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Technical Document Translation: Nine Popular Types of Technical Documents for Translation

Technical document translation is one of the most requested types of translation services. A technical document is a “how to” guide that typically explains how to operate, maintain, or create a product. Technical documents target a specific audience, and depending on your target reader; you often need to provide the content in multiple languages.

You’ll want to consult an expert to translate your technical documentation into multiple languages. Therefore, hiring a language service provider (LSP) with expertise in your industry and subject matter will allow the translation of your technical documentation to be as effective as the original version.

There are dozens of different types of technical documents. Below we discuss nine categories of the most translated technical documents.

Different Types of Technical Documents

1. User Guides

User guides contain instructions for installing, using, and troubleshooting products or services. User guides accompany the software, hardware, electronics, appliances, instruments, and equipment. These documents are translated into languages spoken in countries or regions where targeted users or consumers are. User guides help provide precise messaging and decrease frustration and user challenges when translated accurately. Translating your user guide into additional languages may be a legal requirement specified by a particular country’s laws. Review the laws of the countries where you intend to sell your product.

2. Maintenance Manuals

A maintenance manual is a technical communication document that provides the information necessary to maintain machinery or systems. For example, a maintenance manual may include a definition of the support environment, roles and responsibilities of maintenance personnel, and the regular activities essential to support the system’s successful operation. Consistent use of crucial terminology is of the utmost importance when translating a maintenance manual. Therefore, you’ll want to work with your translation vendor before your project begins to establish a glossary with the unique industry-specific technical terms used and determine the most appropriate corresponding translation for each of these terms. It will ensure that all terminology is translated consistently throughout your maintenance manual.

3. Instruction Manuals

An instruction manual is a traditional way of assisting your users. It can be distributed in print (a booklet or book) or digitally. Usually, an instruction manual includes the following:

  • Installation procedures
  • A guide on how to use your product or service
  • Licensing and contact information for technical support

You’ll want to work with your language vendor to make sure that they have translators that are native speakers with demonstrated subject matter expertise in your field and industry. That way, the translation of the technical document is accurate, high-quality, and culturally appropriate for the users and markets you are targeting.

4. Handbooks as a Form of Technical Document Translation

Handbooks are extremely useful in today’s competitive business environment and are a mainstay in technical document translation. Having operational and employee handbooks translated into the languages your employees speak, and localized to their specific locations in the world, can increase productivity and unify corporate culture across a diverse set of employees, both locally and internationally. When planning the translation of your handbook, remember to allocate enough time for the project. Your language services provider can help you understand the steps needed and how long each will take. A quality vendor will assign you a project manager to ensure your final translation is of the highest quality and that your experience is smooth and worry-free.

5. eLearning Courses and Training

eLearning courses are training, or education delivered online through a computer or a digital device. There are several educational reasons for eLearning. One significant use of eLearning is to train partners on the technicalities of a product to increase both adoption and retention. eLearning is composed of training modules consisting of videos, presentation slides, and technical documents. With eLearning translation, you want to collaborate with a vendor handling written text, audio, and video content. In addition, you will want to ensure that your vendor can provide voiceover and subtitling services as needed. Finally, check with your vendor to confirm that they offer complete translation services. As a result, this will create seamless translation across all types of media and content.

6. API Documentation

Application Program Interface (API) documentation is technical support material containing instructions, tutorials, and examples on effectively using and integrating with an API. Translating your API documentation allows users of different languages from around the globe to adapt your API technology better and more easily interact with your systems. Therefore, you’ll want to work with a translation vendor that hires linguists who are also subject matter experts in your industry and software systems. Thus, ensuring higher-quality translations of your API documentation.

7. Webpages and Websites

Translating and localizing the web pages of a website is essential for companies, businesses, and individuals who want to market and sell their products internationally and better their domestic audiences. Translating your website can also build consumer confidence in your product. A study published in Harvard Business Review found that more than seventy percent of consumers require information in their language before making a purchase.

Whether it’s product descriptions, frequently asked questions, product specs, pricing information, testimonials, or corporate history, there is tremendous value in translating your website into new languages. You’ll want to work with a language translation company that is experienced in website translation. At the beginning of your project, you’ll want to communicate with your project manager whom your target audience is, allowing your translation company to localize your content accurately and appropriately.

8. Press Releases

Press Releases are essential for announcing new products or developments within your company. Whether promoting a new product, advertising an organizational milestone, or sharing accomplishments, there is tremendous value in translating your company’s press releases. In addition, you can reach new audiences when you translate a press release into new languages. When translating this kind of technical document, you’ll want to work with a language translation company that has experience translating press releases and employs quality linguists familiar with your industry. Their expertise will help grab your readers’ attention while accurately preserving your original message.

9. Patents

Translating a patent application into another language allows for pertinent invention information to be accessed by international audiences. However, significant technical skill is necessary to translate complex industry jargon and legal patent language; therefore, you will want to work with a language translation company with experience in patent translation and with linguists who have experience in your particular industry. This will ensure that your patent is easily understood and is timely in foreign markets.

How Can BIG Language Solutions Help You?

How Can BIG Language Solutions Help You?
At BIG Language Solutions, we expertly navigate the complex nature of language services for our customers so they can achieve global success. Through our portfolio, we customize and deliver language services in more than 300 languages and dialects. Whatever your language requirements, BIG gets it right from the start while ensuring a seamless user experience. Contact us today to learn more about our language services.

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