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Guaranteeing a Quality Technical or Scientific Translation

Among the various fields of translation, scientific or technical translation is a difficult task that requires knowledge of the industry and experience translating complex scientific or technical material.

Many specialized technical companies choose to assign translations of material to bilingual employees, whom they believe to be the only ones with specialized knowledge of their technical products and processes. However, it is necessary to hire a professional translator to do the job, as a professional translator understands the art and science of transferring meaning from one language into another. Translators are linguists with strong research skills required to effectively translate a complex technical document or medical report. Explaining this to the customer hesitant to send a document along for quotation will be extremely beneficial to the account manager, as this assure the client about our experience in the field and also inform them of how the translation industry works.

In addition, it is extremely important to ask the client for glossaries. In order to establish a preference over which terms to use in a translated text, the client should send glossaries and product information. These materials will allow the translator to visually see the product or understand the context of the product or process, so as to best translate the text into the target language. Providing glossaries and reference material also reduces the amount of time and money required for the translator to conduct independent research on the text. If translation preferences are not established before the project is initiated, then a second review of the translation for preferential changes must be compensated on the part of the customer. Some customers think that a post-translation preference review is included in the original cost, as they believe there was an “error” in the original translation. In reality, preferential choices over terminologies are not translation errors (as would be with a grammatical or punctuation error), and the translator will have to spend additional time in “correcting” a translation that wasn’t wrong.

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