Different types of technical translation projects are normally pretty complex as they require being translated by both trained linguist experts as well as Subject Matter Experts. The Subject Matter Expert makes sure that the technical document under consideration is translated in the correct fashion while making use of the right terminology that is accepted throughout the relevant industry.
Technical translation can’t be done by just about anyone
Reason why it matters
Subject Matter Experts are professionals who are proficient in linguistics. They possess the required knowledge for a certain industry like oil, gas, manufacturing, medical, etc. Their main job is to translate a technical document while making sure that the used terminology is accepted and properly understood by the consumers.
Subject Matter Experts normally possess degrees in the relevant expertise field. So they usually are experts in both languages and cultures while having a strong grasp over the language being used in the industry.
Technical translation needs knowledge about the subject matter as well as different technical terms that may be used in the context of the project. For instance, some pharmaceutical corporation might be filing for a patent regarding some drug that is being developed.
So in case the translator isn’t in possession of the right amount of relevant knowledge about the subject and the relevant technical terms, the end results might be very confusing.
The criticality of the matter may be understood by considering the fact that a minor translation error in a patent application might get the whole thing rejected, thus causing the company a good deal of loss.
No way to avoid the complexity
Some individuals as well as companies seem eager to cut their expenses on account of translation by making use of computerized translation. Sometimes, it turns out to be a success while most of the times it ends up giving disastrous results.
Computerized translations have the ability to produce an approximate translation of the document only. So a Subject Matter Expert will be needed in order to get the whole translation of technical documents.
Risks in technical translation
Translation carried out by subject matter experts is usually pretty accurate. Technical documents usually contain information related to procedures and practices. They often include detailed instructions regarding the operation of an instrument or appliance. Therefore, it is important to get high end translation services otherwise the following risks might be faced by the client:
- Unsuitable provision of care to patients
- Industrial accidents as a result of improper equipment use
- Compromising court cases
- Infrastructure failure
Making use of a Technical Dictionary
Subject matter expert translators consult a technical dictionary regularly. However, an ordinary translator may not be referred to as a subject matter expert in case they manage to learn different terminologies by consulting such a dictionary while translating some documents.
Precise understanding of specialized processes is an outcome of training and education rather than getting consultation from technical dictionaries. An under qualified translator would never be able to deliver the quality of work that might be delivered by a subject matter expert.
Be it a manual for a simple or complex product, it is critically important to consult subject matter experts in order to get the right kind of technical documents.