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How Can Translation Boost Your Business

by ClickHelp — professional help authoring tool

International business means communicating in a multilingual environment. It implies developing documentation in more than one language. Such documents are contracts, everyday correspondence, and technical documentation, such as design and detailed design docs, specifications, instructions, manuals, datasheets, drawings, etc. This is especially relevant for companies doing business in the field of EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction). If you have partners abroad, these documents have to be translated so that customers, contractors, and subcontractors can understand each other. This means additional expenses on technical translation, which should be included in the company budget.

What Is Technical Translation?

Technical translation is a field of translation often opposed to the translation of fiction or literary works (novels, short stories, plays, poems, etc.). It deals with scientific and technical materials. Technical translation is usually confined to a narrow field of activity with a very specific vocabulary. For instance, translating an instruction on how to install cables on a rack or a cable tray is a bright example of technical translation. This work requires from the translator not only the knowledge of a foreign language but the knowledge of the products (cables, trays, racks) and the basics of electrical engineering.

Some technical texts have to be not only translated but localized. Localization is, in a way, the result of the global expansion of business and is usually required when the ‘source’ and ‘target’ languages are so different that sometimes certain things become ‘incompatible’ in the process of translation. This concerns:

  • translating cultural phenomena — certain notions and concepts that exist in one language and don’t exist in the other
  • or modifying the visual look of the documents due to the cardinal differences in the letter characters used — hieroglyphs are much more compact than any Indo-European letter characters.

How Can Translation Develop Your Business?

Translation can give your business many advantages. Some of them are listed below.

  • Translation will help you find new partners and communicate with them efficiently. This means business growth, signing new contracts, and getting more profit.
  • Finding new employees abroad is another thing that can be achieved. Translation will allow you to take part in international headhunting. Your HR activity will have no limits and no geographical borders with professional translation. You will be able to hire the people you need regardless of their language.
  • Another advantage is expanding your business geography. Your company will now be present on international tendering platforms and will have a chance to bid on the most important global projects. As a result, translation will help you develop your business, which will grow from a local or regional company to an international one.

To sum it up, efficient translation can be regarded as an important asset that can help you boost your competitiveness and gain an advantage over other companies working in the field thus opening new perspectives on the international market.

Translation Best Practices

The efficiency of your in-house translation practice depends on many factors. Most companies just hand over the documents to the translator without any recommendations about dealing with terminology, drawings, etc. However, to ensure technical translation best practices in your company, a set of simple rules should be followed.

  • When creating technical documents, technical writers should use simple and understandable language. Concise sentences are easy to translate and can quickly be grasped by the potential user. Besides, avoiding complex and ‘overloaded’ sentences can help eliminate vagueness and ambiguity, which is very important in technical language.
  • Create a glossary for your team of translators so that they can coordinate their work and save time. A glossary is a set of terms accepted by your company and your partners. If translators have a glossary of terms, they will not have to rack their brains and waste time deciding which term is right: a discharge pipe or a bleeder stack, for example. Just make sure that it is ‘bleeder stack’ in the glossary and inform the translators that using terminology from the glossary is obligatory.
  • Prepare for localization changes. Your drawings, visuals, the company design of your docs, and the general text format might require some changes. This is because drawings and visuals are language-specific, i.e., they were initially developed for a certain position and dimensions of the text, like captions, legends, title blocks, etc. The text is sure to be transformed after translation (become shorter or longer). As a result, you will have to redesign the visuals so that the translated text fits in properly.
  • Avoid using metaphors, idioms, and humor. They are hard to translate and can cause misunderstanding.
  • Provide translators with CAT (computer-aided translation) tools. These are software tools used to optimize the processes of translation and translation management. The main features of CAT tools include a special translation-friendly interface that allows representing texts in the form of segments and dividing the workspace into the source and target language areas. Another feature is TM (translation memory) which makes translating similar texts faster due to memorizing identical or similar segments and inserting them in case they are fully or partly repeated. TBs (termbases) work as glossaries helping the translator to use the right terminology. Other important translation management tools are assigning roles (linguist or project manager), cutting texts into fragments, distributing orders between the linguists, analyzing, and QA (quality assessment).

Translation of Technical Documentation in ClickHelp

ClickHelp now has a Translation Module which, in fact, is an integrated CAT tool. Whether there are in-house translators in your company or you have to outsource translation services, the Translation Module will be very helpful.

Most translation agencies keep their work non-transparent for the customer, handing over the translated text only when it is finished.

With the integrated ClickHelp Translation Module, you will be able to monitor the translation progress even in the case of outsourcing.

It will increase the contractor’s responsibility and help you eliminate the mistakes (e.g., terminology-related mistakes) that can be made. It means that you will be able to review the text at the early stages of translation. The users have assigned roles, such as Author, Translator, and Reviewer. The latter will see the translated text with a ‘Draft Translation’ status on the dashboard and will be able to make adjustments.

ClickHelp translation editor works as any CAT tool: it cuts the text into segments, divides the workspace into source and target areas, indicates translation progress, and has TM, TB, and QA features. The editor will be intuitively understandable and convenient for any translator who has worked with such software as Trados, Wordfast, SmartCat, Memsource, MemoQ, etc.

Conclusion

Technical translation is an integral part of modern business. It can become a problem for your company as it requires software, hardware, and new staff investments. However, if this problem is not solved, there is a risk that your company will be lagging behind your competitors in the international market. ClickHelp Translation Module provides an elegant solution for introducing best translation practices in your company’s work style.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

Originally published at https://clickhelp.com.

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ClickHelp - online documentation tool for technical writers and teams. Check it out: https://clickhelp.com/