technical texts, specialized terminology alone is not sufficient for classifying a text as “technical” since numerous disciplines and subjects which are not “technical” possess what can be regarded as specialized terminology. Technical translation covers the translation of many kinds of specialized texts and requires a high level of subject knowledge and mastery of the relevant terminology and writing conventions.

Translation as a whole is a balance of art and science influenced by both theory and practice. Having knowledge of both the linguistic features as well as the aesthetic features of translation applies directly to the field of technical translation.

Which necessity lies in translating technical documents
An efficient technical translation helps to increase efficiency across the firm and avoid costly mistakes, guarantee that the company’s message is being correctly interpreted

Traditionally translation deals which such documents and items as:

  • Websites
  • Patents
  • Signage
  • Podcasts
  • Software
  • Scientific Research
  • Manuals
  • Medical

The role of the technical translator is to not only be a transmitter of information but also to be a constructor of procedural discourse and knowledge through meaning, particularly because often, the technical translator may also take on the role of the technical writer. The importance of translator’s role is that technical translators influence meaning, making whether they are doing technical translation in one language or in multiple languages. Technical translation requires a solid knowledge base of technological skills, particularly if the translator chooses to utilize computer-assisted translation (CAT) or machine translation (MT).

Scientific translation is the translation of scientific texts, thus a special knowledge will be required. These texts require a firm mastery of both the source and target languages, as well as an informed person that understands the subjects properly.
Scientific translations consist of two essential stages:
• Reading and comprehension of the text. This is only possible if the translator knows and understands the meaning of the many technicalities that are found in a scientific text.
• Drafting the scientific translation. For this second stage, translators must have the ability to write correctly, they must be well versed in the scientific technicalities of the destination language, and they must have a great command of the language—it is essential that they are native or bilingual speakers.

Areas of specialization:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology & Environment
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Physics
  • Optics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Psychology
  • Veterinary science

Scientific texts are usually written for experts around the world and contain important study findings, investigations and research results. They are written using scientific language and often contain a multitude of field-specific terms. Universities, colleges, and research institutions rely heavily on professional translators, who translate scientific texts accurately. Scientific translators have a great responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of their texts, as scientific works often continue to be read for many years after publication, as well as excerpted, quoted and used in further work by other researchers and research facilities or institutes in other countries.

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