A technical manual translation is a necessary and extremely important activity for companies that sell products and services in more than one country. No wonder: brands that communicate in several languages and with different markets already understand that speaking the local language of each market is imperative in order to compete globally, and there is nothing better than a translation partner specialized in the subject to help them achieve that goal.
It is also important to remember that technical manuals are offered with a wide variety of products, from industrial machinery to automobiles and electronic devices. Because it is a communication piece that directly impacts the understanding of the product and, therefore, the user’s experience with the purchased good, hiring a manual translation needs to be faced as something extremely strategic within a company, since the quality of the translation is directly connected to the sales success and the customer’s satisfaction.
In addition, errors in a manual translation could even cause several types of impact to the client or the products, such as causing accidents when handling or using a product, posing a risk to the user’s life. Regardless of the type of communication failure and the impact a manual translation may have, one thing is certain: the image of the company responsible for the product will be compromised.
Professional translation companies have this concern and, precisely because of that, they are prepared to apply a series of quality check stages throughout the manual translation projects in order to ensure that the information about a given product reaches the end consumer correctly and accurately in relation to the original content, fulfilling its goal.
Every manual translation needs DTP!
Those who often hire manual translations know that this process alters the original size of the documents, after all, the translated content may increase or decrease the text volume, depending on the language, thus causing changes in layout. That’s why the best translation companies on the market have a team of specialists in DTP and copy-editing, which is responsible for editing the post-translation material, leaving it with the same layout as the original document and ready to be published or printed. In order to assure the quality of the client’s material, these specialists are able to handle files of the most varied types and formats, using the main graphic publishing tools on the market. This skill assures the client’s convenience and tranquility, since they will not need to worry about personally checking the application of the translations on the end file or hiring a third-party to do so.
Potentializing a manual translation by hiring additional services
In addition to the process mentioned above, it is also possible to potentialize the quality of the manual translation by using additional services offered by professional translation companies. Get to know some of them below:
when a manual translation demand consists of a non-editable file, that is, PDF or image files, the extraction activity becomes necessary so the texts may be entered into the translation tools. This activity consists in extracting the text from the original file and turning it into an editable format, usually a Word document. In this case, the content is extracted as simple text, without visual elements, ready to be inserted into the translation tools.
when the material to be translated has a closed format and the client needs the content to be returned with the same layout as the original document, it is necessary to “redesign” the file with an open format, considering all the visual and text elements, so the end file translated remains with the same layout as the original document. Redesigning allows the client to obtain the editable version of a non-editable file, that is, PDF format or image files.
technical manuals are materials with high visibility. That is why it is recommended that, after the translation is completed, the content also goes through the analysis of a native reviewer to check both the interpretation of the original text and the accuracy of the message elaborated by the translator, as well as the content’s linguistic quality. This stage assures the delivery of a technical manual translation with high linguistic standards, which saves the client’s own time since it eliminates the need for them to use their time to perform this task.
this stage assures the construction and maintenance of each client’s discursive identity, not only in one text, but across all files from the same translation project. This stage validates the terminological and structural issues of the material, and may also be associated to a meticulous terminology check and/or to the standardization of structures of similar or identical sentences on a manual translation, for example. On the main translation agencies, these analyses are conducted by Quality Control tools, which detect such incoherence automatically and notify the linguists. They, in turn, make the necessary inspection and adjustments.
it consists of an automated spelling check conducted by Quality Control tools. This service aims at identifying typing errors, verbal agreement mistakes or any grammatical deviations that may have occurred during the human or machine translation. After checking, the tool creates a report with the points to be analyzed by internal linguists working for the company that is conducting the manual translation.
LSO (Language Sign-Off):
during this activity, a target language linguist analyzes the translated content in final design format, aiming to validate it in the context where it will be used. For such, the linguist seeks to check all layout elements and simulate the user’s experience with the finished material, eliminating potential mistakes that might be noticed by the customer after the material’s release or publication. The LSO service is indicated specially for materials with high visibility. For a manual translation project, for example, LSO is highly recommended.
SME (Subject-Matter Expert) Review:
aiming at minimizing the client’s review activities, this additional service to the translation is conducted by a specialist on the specific subject of the project, who will not only focus on the text, but also on the market where the product will be inserted. Usually used by highly technical industries, SME Review offers an assurance to the client, since the translation will not only count on an experienced translator on the source and target languages, but also on a professional with expertise in the subject-matter in question. Evaluate whether your manual translation demand would need this additional quality stage.
Glossary creation and management:
constituted by personalized lists of the most complex and recurring terms of each company, aiming at the terminological standardization among projects. In order to create them, professional agencies that carry out the manual translation analyze the documents to be translated and extract the main term to, then, suggest translations that will be sent for the client’s approval. From there, the client indicates its preferred translations or the translation already used as standard by the company, so they can also be inserted on the list. The glossaries are constantly updated and are the basis for the terminological consistency of a company’s translations.
as previously mentioned, translation memories are databases that store all segments already translated for each client, which may be sentences, paragraphs or even isolated terms. They are created and updated according to certain criteria, such as a specific language pair or the client’s terminology preferences, and they allow the reuse of translations that have already been made. This leads to cost reductions, increased productivity, and terminological and structural consistency among translations. Companies with high translation demand for technical manuals may benefit a lot from their Translation Memory.
Can you see how translations with the highest quality level as possible require planning and hard work? That’s why it is always good to learn about the existing options on the market before choosing the ideal vendor for your project. To learn even more about the subject and find out which precautions are required for technical manual translation, we recommend that you read our article written specifically about the topic!