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Why are technical translations difficult?

Translator or translation agency?
12 October 2021
Business Ghosting
14 October 2021

One of the biggest challenges in technical translations is trying to make instructions and professional texts as easy to understand in the target language as they are in the original. The reason why instructions are often said to be user-friendly is that they are translated in a way that is customized for the reader. The vocabulary must be simple and precise.

Furthermore, the translator must understand the technical text and then translate it without changing the meaning. Necessary for this is knowledge of the subject. There is no other possibility. The basis is to understand how a tool, machine, etc. works. Especially when the terminology is not yet defined and the term has to be translated descriptively.

It is no less important to understand the impact of the development of technology and the cultural factor. As rapidly as technology develops, so rapidly does research and terminology. This has led to a situation where translators who do not work with a particular client regularly and are not up to date with the innovations in the products they offer usually cannot keep up with the changes in terminology. Those factors make technical translation three times more difficult. An example of this is the rapidly growing robotics industry, among others.

So, to be a good technical translator, you need to have a high level of knowledge in both language skills and scientific knowledge and keep up with changes and technological progress.

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