Translating technical content: How departments can take the right path together
Transforming technical language to be easily understood is a complicated process. And it gets even trickier when the content writers (usually from the technical department), are different to the content translators (usually the marketing team).
That’s why we’ve done some digging into the procedure. A clear pattern has emerged in projects where different departments create and translate. In short, there’s plenty of puzzlement among our clients’ teams, with careful work needed.
This article explores that cross-departmental interplay with their different approaches and explains how working together can make things smoother. You’ll find insights that work for marketers, and for any non-technical person tasked with translating complicated information.
Familiar translation challenges
Let's start with the challenges that need to be taken care of before they become big problems for content authors and translation teams.
Balancing complexity with clarity
Firstly, technical authors are by definition dealing with complex content. Naturally, technical documents can be overwhelming for those not familiar with the concepts. Of course, everyone likes clear and simple explanations. However, that’s easier said than done when you’re dealing with highly specialised content.
Abstract and specialised content often involves specific terms that only experts know. It’s crucial to use these words and phrases correctly. Mistakes can lead to confusion and wrong information.
Language moves fast
The world of manufacturing changes fast. New technologies and products are coming in all the time. This means the content needs to stay up-to-date, which isn't easy.
These challenges affect the quality of the translations, and the wrong outcome erodes customer trust and satisfaction.
How to make progress: Working together
The key to solving these problems is teamwork. That means alignment between technical authors and translation teams.
4 steps towards smoother translations
- Clear language for everyone
Technical authors – use simple language for complex technical details. Avoiding jargon and use plain language where possible. The result: content is easier to understand and translate.
- Being consistent
Create a style guide with a list of terms to use. When everyone uses the same terminology, you get the best of both worlds. There's less confusion and more accuracy.
- Stay up-to-date
Learning and adapting is crucial when technology moves fast. When technical authors and the translation team work together, the translated content stays current and correct.
- Communicate with context
Open communication between authors and translators is so important. Giving translators context helps them understand the original content at a deeper level. That’s when they can make much better translations.
Achieving a united goal
Follow these steps, and technical authors can overcome the challenges when they hand over their work to the translators. What’s more, the whole process is just, well, better.
For marketer and localisation/translation managers, you’re perfectly placed to make sure this teamwork happens. Get it right, and the finalised content becomes clear, correct, and matches what the manufacturing company wants.
We've worked alongside our clients as they improve how they manage relationships between different functions. Together, we tackle challenges, navigate the tough parts, and succeed in delivering technical documents that work for people all around the world.
The path to better teamwork between departments is open. Let's walk it together. Contact us to find out how to make your first step the right step.
Travod is a global provider of expert language services and agile technology solutions for businesses worldwide. Providing culturally localised content, Travod offers a full range of translation services in 100+ languages. Our international team of 130 in-house employees and over 5,000 specialist linguists work together to provide a bespoke service for more than 6,000 organisations and brands. Travod is fully ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certified, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to the highest standards of quality in the translation industry. Travod is part of Mondia Technologies Group.
Subscribe for more
Stay up to date with the latest articles, news and translation insights
Machine translation vs human translation – What’s best for your business?
Explore machine vs human translation, learn what machine translation is and when you should choose MT to grow your business.
Inside Travod: The crucial role of a localisation project manager
Former linguist and life-long language lover Melina Jaimes explores the invaluable role of a project manager in delivering top quality translations at scale.