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5 Essential Things That Technical Translators Need To Know

Posted by Ethan N. on August 23, 2023.

5 Essential Things That Technical Translators Need To Know

Technical translation, in its broadest sense, is the translation of texts related to scientific and technological subject areas so a proficient technical translator must be knowledgeable in both the source and destination languages, as well as the subject matter and technical vocabulary specific to that discipline.

In this article, let’s discover 5 crucial factors that every translator needs to understand before dealing with any technical translation services.

1. Definition of Technical Translation

The process of translating a technical text always calls for expertise in a scientific or technical field, fluency in the use of jargon and technical terms in both the source and target languages and the capacity to accurately translate concepts.


From healthcare and technology to reporting and finance, technical translation covers a broad spectrum of subjects and professions. The following are some of the most typical types that technical translators have to handle:

  • Patents: Accurate translation in accordance with the unique legal requirements in each nation is required for patents, which are often in the medical, pharmaceutical, mechanical, engineering, or technological domains and are intended to protect a company’s inventions in foreign markets.
  • User manuals: International customers can operate software, hardware, and consumer electronics items correctly thanks to translations of the instructions and other relevant paperwork.
  • Knowledge bases: Having FAQs, websites, blogs, and other information in a company’s knowledge base available in many languages aids in providing the greatest user experience to clients throughout the world.
  • Product descriptions: Businesses may broaden their market and sell their items internationally by translating product descriptions into many languages.
  • Health and safety papers: This work includes translating technical documents that are relevant to the laws governing health and safety in various nations, such as user manuals for medical equipment. Patients or users may suffer injury as a result of errors in the translation of these papers, such as omission, consistency, or inappropriate terminology.
  • Software strings: For a product to be successful in international markets, technical text strings used in software, online, and mobile apps, such as buttons, menus, labels, and other user interface components, must be translated.

The success of a product or service internationally depends on the accurate file that technical translators provide. More and more companies are expanding internationally in an effort to capture a larger market or enhance the customer experience by providing translated language versions of their goods.

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2. Importance of Subject Matter Expert

How do you make sure your technical translations are reliable and error-free given the variety of solutions accessible to translate your technical documents? Technical documentation is very specialized, thus it is essential that the technical translator should have in-depth knowledge of your sector.

This is so because subject matter specialists have years of experience dealing with content that is comparable to it and are well-versed in the specialized language used in the field that has to be translated.

A translator who lacks knowledge in the subject area may not be familiar with the jargon used in your sector and may produce an inaccurate technical translation. This might necessitate retranslation efforts that would cost you a lot of time and money, not to mention potential responsibility from users who misuse specialist equipment or gadgets and suffer injuries because they didn’t grasp the language.

Subject matter expertise can guarantee a prompt, precise, and professional translation. Because they are completely used to the kind of information they are translating, they don’t need to hesitate every few words in confusion.

3. Importance of Cultural Sensitivity

In technical translation, awareness of culture is essential since it makes sure that the translated information is relevant and intelligible for the target audience. Technical translators should take into account the cultural context and modify the translation as necessary.


Cultural sensitivity involves understanding the target culture’s norms, values, and linguistic nuances. It includes adapting measurements, date formats, currency, and idiomatic expressions to suit the target audience. Taking cultural considerations into account helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures that the translated content is relevant and relatable.

Technical translators should also be aware of any legal and regulatory requirements specific to the target market. Adhering to these guidelines ensures compliance and avoids any potential legal issues.

4. The Role of CAT Tools

Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools play a crucial role in technical translation. These tools assist translators in managing and translating large volumes of text efficiently. CAT tools have features like translation memory, terminology management, and alignment tools that aid in consistency, speed, and accuracy.

Translation memory allows translators to store and reuse previously translated segments, ensuring consistency and saving time. Terminology management helps maintain consistency in technical terminology throughout a translation project. Alignment tools help align source and target texts, which can be useful for future reference and updating translations.

Familiarity with CAT tools is essential for technical translators to maximize productivity, maintain consistency, and deliver high-quality translations. Some popular CAT tools include SDL Trados, memoQ, and Wordfast.

5. Continuous Learning With Technical Translator

Technical translation is a field that is constantly evolving with advancements in technology and industry-specific knowledge. Translators must stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their respective technical domains to provide accurate and relevant translations.


Continuous learning involves staying informed about the latest terminologies, industry standards, and technological advancements. It may involve attending industry conferences, participating in webinars, joining professional associations, and engaging in online forums and communities.

Technical translators can also benefit from collaborating with subject matter experts and engaging in ongoing professional development to enhance their skills. Continuous learning helps maintain the quality of translations and ensures that translators are equipped to handle new challenges and technologies in their field.


In short

Technical translators need to possess essential knowledge and skills to deliver accurate and effective translations. By mastering these above essential aspects, technical linguistics can provide high-quality translations that meet the requirements of the ever-changing technical landscape.

When searching for suitable solutions for your translation, you need to make sure that your technical translators possess the essential knowledge and skills to deliver accurate and effective translations. GTE Localize provides thorough technical translation services with a team of knowledgeable translators and technical specialists to help you stand out in international marketplaces.


Send us a message to get your technical project started immediately!