Everything you need to know about technical translations

Everything you need to know about technical translations


To get right to the point: there is actually no such thing as a technical translation. That may sound confusing, especially since we do offer it as a service ourselves. What we actually mean is that a technical translation literally does exist (almost everyone recognizes a technical text when he or she sees one), but that it is a kind of collective term for all kinds of different texts. So before you start looking for someone to handle your technical translations, you will have to determine what kind of texts they actually are. After all, it really matters whether it is, for example, an ICT text or a workshop manual for car mechanics. Each type of (technical) text comes with its own jargon, sector-specific conventions and diverse target audiences.

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Our technical translators ensure that the writing style and terminology of your technical translation is absolutely right. With their years of experience, they know exactly which technical terms are currently in use. Request a free quote now.

Technical translation: a profession in its own right

Before offering a technical translation, it may be helpful to know a few things about how "technical translation" works. First, it requires translators with both language skills and an understanding of the technical side of their work. Indeed, they need to have a certain basic understanding of the jargon in their specialization and preferably some understanding of how technology works. Therefore, it goes without saying that not every translator can deliver a good technical translation; in fact, an ICT translator will have a lot of trouble with a text from the automotive industry. These are professionals who have really immersed themselves in their specialization.

Second, for this type of translation more than for many other types, good terminology lists and conventions are actually crucial. You can offer your text and trust that the translator can figure out from context, your own knowledge and some handy searching what the correct terminology and subject standards are (think also about use of units, writing style and references, for example), but it's better if you think along. By providing a list of preferences, you not only make things easier for a translator, but you can also prevent your technical translations from not meeting your specific needs and requirements.

The role of a technical translation agency

In short, a technical translation agency can help you with every step of your technical translation. Beforehand, a technical translation agency can advise on preparations, such as preparing a terminology list or file with useful information for the translator. Next, such an agency ensures that the text ends up with someone who specializes in the right kind of technical translation and also checks that this process goes well. Afterwards, a technical translation agency can also help with any questions or problems so that the translation ends up being exactly what you expect it to be. Don't get your hopes up: especially with difficult technical texts it happens that a translator chooses a different term or meaning than the client had in mind. Given the nature of the work, this is almost impossible to avoid completely, so how this is handled is actually more important than whether it happens.

5 tips for your technical translations

In summary, we have five tips that are sure to help with all your technical translations:

  • Provide as much useful information in advance as possible
  • Make clear agreements about your expectations
  • Afterwards, check that the translation complies
  • If not, simply engage in conversation so that problems can be resolved by mutual agreement

And finally, our fifth and perhaps most important tip: engage a technical translation agency that has experience with your kind of technical translation! Scriptware Translations is always ready to help you with this, as are our many translators, who together can handle all kinds of different specializations. Please feel free to contact us at for a quote or to ask any questions you may have

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